The Top 10 Famous Diamonds In The World
Top 10 Famous Diamonds
|1. The Great Star of Africa|
Here comes The Great star of Africa. It comes as Number 1 in our Top 10 Famous Diamonds list. With its 530.20 Carats – the Cullinan I or Star Africa diamond is the largest cut diamond in the World.
Pear cut shaped, with 74 facets, it is set in the Royal Scepter (kept with the other Crown Jewels in the Tower of London). It is cut from the 3,106-carat Cullinan, the greatest diamond crystal ever found.
The Cullinan was discovered in Transvaal, South Africa in l095 on an analysis tour of the Premier Mine. The Cullinan was cut by Joseph Asscher and Company of Amsterdam, who tested the enormous crystal for around six months before determining how to divide it. It eventually yielded nine major and 96 smaller vivid cut stones. When the Cullinan was first discovered, certain signs suggested that it may have been part of a much bigger crystal. But no discovery of the “missing half” has ever been authenticated.
2. The Orloff
It was 300 Carats when found; color: a little bluish-green; clarity: exceptionally pure; cut: Mogul-cut rose; source: India. It stands 2nd in our Top 10 Famous Diamonds list.
This gem might have been discovered in the Diamond Treasury of Russia in Moscow.
History and Origin.
There are so many historical episodes involving the Orloff. First, it may have been once chosen as the diamond eye of Vishnu’s idol (one of the Hindu Gods) in the deepest sanctuary temple in Srirangam, before being stolen in the 1700s by a French deserter. However, the deserter just burrows one eye from its socket, because he was terror-stricken at the thought of retribution, so he couldn’t take the other. He went to Madras and sold the stone immediately to an English sea-captain for 2,000 pounds.
How it got its name.
The time passed, the stone landed at Amsterdam where the Russian count Grigori Orloff, an ex-lover of Empress Catherine the Great was residing. He heard about rumors of the stone, and he purchased the diamond for 90,000 pounds and took it back to Russia for Catherine’s benefit. The stone has been called the Orloff since then. Catherine received his gift and had it mounted in the Imperial Sceptre. She offered a marble palace to Grigori in exchange for the Orloff. However, Grigori couldn’t earn Catherine’s love. Grigori Orloff passed away at the bottom of disappointment in 1783.
Who Owned it.
In 1812 the Russians, fearing that Napoleon with his Grand Army was about to arrive in Moscow, hid the Orloff in a priest’s tomb. Napoleon supposedly discovered the Orloff’s location and went to demand it. However, as a soldier of the Army was about to touch the Orloff, a priest’s ghost appeared and marked a terrible curse upon the Army. The Emperor, Napoleon scampered away without the Orloff.
273.85 Carats, found at the Premier Mine, in July 1986. The ‘Centenary’ diamond weighed 599.10 carats in its rough form. Together with a limited elite team, master-cutter Gabi Tolkowsky took almost three years to complete its transformation into the world’s most modern cut, largest, top-color, flawless diamond.
Number 3 in our Top 10 Famous Diamonds in the world list, possessing 247 facets – 164 on the stone and 83 on its girdle, the aptly-named ‘Centenary’ diamond has a weight of 273.85 carats, and is only surpassed in size by the 530.20 carat ‘Great Star of Africa’ & the 317.40 carat ‘Lesser Star of Africa’, both of which are set into the British Crown Jewels. The ‘Centenary’ diamond was revealed, suitably at the Tower of London in May 1991.
4. The Regent
140.50 Carats, even though it is now surpassed in weight by other famous diamonds, the exceptional limpidity and perfect cut of the Regent pass it an incontestable reputation as the most beautiful diamond in the world. Discovered in India in 1698, it was captured by Thomas Pitt, Governor of Madras, who sent it to England where it was cut. In 1717 the Regent bought it from Pitt for the French Crown.
