c Famous Diamonds - The Paragon, Koh-I-Noor, Hope Diamond, Taylor-Burton, Startand other famous diamonds

Famous Diamonds

 
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Famous Diamonds


There are many well-known and famous diamonds. These diamonds have become famous by virtue of their large size or weight, their unique appearance, historical events associated with them, or some combination of these.

Here is a list of some of the most famous diamonds in the world:
  • The Agra is a fancy light pink color diamond, that is cushion cut and weights 28.15 carats. The diamond gets its name from Agra, the administrative capital of the Mughal emperors in India from 1526 to 1658. After a long and complicated history in India, the diamond appears to have come to Britain as a result of the India Mutiny (also known as the First Indian War of Independence) in 1857 - although the exact details of how this happened are unclear. During its history, the Agra is known to have been recut twice - it is believed to have been 41 carats when brought from India, but was recut to 31.41 carats by Bram Hertz, a Parisian diamond dealer, in order to remove some black inclusions, and many years later was recut to its present 28.15 carats in a modified cushion shape, after being purchased in 1990 by the SIBA Corporation of Hong Kong.

  • The Beau Sancy is a 34.98 carat clear diamond, with a pear modified double rose cut. The diamond was brought from India to France by Nicolas de Harlay, Lord of Sancy, who had served as a French ambassador in India. It was subsequently acquired by the Queen of France, Marie de Medicis, later still by the Dutch King William (who was subsequently to become King William III of England), and from then to King Frederick I of Prussia. Most recently the Beau Sancy was sold at auction in Geneva in 2012 by Sotheby's for $9.57 million.

  • Black Orlov (Eye of Brahma) is a 67.5 carat black colored diamond originally from India. It was apparently placed in the eye of a statue of Brahma in Pondicherry, India until it was supposedly stolen by a monk. As a result of this history, the diamond was said to be cursed - the jeweller who brought the diamond to the United States, J. W. Paris is said to have committed suicide by jumping from a skyscraper in New York City, and subsequent owners, the Russian princesses Leonila Galitsine-Bariatinsky and Nadia Vygin-Orlov (the stone is named after the latter), also committing suicide by jumping to their deaths in the 1940s. Later, the diamond was purchased by Charles F. Winson who had the diamond cut into three pieces in an attempt to break the curse, and later still by diamond dealer Dennis Petimezas, who said he was "pretty confident that the curse is broken". The Black Orlov has been displayed at the Natural History Museum in London, and the American Museum of Natural History in New York City.

  • The Centenary Diamond is a 273.85 carat colorless diamond that was found in the Premier Mine in South Africa in 1986. The original rough was 599 carats. The name of the diamond comes from the fact that it was first presented in 1988 at Centennial Celebration of the De Beers Consolidated Mines.

  • The Condé Pink, also known as the Conde Diamond or Le Grand Conde, is a pear-shaped diamond that weighs 9.01 carats. It is known for its distinctive pink color. The diamond was once owned by King Louis XIII of France. The word "Conde" comes from Louis II de Bourbon, the Prince of Conde, and the Commander of the French Army, who was given the diamond as a token of appreciation by King Louis XIII in 1643

  • The Cullinan Diamond was a large diamond weighing 3,106.75 carats found at the Premier No. 2 mine near Pretoria, South Africa in in 1905. The diamond was then cut into several polished stones, named Cullinan I through Cullian IX. Cullinan I, also known as the Great Star of Africa, weighs 530.4 carats, and for many years was the largest polished white diamond in the world (until the discovery of the Golden Jubilee Diamond), and Cullinan II, also known as the Second Star of Africa, at 317.4 carats is still today the fourth largest white diamond in the world. Cullinan I and Cullinan II are both part of the British crown jewels, and the latter is mounted in the Imperial crown. Cullinan III to Cullinan IX belong to Queen Elizabeth II personally.

