Top 10 Biggest Diamonds in the World

Written by: Hagai Bichman

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Time to read 16 min

The First Of The Top 10 Biggest Diamonds in the World is the Cullinan Diamond, a massive gem that was unearthed in 1905 from the Premier Mine in South Africa.

This diamond is truly a marvel of nature, weighing an astonishing 3,106.75 carats (621.35 grams) in its uncut form.

The largest diamond ever discovered in the world >

The largest diamond ever discovered in the world is the Cullinan Diamond, a massive gem that was unearthed in 1905 from the Premier Mine in South Africa. This diamond is truly a marvel of nature, weighing an astonishing 3,106.75 carats (621.35 grams) in its uncut form.

The discovery of the Cullinan Diamond was a significant event in the history of diamond mining. It was found by a mine worker named Thomas Evan Powell, who reported the find to the mine's manager, Frederick Wells. The diamond was named after Sir Thomas Cullinan, the owner of the mine at the time.

The sheer size and grandeur of the Cullinan Diamond were immediately recognized, and it was transported to London for further examination and cutting. The task of cutting and polishing this massive diamond was entrusted to the renowned Asscher Brothers of Amsterdam. The process took several months and involved careful planning and precise execution.

After the cutting process, the Cullinan Diamond was transformed into nine major diamonds and several smaller stones. The largest of these is the Cullinan I, also known as the Great Star of Africa, which weighs an impressive 530.20 carats. It is the largest clear-cut diamond in the world and is currently mounted on the Royal Sceptre of the British Crown Jewels.

The Cullinan Diamond's significance lies not only in its sheer size but also in its exceptional quality and historical value. It is considered one of the most valuable diamonds in existence, with an estimated worth of several hundred million dollars.

Today, the Cullinan Diamond and its cut pieces are displayed as part of the British Crown Jewels in the Tower of London. They serve as a testament to the extraordinary beauty and rarity of nature's gemological wonders and continue to captivate millions of visitors from around the world.

Where was the Cullinan Diamond found >

The famous Cullinan Diamond, one of the largest and most renowned diamonds in the world, was discovered in the Premier Mine (now known as the Cullinan Mine) near Pretoria, South Africa, in 1905. This remarkable gemstone has a fascinating history that dates back to the early days of diamond mining in South Africa.

In the late 19th century, the discovery of diamonds in South Africa sparked a mining boom, with numerous mines being established in the region. The Premier Mine, located in the Transvaal region (now part of Gauteng Province), was one of the most productive and significant mines of that era.

On January 26, 1905, a mine worker named Thomas Evan Powell made an extraordinary discovery while performing his duties at the Premier Mine. He uncovered a massive rough diamond weighing an astonishing 3,106.75 carats, or approximately 621.35 grams. This diamond was later named the Cullinan Diamond, after Sir Thomas Cullinan, the owner of the mine at the time.

The discovery of this remarkable gemstone was a groundbreaking event in the history of diamond mining. Its sheer size and exceptional quality were unprecedented, and it immediately became a subject of great interest and intrigue.

After its discovery, the Cullinan Diamond was carefully transported to London, where it was presented to King Edward VII as a gift from the Transvaal government. The task of cutting and polishing this massive diamond was entrusted to the renowned Asscher Brothers of Amsterdam, a process that took several months and involved meticulous planning and execution.

The Premier Mine, where the Cullinan Diamond was found, continued to operate until 2008, producing some of the world's most valuable diamonds. Today, it is a popular tourist attraction, offering visitors the opportunity to explore the mine and learn about its rich history and the fascinating world of diamond mining.

The discovery of the Cullinan Diamond in this unassuming mine in South Africa solidified the country's reputation as a global leader in diamond production and cemented its place in the history of gemology.

How did the Hope Diamond get its name >

The Hope Diamond, one of the most famous and fascinating diamonds in the world, has a rich and intriguing history that spans centuries. The diamond's name is derived from its former owner, Henry Philip Hope, a wealthy English banker who acquired the gem in the late 18th century.