It first adorned the band of Louis XV’s silver gilt crown (in the Louvre) at his coronation in 1722, bustling then to Louis XVI’s crown in 1775. Later in 1801, it figured at the end of the First Consul’s sword (Fontainebleau, Musée Napoléon 1st), and then on the Emperor’s two-edged sword in 1812. In 1825 it was worn on top throughout the coronation of Charles X, and during the Second Empire, it embellished the “Grecian diadem” of Empress Eugenie. It can be observed today at the Louvre in Paris.
|5. Koh-i-Noor (Mountain of Light)|
Once Pride Of India
Number 5 of the Top 10 Famous Diamonds in the world, with 105.60 Carats, an oval shape gem, it is now part of the British Crown Jewels. The name of this diamond means “Mountain of Light” and its history, dating back to AD 1304, is the greatest of all famous diamonds. It was captured by the Rajahs of Malwa in the 16th century by the Mogul, Sultan Babur and remained in the possession of later Mogul emperors. It may have been set in the famous Peacock Throne built for Shah Jehan. After the break-up of the Persian empire, the diamond found its way to India. It may have traveled to Afghanistan with a bodyguard of Nadir Shah, who fled with the stone when the Shah was murdered, to be next offered to Ranjit Singh of Punjab in exchange for military help (which was never delivered).
How British Took It away.
After fighting to happen between the Sikhs and the British, The East India Company claimed the diamond as a partial reimbursement and then presented it to Queen Victoria in 1850. When the stone came from India, it weighs l986 carats and It later recut to l08.93 carats. This diamond was first worn by the Queen in a brooch. It was later fit in the State Crown, worn by Queen Alexandra and Queen Mary, and in 1937 was worn by Queen Elizabeth for her coronation. Now it is preserved in the Tower of London, with the other Crown Jewels.
|6. The Idol’s Eye|
70.20 Carats, a flattened pear-cut stone with the size of a bantam’s egg. Number 6 in the Top 10 Famous Diamonds list, it was once set in the eye of an idol before it was taken. The Legend also tells that it was given as a ransom for Princess Rasheetah through the Sheikh of Kashmir to the Sultan of Turkey who had abducted her.
69.42 Carats; color: F-G; clarity: IF; cut: Pear Cut; source: Premier Mine, Transvaal, South Africa.
It was found in the year1966 in the Premier Mine in South Africa. The rough is 240.80 carat and it was cut into a 69.42 pear cut diamond.
As you might guess from the name, Richard Burton bought and named this stone as a gift for Elizabeth Taylor. Yes, Richard Burton bought it for $1,100,000. He also named this stone as an engagement stone. After Burton’s death in 1979, Liz Taylor sold the stone for charity and reportedly received $2.8 million. She donated all in his memory to a hospital in Biafra. The stone was last seen in Saudi Arabia.
|8. The Sancy|
55 Carats, it was cut in a pear shape and was first owned by Charles the Bold, Duke of Burgundy, who lost it in a battle in 1477. The stone is in fact titled after a later owner, Seigneur de Sancy, a French Ambassador to Turkey in the late 16th century. He lent it to the French king, Henry III, who wore it in the cap with which he concealed his baldness. Henry IV of France also took the stone from Sancy. But it was sold in 1664 to James I of England. In 1688, James II, last of the Stuart Kings of England, fled away with it to Paris. It disappeared during the French revolution.
|9. The Blue Hope|
45.52 Carats, ironically titled as the Hope diamond (named after its purchaser, Henry Thomas Hope), it might have had a long and illustrious history before it became related with a run of bad luck for its owners.
It is thought to be a part of the popular Blue Tavernier Diamond, brought to Europe from India in l642. The Blue was purchased by King Louis XI who had it cut to 67.50 carats from 112 carats to carry out its brilliance. The diamond was stolen during the French Revolution. A smaller diamond of identical color was sold in 1830 to Hope, an English banker.
Dark Side Of The Diamond.
After inheriting the diamond, Hope’s son lost his prosperity. It eventually acquires by an American widow, Mrs. Edward McLean, whose family then experienced a series of catastrophes. Her only child was accidentally killed, the family broke up, Mrs. McLean lost her money, and then attempted suicide. When Harry Winston, the New York diamond merchant, bought the stone in 1949, many customers refused to touch the stone. It is now on display at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington.
20 Carats, a peach-colored stone, named after the Queen of Holland, the step-daughter of Napoleon Bonaparte. This gem, the least among the Top 10 Famous Diamonds in the world, is part of the French Crown Jewels and is display at the Louvre in Paris.