    Reproduction of the uncut Cullinan diamond:
    Reproduction of the uncut Cullinan diamond

    Nine largest rough diamonds cut from the Cullinan diamond (before finals cut and polish):
    Nine largest rough diamonds cut from the Cullinan diamond (before final cuts and polish)

  • Daria-I-Noor (Sea of Light) is pale pink colored diamond that weighs an estimated 182 carats. The diamond, which originally came from India, is is one of the largest cut diamonds in the world, and is one of the collection of national jewels (formerly Iranian Imperial crown jewels) in Central Bank of Iran. The diamond came into Iranian (Persian) possession, when in 1739, Emperor Nader Shah of Persia invaded Northern India, captured the crown of India, and only returned in return to Mughal emperor, Muhammed, in exchange for the entire Mughal treasury. In the 1960s, a team of Canadian researchers, studying the Iranian crown jewels, concluded that the Daria-I-Noor, may once have been part of a large pink diamond that had been embedded in the throne of Mughal emperor Shah Jahan, and which had been described by the French jeweller Jean-Baptist Tavernier in 1642 (and described as the Great Table Diamond) - these researchers concluded the diamond had been cut into two, the larger piece becoming the Daria-I-Noor, and the smaller becoming the Noor-ul-Ain (also in the Iranian Imperial crown jewels).

    Daria-I-Noor:
    Daria-I-Noor

  • The Dresden Green, also known as the Dresden Green Diamond, is a 41 carat diamond that is known, and named, for its distinctive green color. The Dresden Green is believed to originate in India, and is green because of natural exposure to radioactive materials during its formation. The diamond can be viewed at Dresden Castle, in Dresden, Germany.

  • The Earth Star Diamond is a 111.59 carat pear-shaped diamond with a coffee-brown color.. It originates from South Africa.

  • The Excelsior Diamond was the largest known diamond from the time of its discovery in 1893 until 1905 when the Cullinan Diamond was discovered. The Excelsior was found in the Jagersfontein Mine in South Africa about 81 miles (130 kilometers) to the southeast of Kimberley. When discovered, the Excelsior was blue-white and weighed 995.2 carats. It was subsequently cut into 11 smaller diamonds weighing from 9.82 to 69.68 carats (Excelsior I to Excelsior XI), as well as 11 further smaller pieces, some of which were only a fraction of a carat in weight.

    Uncut Excelsior:
    Uncut Excelsior

  • The Golden Eye Diamond is an intense yellow colored diamond that weighs 43.51 carats. The diamond is believed to originate from the Kimberley area of South Africa, but its exact origins are not certain. The FBI seized the diamond in 2007, following the undercover investigation and arrest of two Ohio businessmen who were subsequently prosecuted. An ownership dispute then followed with various claimants stepping forward - the resultant civil case established that the diamond had been obtained from the VanWyke family of Kimberley, South Africa, who had discovered a 124.5 carat diamond (DuToit II) on his property in 1871. After the civil case, the federal judge ultimated approved the auction of the diamond, and it was bought by Jerre Hentosh for $2.84 million in an online auction in 2011.

    Golden Eye Diamond:
    Golden Eye Diamond

  • The Golden Jubilee Diamond is the largest cut and faceted diamond in the world. It weighs 545.67 carats and was found in the Premier Mine in South Africa in 1985.

  • The Great Chrysanthemum is an orange-brown colored diamond, originally from South Africa. It's first buyer was Julius Cohen in 1963, who purchased the diamond as a 198.28 carat rough. Cohen has the diamond cut into a variation on of a pear shape, bringing the diamond down to its present size of 104.15 carats. The current owner of the Great Chrysanthemum is Garrads of London.

  • The Gruosi is a 115.34 carat heart-shaped diamond with a black color.. It originates from India.

  • The Heart of Eternity is a 27.64 carat vivid blue colored diamond, originally from the Premier Mine South Africa. It was unveiled to the public in 2000, and displayed as part of the collection entitled De Beers Millennium Jewels (including also the Millennium Star) at London's Millennium Dome (today known as the O2 Arena). The Metropolitan Police foiled an attempt to steal the jewels on November 7th 2000.