The origins of the Hope Diamond can be traced back to the 17th century, when it was first discovered in the Golconda mines of India. At the time, it was a rough diamond weighing approximately 112 carats. The diamond's early history is shrouded in mystery, but it is believed to have been owned by various Indian rulers and merchants before making its way to Europe.

In the late 17th century, the diamond was reportedly acquired by French merchant traveler Jean-Baptiste Tavernier, who sold it to King Louis XIV of France in 1668. The diamond was then recut and polished, resulting in a stunning 67.5-carat gem that became part of the French Crown Jewels.

During the tumultuous years of the French Revolution, the diamond disappeared, and its whereabouts remained unknown for several decades. It resurfaced in London in the early 19th century, where it was acquired by Henry Philip Hope, a wealthy banker and avid gem collector.

Hope was captivated by the diamond's exceptional beauty and remarkable history, and it became the centerpiece of his extensive collection. After his death in 1839, the diamond was inherited by his nephew, who later sold it to the London banking firm of Messrs. Handel, Hope & Co.

It was around this time that the diamond became widely known as the Hope Diamond, a name that stuck and has been associated with the gem ever since. The Hope Diamond's name is a testament to its storied past and the individuals who have owned and coveted this extraordinary gemstone.

Today, the Hope Diamond is part of the renowned gem collection at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C. It continues to captivate and intrigue millions of visitors with its breathtaking beauty and enigmatic history.

What makes the Centenary Diamond so unique >

The Centenary Diamond, a magnificent gemstone discovered in the late 20th century, stands out as a truly remarkable and unique diamond due to its exceptional characteristics and remarkable story. This diamond's uniqueness lies in its unparalleled size, exceptional clarity, and the circumstances surrounding its discovery and subsequent journey.

Discovered in 1986 at the Premier Mine (now known as the Cullinan Mine) in South Africa, the Centenary Diamond was unearthed as a rough stone weighing an astonishing 599 carats. This made it the third-largest rough diamond ever found, surpassed only by the legendary Cullinan Diamond and the Lesedi La Rona Diamond.

What sets the Centenary Diamond apart is its extraordinary clarity and purity. Gemologists who examined the rough stone were astonished by its exceptional transparency and nearly flawless structure, a rarity for a diamond of such immense size. This outstanding quality earned it the coveted D color grade, the highest possible rating for a colorless diamond.

The discovery of the Centenary Diamond coincided with the centennial anniversary of the De Beers company, one of the world's leading diamond producers. This fortuitous timing added to the diamond's significance and symbolism, as it was seen as a remarkable gift from nature to commemorate the company's milestone.

After its discovery, the Centenary Diamond underwent a meticulous cutting and polishing process, which took several years to complete. The result was a stunning 273.85-carat modified heart-shaped brilliant-cut diamond, which is considered one of the most valuable and flawless diamonds in existence.

The Centenary Diamond's uniqueness is further enhanced by its remarkable journey from the depths of the earth to becoming a symbol of human achievement and the pinnacle of diamond craftsmanship. Its exceptional size, clarity, and historical significance have made it a true gem of the modern era, captivating and inspiring all who have had the privilege of witnessing its beauty.

Today, the Centenary Diamond remains one of the most valuable and sought-after diamonds in the world, a testament to nature's incredible ability to create such extraordinary treasures.

How was the Golden Jubilee Diamond cut and polished >

The Golden Jubilee Diamond, a remarkable gemstone renowned for its exceptional beauty and brilliant fire, underwent a meticulous cutting and polishing process that transformed it from a rough diamond into a true masterpiece. This process was a testament to the skill and artistry of the master craftsmen who handled this precious stone.

The Golden Jubilee Diamond was discovered in 1985 at the Premier Mine (now known as the Cullinan Mine) in South Africa. In its rough form, the diamond weighed an impressive 755.5 carats, making it one of the largest rough diamonds ever found. However, its true potential was yet to be unlocked.

