By reuvenveksler
December 21, 2021
6 min read

Top 10 most famous diamonds ever

Top 10 most famous diamonds ever
Top 10 most famous diamonds ever

Diamonds have shaped the history of the world. 

They fomented wars, broke hearts, captivated imagination, reconciled countries, united people and formed new alliances. Lots of historical landmarks revolve around these stunning stones.

Here is a list of the most prominent history-making diamonds ever.   

The Cullinan

The Cullinan is the largest raw diamond ever found. Discovered in South Africa in 1905, it boasted a weight of 3107 ct. Such a scale together with its extraordinary color and exceptional clarity instantly made it the most praised diamond in the world. Later, the Asscher Brothers of Amsterdam cut the Cullinan into 105 smaller diamonds, including the world-known Cullinan I and Cullinan II. 

The Great star of Africa

Top 10 most famous diamonds ever

The most famous diamond cut from the Cullinan is the Great star of Africa (the Cullinan I). Today it is a key piece of the Sceptre with the Cross – the iconic British crown jewel. Weighing 530.4 ct, it is considered the second largest cut diamond in the world. The only diamond it is surpassed by is the Golden Jubilee Diamond.

Today, the Great star of Africa remains on display in the British Crown Jewels at the tower of London. 

The Golden Jubilee diamond

The Golden Jubilee Diamond,  weighing 546 ct, is the largest cut and faceted diamond in the world! Before being cut, this Diamond was considered an ugly stone – it was even called “Unnamed Brown Diamond”. However, the cushion cut did its job and today this fancy yellow-brown Diamond is a gem like no other. 

The Golden Jubilee Diamond is literally new to the world – it was discovered only in 1985. Ten years later it was presented to the King of Thailand in honor of his 50th coronation anniversary. Initially, it was planned to mount the Diamond in the royal scepter but later, the government decided to mount it in the Thailand royal seal. Today the Golden Jubilee Diamond remains in the Royal Thai Palace, as a part of Thai Crown Jewels. 

The Incomparable diamond

Top 10 most famous diamonds ever

The Incomparable Diamond is a 407.48 ct natural fancy deep-yellow shield step cut diamond, considered to be the largest flawless diamond ever graded by the GIA. It is also the third largest diamond ever cut, surpassed only by the Cullinan 1 and the Golden Jubilee. It was found by chance in a discarded pile of mining rubble by a young girl in the African Congo in the 1980s. In its rough state, the Incomparable Diamond weighed 890 ct! 

The Hope diamond

Top 10 most famous diamonds ever

The Hope Diamond has a long and – supposedly – cursed history. This blue diamond was discovered in India in the 17th century by a French merchant traveller (some legends insist that he plucked the stone out from an idol’s statue). Then it was owned by the French King, stolen during the French revolution and found years later. Although today it is kept in the Smithsonian Institution, it left a long trail of blood behind itself. For instance, American socialite Evalyn Walsh McLean who purchased the Diamond in 1911 and wore it at all parties, went through many hurdles. Her firstborn son, Vinson, died in a car accident when he was only nine. McLean suffered another major loss when her daughter committed suicide at age of 25. In addition to this, McLean’s husband was declared insane and confined to an asylum until his death in 1941.

The Koh-i-noor diamond

Top 10 most famous diamonds ever

The Koh-i-noor diamond (or “Mountain of light”)  is another cursed stone in the world’s history. This Diamond, found thousands of years ago, was owned by numerous rulers over the years and all too often many of them lost their empires as well as their lives. It was never bought or sold but changed hands only due to inheritance, extortion, looting and trickery and, sometimes, gift-giving. Eventually, the Koh-i-Noor Diamond arrived in Britain. It was eventually set on the crown of England’s Queen Mary in 1911 and then the crown of the Queen Mother in 1937 for her coronation. Since most people believe that the curse of the Diamond befalls only men, and not women, thereafter it was only women who wore it.

The Regent diamond

Top 10 most famous diamonds ever

The rough Regent Diamond, discovered in India in 1698, weighed an impressive 410 ct. Then it was cut in such a perfect shape that it was even considered to be the most beautiful diamond in the world. It has adorned the crowns of Kings Louis XV and Louis XVI as well as Charles X, and even the hilt of Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte’s sword. Today The Regent is on display at the Louvre with the rest of the French Crown Jewels.

The Idol’s eye diamond

Top 10 most famous diamonds ever Top 10 most famous diamonds ever

This sparkler first appeared in 1865 – and was immediately offered at Christie’s in London. It was bought by the Ottoman sultans. All we know about this stone is that it was found in India, it is incredibly beautiful, and it was cut to a size of 70 ct. One day famous American jeweler Harry Winston got the stone and sold it to American gem collector May Bonfils Stanton. After her death, the stone was sold again to a private collector.

The Black Orloff diamond

Top 10 most famous diamonds ever

The Black Orlov Diamond was once a part of a 195ct stone in the eye of the 19th century statue of Brahma. According to the legend, the Diamond was stolen from the statue by a traveling monk. Nobody knows what happened to the Diamond between its robbery and the beginning of the 20th century. However, during that period of time, it was cut from its original 195ct down to a stone half its size. 

Allegedly, the Diamond landed in Russia and was acquired by Princess Nadia Vyegin-Orlov. However, there is no trace of such a princess in Russia… Yet, another mystery. Nevertheless, at this time in its history, the Diamond was renamed as the Black Orlov.

In 1932, the Diamond was brought to America by J.W Paris, where, in 1950, its new owner, Charles F. Wilson had it cut down to the 67.5 ct gem that it is today. Currently, the stone is set in a diamond brooch which is attached to a diamond necklace, effectively making it one of the most impressive pieces of jewelry! 

The Great Mogul diamond

Top 10 most famous diamonds ever

The Great Mogul Diamond is a stone surrounded by legends. According to one of them, it was part of the Taj Mahal built for Shah Jehan. It had a rough weight of 793 ct. According to other rumors, the Orloff Diamond was cut from the Great Mogul Diamond. However, it is more likely that it was simply stolen and cut into dozens of smaller diamonds. 

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