  • The Hope Diamond is one of the most famous jewels in history. It is known for its distinctive blue color, which results from the presence of trace amounts of Boron impurities in the diamond. The Hope diamond weighs 45.52 carats, and is believed to have originated in India. Today it is on display in the National Museum of Natural History in Washington D.C..

    The Hope Diamond on display in 1974:
    Hope Diamond

  • The Jacob Diamond is a 184.5 carat cushion-cut colorless diamond. It is also known as the Great White Diamond, Imperial Diamond, or Victoria Diamond, and is currently owned by the government of India.

  • The Jubilee Diamond, originally known as the Reitz Diamond, is 245.3 carat diamond originally from South Africa. The diamond was found in 1895, and originally named after Francis William Reitz, the then President of the Orange Free State, but was renamed in 1897 to honor the 60th anniversary (Diamond Jubilee) of the coronation of Queen Victoria.

  • The Koh-I-Noor (Mountain of Light) is a finest white diamond that weighs 105.602 carats, and is today part of the British Crown Jewels, but originally comes from India. The stone was acquired by the British as a result of the conquest of the Punjab, and the subsequent Treaty of Lahore - and although the governments of Afghanistan, India, and Pakistan have all laid claim to the diamond, the British government insists that the diamond was legally acquired by treaty. It is believed that the Koh-I-Noor was originally 793 carats uncut, but it has been cut twice in its history, first by Hortenso Borgia in the 17th century, apparently clumsily, who reduced the stone's weight to 186 carats, and then on the orders of Prince Albert (husband of Queen Victoria) in 1852 that reduced the stone to its present weight. The Koh-I-Noor has a long and complex history, and many legends associated with it, but one legend that is particularly noteworthy is that the British royals believe it is brings bad luck if worn by a male - and thus it is only worn by female members of the family.

  • The Millennium Star is a 203.04 carat colorless flawless pear-shaped Mbuji-Mayi district in Democratic Republic of Congo (then known as Zaire). It was unveiled to the public in 2000, and displayed as part of the collection entitled De Beers Millennium Jewels (including also the Heart of Eternity) at London's Millennium Dome (today known as the O2 Arena). The Metropolitan Police foiled an attempt to steal the jewels on November 7th 2000.

  • The Nassak Diamond, also known as the Nassac Diamond and the Eye of the Idol, is a blue-white diamond originally from India. It is believed to have been found in the 15th century, and was originally an adornment in a Hindu temple to Shiva near Nashik in Maharashtra, India. The British East India company captured the diamond in 1817 as a result of the Third Anglo-Maratha War, and the diamond subsequently passed through many hands, with its most recent change of ownership being in 1970, when it was acquired in auction by Edward J. Hand, a trucking firm executive. Today the Nassak diamond is a flawless emerald cut, and weighs 43.38 carats, but it was recut to the this size and shape in 1818 by London jewellers Rundell and Bridge in 1818, from an original size of 89 carats.

  • Noor-ul-Ain (Light of the Eye) is pale pink colored diamond that weighs an estimated 6- carats, and is the centerpiece of a tiara of the same name. The diamond, which originally came from India, is is one of the largest pink diamonds in the world, and is one of the collection of national jewels (formerly Iranian Imperial crown jewels) in Central Bank of Iran. Like the Daria-I-Noor, its believed to have once been part of a large pink diamond that had been embedded in the throne of Mughal emperor Shah Jahan, and which had been described by the French jeweller Jean-Baptist Tavernier in 1642 (and described as the Great Table Diamond) - the smaller part becoming the Noor-ul-Ain.