After its discovery, the rough diamond was acquired by the De Beers company, who entrusted the task of cutting and polishing to a team of highly skilled gemologists and diamond cutters. The process began with a thorough examination of the rough stone to determine the optimal cutting plan that would maximize its brilliance and yield the most beautiful finished gem.

The cutting process itself was a delicate and painstaking endeavor that took several months to complete. Using specialized diamond cutting tools and techniques, the skilled artisans meticulously shaped and faceted the rough diamond, carefully removing any inclusions or imperfections while preserving as much of the diamond's weight and fire as possible.

One of the unique challenges in cutting the Golden Jubilee Diamond was its intense yellow color, which required precise angling and polishing to enhance its brilliance and bring out its warm, golden hue. The cutters employed advanced techniques, including the use of specialized polishing compounds and carefully controlled lighting conditions, to achieve the desired result.

After months of meticulous work, the Golden Jubilee Diamond emerged as a stunning 545.67-carat brownish-yellow cushion-cut diamond, with exceptional clarity and a mesmerizing fire. The cutting and polishing process had transformed this rough stone into a true gem of unparalleled beauty and brilliance.

The Golden Jubilee Diamond's exceptional quality and craftsmanship have made it one of the most valuable and sought-after diamonds in the world. Its cutting and polishing process serves as a testament to the skill and dedication of the master craftsmen who brought this remarkable gemstone to life.

What is the story behind the Oppenheimer Blue Diamond >

The Oppenheimer Blue Diamond is a remarkable gemstone that has captivated the world with its exceptional beauty and rarity. Behind this stunning diamond lies a fascinating story that spans decades and touches upon the rich history of diamond mining and the pursuit of extraordinary gemstones.

Discovered in 1964 at the Dutoitspan Mine in South Africa, the rough diamond weighed an impressive 14.25 carats. However, it was not until several years later that its true brilliance and value were revealed.

In the late 1960s, the rough diamond was acquired by the renowned De Beers company, who recognized its potential and entrusted its cutting and polishing to the skilled hands of their master craftsmen. The process of transforming this rough stone into a masterpiece was a delicate and painstaking endeavor, requiring the utmost precision and expertise.

After months of careful planning and execution, the diamond emerged as a stunning 9.54-carat fancy vivid blue rectangular brilliant-cut gem. Its vibrant blue hue, a result of the unique presence of boron within its crystal structure, was unlike anything the diamond world had seen before. The Oppenheimer Blue Diamond's exceptional color, clarity, and cut made it an instant icon in the world of gemology.

The diamond's name pays homage to Sir Philip Oppenheimer, the legendary chairman of the De Beers company from 1957 to 1984. It was under his leadership that this remarkable gem was discovered and brought to life, cementing the company's reputation for excellence in diamond mining and craftsmanship.

In 2016, the Oppenheimer Blue Diamond made headlines when it was auctioned by Christie's in Geneva, Switzerland. The diamond's exceptional quality and rarity led to a fierce bidding war, ultimately selling for an astonishing $57.6 million, setting a new record for the highest price paid for a fancy vivid blue diamond at auction.

The Oppenheimer Blue Diamond's story is a testament to the remarkable beauty and value of nature's gemological wonders. Its discovery, cutting, and eventual sale have cemented its place in history as one of the most remarkable and coveted diamonds in the world, a true masterpiece of natural beauty and human craftsmanship.

How did the Regent Diamond become part of the French Crown Jewels >

The Regent Diamond, a magnificent gemstone renowned for its exceptional beauty and historical significance, has a captivating journey that eventually led it to become a part of the illustrious French Crown Jewels. This diamond's path is intertwined with the stories of royalty, intrigue, and the pursuit of extraordinary treasures.

The origins of the Regent Diamond can be traced back to the 17th century, when it was discovered in the Golconda mines of India. In its rough form, the diamond weighed an impressive 410 carats, making it one of the largest and most valuable gemstones in the world at the time.

