The name “diamond” derives from the ancient Greek adamas (αδάμας; “invincible“). They have been treasured as gems since their use as religious icons in India at least 2,500 years ago.
1. The Eugénie Blue
This valuable deep blue diamond weighs about 30.82 carats. There is an old story that this gem belonged to the consort of Napolean III, queen Eugénie de Montijo. It is also referred to as the “The Blue Heart”.
This diamond was given its unique shape in 1909 or 1910 and later was purchased by Cartier. Harry Winston got this beautiful diamond and sold it to Marjorie Merriweather Post. Later on, this lady handed over this unique gem to the Smithsonian Institute in the Washington D.C.
2. The Centenary Diamond
This was De Beers’ unique diamond with a fine color and initially weighing 599 carats. Though it was discovered much earlier the company flaunted it only during their centenary celebrations.
For several years it was loaned to the Tower of London. It is claimed that the gem is sold but the owner’s anonymity is maintained by De Beers.
3. The Cullinan Diamond
The Cullinan Diamond was found by Thomas Evan Powell a miner who brought it to the surface and gave it to Frederick Wells, surface manager of the Premier Diamond Mining Company in Cullinan, on January 26, 1905. The stone was named after Sir Thomas Cullinan, the owner of the diamond mine.
The Cullinan is the biggest diamond ever found and weighs 3,106.75 carats. It was however cut into 96 small portions, nine big portions and unpolished pieces weighing 9.5 carats. The nine big chunks now can be found as a part of the private collection of the royal family:
4. The Golden Eye Diamond
The Golden Eye Diamond is the world’s most beautiful flawless and biggest Canary Yellow diamond.
It came from the Kimberley area of South Africa. It weighed over 124.5-carats for several years when it was uncut earlier. After it was cut to about 43.51 carats the gem became embroiled in a drug scandal group in Ohio. It was later brought under the ownership of the U.S. government. The government stated that it would place the diamond under auction!
5. The Koh-i-noor
The Koh-i-noor has an old history and some say it is over 5,000 years old. It was installed in the peacock throne of Shah Jahan, the Mughal emperor and also under the possession of various other Indian emperors. Later Queen Victoria showcased it at the Crystal Palace Exhibition. After being cut down to its present 108.93 size, the diamond was placed in Queen Elizabeth’s crown in 1936. Now it is locked up in the Tower of London. The Koh-i-Noor diamond, whose name means “Mountain of Light“, had been the prize of Indian rulers from the Mughals to the Persian until it was “presented” to Queen Victoria in 1849 by the son of the Maharaja of Lahore. Critics say the stone, part of the Crown Jewels, could not have been willingly surrendered and was plundered by the British governor general, Lord Dalhousie.
It is believed that the Koh-i-Noor carries with it a curse and only when in the possession of a woman will the curse not work. All the men who owned it have either lost their throne or had other misfortunes befall them. Queen Victoria is the only reigning monarch to have worn the gem. According to the legend, if the monarch is a male, the stone is passed to his spouse.
6. Spirit of de Grisogono It was taken from its origin in west central Africa and cut by Swiss jeweler De Grisogono.
The resulting mogul-cut diamond weighs 312.24 carats and is set in a white gold ring with 702 smaller white diamonds totaling 36.69 carats.
The ring is rumored to have been sold to a private collector.
7. The Earth Star
This gem weighed around 248.9 carats when it was discovered at a De Beers mine in the Jagersfontein on May 16, 1967 in South Africa.
It was of a unique brown hue and Baumgold Bros. jewelers bought the gem and gave it its unique pear shape which weighed 111.59 carats after the cut. Its name was also given by Baumgold. The diamond was bought in 1983 for $900,000.
8. The Golden Jubilee
The Golden Jubilee is a rare and biggest faceted diamond in the world. It was found in 1985, but it was not very attractive. Jeweler Gabriel Tolkowsky transformed the ordinary diamond into a yellow hued diamond of large proportions. It was presented to the King of Thailand in 1997.
The diamond was brought to Pope John Paul II in the Vatican to receive the papal blessing. It was also blessed by the Supreme Buddhist Patriarch and the Supreme Imam in Thailand.
9. The Ocean Dream Diamond
Although this is a tiny gem weighing about 5.51 carats, it is one of a kind. The diamond has a rare blue-green hue which has resulted owing to its exposure to natural radiation in Central Africa for several years. It’s under the ownership of Cora Diamond Corporation currently.
The Ocean Dream was displayed as part of the Smithsonian‘s “The Splendor of Diamonds” exhibit, alongside the De Beers Millennium Star, The Heart of Eternity and the Moussaieff Red.
10. The Hope Diamond
The Hope Diamond is one of the most famous gems and has inspired numerous works because of the legend which has around it’s history. The diamond was discovered in the Kollur mine in Giaconda, India, back in 1642 by a French jeweler, Jean-Baptiste Tavernier.
The Hope is a really unique diamond which weighs 45.52 carats and has a nice deep blue color. It was originally of triangular shape weighing about 115 carats. It was sold to King Louis XIV in 1669. Noted jeweler Pierre Cartier bought this rare gem in 1910 and made the sale of it to American socialite Evalyn Walsh McLean. She wore the stone for 37 years.
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