    Noor-ul-Ain:
    Noor-ul-Ain

  • The Oppenheimer Diamond is a 253.7 carat uncut yellow colored diamond. It is nearly perfectly formed and was found in the Dutoitspan Mine in Kimberley South Africa in 1984. The diamond was acquired and then given to the Smithsonian Institution by Harry Winston, an American jeweler. The diamond is named after Sir Ernest Oppenheimer, a diamond and gold mining entrepreneur, financier and philanthropist, who controlled De Beers, and also founded the Anglo American Corporation (a multinational mining company based in Johannesburg, South Africa, and London, UK.

    Oppenheimer Diamond:
    Oppenheimer Diamond

  • The Paragon is the largest diamond in the world without flaws or inclusions (other minerals or metals that became trapped within the diamond during its formation). The Paragon weights 137.82 carats, is cut into an unusual kite-shield shape, and is the 10th largest white diamond in the world. The Paragon was originally mined in Brazil, and is currently set within a necklace that also contains rare pink, blue and yellow colored diamonds - the Total Carat Weight of all the diamonds in the necklace is 190.27 carats.

  • The Star of South Africa, also known as the Dudley Diamond, is a 47.69 carat white diamond that was found on the banks of the Orange River in South Africa in 1869. The diamond, before being cut, originally weighed 83.5 carats, and inspired a rush of European diamond prospectors to this diamond field, then known as New Rush, now known as Kimberley. The diamond last changed ownership in 1974, for 1.6 million Swiss Francs, the equivalent of £225,300 (today more than £2 million). The diamond was most recently displayed to the public in 2005 to 2006 in the vault of the Natural History Museum in London, and reproductions of both the cut and uncut diamond remain on display there to this day.

  • The Taylor-Burton Diamond is a pear-shaped 68 carat diamond originally from South Africa. The diamond was discovered in 1966, and bought by Cartier for $1,050,000 at an auction in New York in 1969 who named it the "Cartier". However, it was immediately (some say the next day) purchased by the actor Richard Burton (who had been one of the losing bidders in the action) to give to Elizabeth Taylor, and Burton renamed the diamond the "Taylor-Burton". Elizabeth Taylor however eventually divorced ichard Burton in 1978, and subsequently sold the diamond in 1979.

  • The Tiffany Yellow diamond one of the largest yellow colored diamonds ever found. It was mined in 1878 in South Africa, and weighed 287.42 carats in rough when discovered. After cutting into a cushion shape, it now weighs 128.54 carats. This diamond has only rarely (perhaps twice in its entire history) ever been worn - the most famous occcasion being by Adurey Hepburn in the publicity photographs for the movie Breakfast at Tiffany's.

  • The Transvaal Blue is a blue colored pear-cut diamond that weighs 25 carats. This diamond originates from the Premier Diamond Mine in Transvaal, South Africa.

  • The Victoria Transvaal diamond is a champagne colored pear-cut diamond that weighs 67.89 carats. It originates from the Premier Diamond Mine in Transvaal, South Africa, where it was found in 1951, originally as part of a 240 carat rough-cut stone. It was initially cut to 75 carats, but later recut to 67.89 carats, and famously appeared in the 1952 movie, Tarzan's Savage Fury.

    Victoria Transvaal diamond mounted in a yellow gold necklace designed by Baumgold Brothers, Inc.:
    Victoria Transvaal diamond mounted in a yellow gold necklace designed by Baumgold Brothers, Inc.

  • The Wittelsbach-Graff diamond is a 31.06 carat flawless deep-blue colored diamond, originally from India. The diamond was for many years known as Der Blaue Wittelsbacher and was 35.56 carats, and had been part of both the Austrian and Bavarian crown jewels. This diamond was purchased by Laurence Graff, an English jeweller, in 2008 for £16.4 million. Graff subsequently had the diamond cut by three diamond cutters to remove flaws, reducing the diamond's weight, and hence giving rise to its new name. This move by Graff has been controversial, as critics have said it compromises the diamond's historical integrity, as well as so radically altering the diamond's appearance as to make it unrecognizable.

    Wittelsbach diamond before being recut:
    Wittelsbach diamond before being recut



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