In 1701, the rough diamond was acquired by English merchant Thomas Pitt, who later had it cut and polished by skilled Venetian artisans. The result was a stunning 141-carat cushion-cut diamond of exceptional quality and brilliance, which became known as the Pitt Diamond.

The Pitt Diamond's journey took a remarkable turn when it caught the eye of Philippe II, Duke of Orléans, the nephew of King Louis XIV of France. Driven by his passion for extraordinary gems, Philippe II acquired the diamond in 1717, paying an exorbitant sum of 2.5 million livres, an astronomical amount at the time.

Upon its acquisition, the diamond was renamed the Regent Diamond, a name it has carried ever since. Philippe II had the gem mounted in a striking setting, further enhancing its beauty and grandeur.

In 1718, Philippe II presented the Regent Diamond to the French Crown, where it became a part of the illustrious French Crown Jewels. This act solidified the diamond's status as a national treasure and a symbol of French royalty and prestige.

Over the centuries, the Regent Diamond has witnessed the rise and fall of monarchies, surviving the tumultuous years of the French Revolution and remaining a part of the Crown Jewels throughout various political upheavals.

Today, the Regent Diamond is housed in the Louvre Museum in Paris, where it is displayed alongside other remarkable gemstones and artifacts from the French Crown Jewels collection. Its extraordinary beauty, historical significance, and illustrious journey continue to captivate visitors from around the world, serving as a testament to the enduring allure of exceptional diamonds and their place in human history and culture.

What is the fascinating history of the Dresden Green Diamond >

The Dresden Green Diamond, also known as the Green Diamond or the Dresden Green, is a remarkable gemstone with a captivating history that spans centuries and continents. This extraordinary diamond is not only prized for its exceptional color and beauty but also for the intriguing tales that surround its journey from the mines of India to the royal treasuries of Europe.

The origins of the Dresden Green Diamond can be traced back to the 17th century, when it was discovered in the legendary Golconda mines of India. These mines were renowned for producing some of the world's most exceptional diamonds, including the famous Hope Diamond and the Koh-i-Noor Diamond.

In its rough form, the diamond weighed approximately 35 carats and had a distinct and mesmerizing green hue, a rare occurrence in the world of gemstones. The diamond's unique color is attributed to the presence of natural radiation exposure during its formation deep within the earth's crust.

The diamond's journey from India to Europe remains shrouded in mystery, with various accounts and legends surrounding its path. One widely accepted story suggests that the diamond was acquired by a European merchant in the 17th century and eventually found its way into the possession of the Saxon royal family.

In 1743, the Dresden Green Diamond was purchased by Augustus III, King of Poland and Elector of Saxony, for the staggering sum of 60,000 thalers. This acquisition was a testament to the diamond's exceptional value and the king's passion for extraordinary gemstones.

The Dresden Green Diamond became a prized possession of the Saxon royalty, adorning their crowns and regalia during significant events and ceremonies. It was kept in the Green Vault, a magnificent treasure chamber located in Dresden, alongside other invaluable gemstones and works of art.

Tragically, during World War II, the Green Vault was looted, and the Dresden Green Diamond disappeared, its whereabouts remaining a mystery for several decades. In 1958, the diamond resurfaced in a bank vault in West Berlin, having miraculously survived the war's devastation.

Today, the Dresden Green Diamond is once again on display in the Green Vault of the Residenzschloss in Dresden, Germany. Its remarkable history, exceptional color, and enduring beauty continue to captivate visitors from around the world, serving as a testament to the enduring allure of extraordinary gemstones and the stories they hold.

How was the Lesedi La Rona Diamond discovered and its journey to auction >

The Lesedi La Rona Diamond is a remarkable gemstone that captured the world's attention not only for its exceptional size and quality but also for the fascinating story surrounding its discovery and journey to auction. This diamond's tale is one of perseverance, intrigue, and the relentless pursuit of nature's most extraordinary treasures.

