Diamond has always been precious throughout history decorating crowns and swords as well as engagement rings but some pieces have become legend. They are kept in museums for the public to enjoy the rare sparkling rocks. What makes them famous is their unique 4C qualities in addition to their history.
4C was invented by Gemological Institute of America (GIA) to grade Diamonds in a precise manner. It stands for Color, Cut, Clarity and Carat which are graded in 5 levels of excellent to poor.
In this article, we will introduce 11 of the world’s most Famous Diamonds that have unique properties and histories.
- The Daria-ye-Noor
The largest Pink Diamond in the world, the name means “sea of light” in Persian language which is the perfect way to describe the rare sparkle of this beautiful stone. Legend has it that it was won in a war by the Persian hero, Rostam but later it was stolen by Timurid conquerors and taken to India. It became a central peace of Shah Jahan’s collection but Nader Shah of Iran took it back in 1739. He invaded Delhi and when returning the crown of India to Mughal Emperor, he asked for entire treasury of Mughals which included Peacock Throne, Daria-ye-Noor and Kooh-e-Noor Diamonds. It weighs 182 carats and is believed to be part of the “Great Table Diamond” that was cut in 2 pieces. The smaller part is called Noor-ul-Ain that weighs 60 carats. Both Diamonds are held in National Crown Jewels museum of Iran.
- The Kooh-e-Noor
Believed to be the main companion of the Daria-ye-Noor, its name means “mountain of light” truly capturing the essence of this precious Diamond. After being stolen from Persian kings, it was possessed by the Mughal Emperor of India who constructed the Taj Mahal but at some point in history British Empire forced the surrender of stone as Queen Victoria assumed the position of Empress of India. The Diamond was worn in coronation ceremonies before being cut to its current size of 105.6 carats and placed on the crown of the female consort to the Monarch of the United Kingdom. It is currently held in tower of London.
- The Cullinan
The largest rough Diamond of gem quality in history, it weighed 3106.75 carats when discovered in 1905 in the Premier Mine of South Africa. Later, Asscher Brothers cut it into 105 different parts some of which are well known.
- The Great Star of Africa
It is the most famous daughter of the Cullinan that is why it is called The Cullinan I. Weighed at 530.4 carats; it is the second largest cut Diamond in the world. It is currently part of the British Crown Jewels as the topping piece for the Sceptre with the Cross.
- The Great Mogul
It is the most mysterious Diamond in history as even its existence is considered a mere fable by some! It was believed to be 793 carats as part of the Taj Mahal collection of Shah Jahan but later was stolen and cut to smaller pieces in order to hide their origin!
- The Orloff
The most famous blue-green Diamond in the world, it was originally 190 carats sitting as the eye of a Hindu God statue. A Frenchman stole the stone in 1700 and sold it to an English ship captain. The stone ended up at the Imperial Sceptre of Catherine the Great of Russia. It is rumored that the Orloff was cut from the Great Mogul and was cursed to the point that some owners claimed suffering! It is currently held at the Diamond Treasury of Moscow.
- The Taylor-Burton
A part of a 241-carat Diamond found in the Premier Mine of South Africa in 1966, it was cut by Harry Winston and purchased by Cartier. Actor Richard Burton bought the stone as a gift for then fiancée Elizabeth Taylor. It weighed 69.42 carats at the time, cut into a pear shape and mounted on a Cartier necklace. Taylor loved the piece but sold it after their divorce and donated the $5 million dollars to construct a hospital in Botswana. It is currently owned by private owner Robert Mouawad.
- The Hope
It is rumored that the 112 carats Diamond was sold to Louis XIV by a French gem dealer. It was then cut to a 67.50 carats stone and named the Blue Diamond of the Crown of France. During the French Revolution, the stone was stolen and after 20 years it resurfaced with its current name. Passed many hands, it was believed that this stone was also cursed by the Hindu Goddess Sita. However, it was dismissed as a marketing attempt to increase its value! It is currently held in Smithsonian Institute donated by Harry Winston, the last private owner.
- The Regent
It has the reputation of having the most brilliance in the world; it was discovered by an Indian slave in 1698 weighing at 410 carats. It was set in the crowns of Louis XV, XVI and Charles X before decorating the hilt of Napoleon Bonaparte’s sword. It is currently held in Louvre with the rest of French Crown Jewels.
- The Sancy
It is the most famous pale yellow Diamond that is cut in a shield shape weighing 55.23 carats. It belonged to Nicolas de Harlay, seigneur de Sancy, the French ambassador to Turkey who loaned it to kings such as Henry III and Henry IV before selling it to James I of England. It was also stolen at French revolution but eventually resurfaced in 1978 and was sold to the Louvre.
- The Idol’s Eye
Its history is not clear other than being discovered in India and cut into a 70.20 carats stone but in 1865 it was auctioned at Christie’s in London and bought by Ottoman sultans. Later the famous jeweler Harry Winston sold the stone to American gem collector May Bonfils Stanton. Currently it is owned by a private collector.
Diamond is the stone of choice for crowns as well as engagement rings because it is believed to be invincible as the strongest material on earth. It has a long journey throughout the evolution of earth until it reaches your hand and you will never know what will happen next because your Diamond might join the list of the most famous Diamonds in history!
A Diamond dealer in Vancouver can help you choose the perfect custom Diamond engagement ring with a unique quality that will be remembered because of you and the history of your relationship!