The discovery of the Lesedi La Rona Diamond took place in November 2015 at the Karowe Mine in Botswana, operated by the Canadian mining company Lucara Diamond Corp. During a routine mining operation, a massive rough diamond weighing an astonishing 1,109 carats was unearthed, making it the second-largest gem-quality rough diamond ever discovered.

The sheer size and potential value of this diamond immediately captured the attention of the global gemstone industry. Lucara Diamond Corp. recognized the exceptional nature of their find and decided to unveil the diamond to the world in a grand reveal ceremony held in Gaborone, Botswana, in May 2016.

The rough diamond was named "Lesedi La Rona," which means "Our Light" in the Tswana language, a fitting tribute to the gem's remarkable brilliance and its significance for the people of Botswana. The discovery was hailed as a monumental achievement for the country's diamond industry and a source of national pride.

With its immense size and exceptional clarity, the Lesedi La Rona Diamond was expected to fetch an extraordinary price at auction. However, its journey to the auction block was not without challenges and surprises.

In June 2016, the diamond was put up for auction at Sotheby's in London, with an estimated value of $70 million. To the surprise of many, the diamond failed to meet its reserve price, and the auction ended without a successful sale.

Undeterred, Lucara Diamond Corp. decided to take a different approach. They partnered with renowned diamond manufacturers and invited them to bid on the rough diamond, offering the opportunity to cut and polish it according to their expertise and vision.

In January 2017, after a rigorous selection process, the Lesedi La Rona Diamond was sold to the highest bidder, the renowned diamond house Graff Diamonds, for a staggering $53 million. This marked the highest price ever paid for a rough diamond at auction.

The Lesedi La Rona Diamond's journey from a remote mine in Botswana to the auction block captivated the world, showcasing the enduring allure of exceptional gemstones and the lengths to which collectors and connoisseurs will go to acquire these rare treasures.

What makes the Koh-i-Noor Diamond one of the most famous diamonds in the world >

The Koh-i-Noor Diamond, a gemstone with a rich and storied history, is undoubtedly one of the most famous diamonds in the world. Its exceptional beauty, immense size, and the intriguing tales that surround its journey through various empires and cultures have captured the imagination of people for centuries.

Believed to have been discovered in the mines of Golconda, India, in the 13th century, the Koh-i-Noor Diamond has been coveted by rulers and dynasties throughout its long and eventful history. Its name, which translates to "Mountain of Light" in Persian, hints at the diamond's extraordinary brilliance and the awe it has inspired.

One of the defining characteristics of the Koh-i-Noor Diamond is its sheer size and weight. In its uncut form, the diamond weighed an astonishing 793 carats, making it one of the largest diamonds ever discovered. Even after being cut and polished, the diamond still boasts an impressive weight of 105.6 carats, solidifying its place among the world's most valuable and sought-after gemstones.

The Koh-i-Noor Diamond's journey through history is a captivating tale of conquest, intrigue, and the pursuit of power and wealth. It has been passed down from one ruler to another, often changing hands through conquest or as a spoil of war.

The diamond has graced the crowns and regalia of various empires, including the Mughal Empire in India, the Persian Empire, and the Afghan Empire. Its ownership has been a source of pride and prestige for those who possessed it, and its loss has been a source of anguish and humiliation for others.

In 1849, after the British annexation of the Punjab region in India, the Koh-i-Noor Diamond was ceded to Queen Victoria, marking a significant moment in its storied history. The diamond's arrival in Britain was met with great fanfare and became a symbol of the British Empire's global reach and power.

Today, the Koh-i-Noor Diamond is part of the British Crown Jewels and is on display at the Tower of London, where it continues to captivate visitors from all over the world. Its remarkable history, exceptional beauty, and the controversies surrounding its ownership have contributed to its enduring fame and allure.

The Koh-i-Noor Diamond stands as a testament to the enduring human fascination with extraordinary gemstones and the stories they hold. Its journey through the ages has woven it into the fabric of human history, making it not just a precious gemstone but also a symbol of power, wealth, and the enduring pursuit of beauty and magnificence.