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    Start with a Diamond
    Start with Setting
    Apr 30

    Diamonds are exceptionally rare to begin with, considering that only 30% of all harvested diamonds are gemstone quality. Therefore, you know that if a diamond is able to capture the world’s fascination as one of the top diamonds in human history, something exceptional is there. Diamonds are revered for their hard characteristics as well as their high dispersion of light. However, these 6 famous diamonds tell us that it’s not necessarily the quality of the diamond that makes it famous but the story behind the diamond.

    6.The Great Star of Africa

    untitled-120.jpgThis diamond, at 530.20 carats, is currently listed as the largest cut diamond in the world. It has 74 facets and is pear-shaped in appearance. It is currently part of the “royal scepter” and is being kept along with the other Crown Jewels in the Tower of London. It was first cut from the Cullian, the largest diamond crystal ever discovered at 3106 carats, which went on to create 96 smaller stones. It was first discovered in South Africa in the year 1095. This diamond is made famous not only by its size, but also because of the legend that suggests the other “half” of the Cullian may have existed, which would have made one impressively sized diamond crystal.

    5.The Taylor-Burton Diamond

    untitled-121.jpgThis diamond was first discovered in 1966 inside the Premier Mine in South Africa. First weighing 240.80 carats, it was eventually cut into a 69.42 pear shaped beauty. Celebrity-hood is what makes this diamond eternally priceless. As the name suggests, it was the same diamond that famous actor Richard Burton purchased as a gift for his wife and co-star of “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf”, Elizabeth Taylor. The price paid for the diamond? $1,100,000 dollars, a still astronomical price that back in the 1960s was even more impressive. After Burton’s death in the late 70s, Taylor sold the stone to charity for an impressive 2.8 million dollars, and allowed the Hollywood stone go to a museum. It is currently residing in Saudi Arabia.

    4.The Orloff

    untitled-122.jpgThe Orloff is a bluish green and exceptionally pure gem made famous by its history. It is rumored that the stone started out being used as the diamond eye of the Hindu idol of “Vishnu”, located inside the sanctuary temple in Sriangam. It was later stolen in 1700s, though the thief’s fear of comeuppance didn’t allow him to steal both stones. The gem then passed to the Russian Count Grigori Orloff, a paramour of legendary Empress Catherine the Great. He heard the rumors of the stone and then bought it to earn the favor of Catherine, also eternalizing his name in the process. (However, he could never win the love of Catherine, even with the purest of diamonds) Napoleon later sought this stone, though his Army became spooked after a ghost warned them of the consequences. The diamond is currently held in the Diamond Treasury of Russia, located in Moscow.

    3.The Centenary Diamond

    untitled-123.jpgThis diamond was introduced to the world as recently as the year 1986, coming in at 273.85 carats, from a rough carat weight of 599.10. It contains 247 facets total. It took three years to craft this stone into what it is today: the world’s largest, most modern cut and flawless diamond in existence. It is only surpassed in size by the Great Star of Africa diamond and the Lesser Star of Africa. This diamond was unveiled in 1991 at the Tower of London, and though it was never officially appraised, it is believed to be worth over $100 million dollars, judging from insurance quotes alone. De Beers once owned the diamond and eventually sold it, though currently the latest owner of this masterpiece remains anonymous.

    2.The Regent

    untitled-124.jpgThough no longer the heaviest diamond in the world, the Regent is still considered the most beautiful diamond mankind has ever seen. It was first discovered in 1698 in India and first owned by Thomas Pitt, Governor of Madras. It was eventually sold to French Prince, Philippe II, the Duke of Orléans in 1717. The royals used the stone for the crown of Louis XV, as well as for a new crown for Louis XVI and then as an adornment in the hat of Marie Antoinette. The Regent was later stolen in 1792 during the revolution, but then recovered a short time later. It was used occasionally until being permanently adopted by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1801. Napoleon used the diamond on his sword until his death, when the diamond was transported back to Austria and eventually back to the crown jewels. Today the Regent can be found in the French Royal Treasury at the Louvre.

    1.The Blue Hope

    hope_diamond_2.jpgPerhaps the most infamous of beautiful jewels is the Blue Hope, weighing 45.52 carats, and named after purchaser Henry Thomas Hope. Its history begins calmly though obscurely, since it is believed to be the same “Blue Tavernier Diamond” that was discovered in 1642. This diamond was purchased by King Louis XIV who had the stone cut to 67.50 carats from 112 carats to further emphasize its brilliance. It was stolen during the French Revolution and never officially recovered. However, some claim that this is the same diamond that Henry Thomas Hope purchased in 1830. Following the purchase and subsequent inheritance, Henry’s son lost his fortune. It was purchased by Mrs. Edward McLean, who then experienced a number of fatal events within her family leading to her own suicide. The legend of the diamond grew and rumors of a curse abounded, to the extent that no one wanted to even touch the stone when renowned diamond merchant presented it in 1949. This “cursed” diamond can currently be seen at the Smithosonian Institute in Washington.

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    3 Responses to “The Six Most Famous Diamonds in the World”

    1. jeff cooper Says:

      I was looking at kim kardansiahs diamond at 2mill and then beyonce at 5mill and remembered elizabeth taylors diamond. wonder what the value of that diamond is worth today in this year 2011. I know back in the 60′s 1mill was a lot of money. Just curious that the value would be in todays market. Oh yeah, how about the clarity onf the stone and the colore

    2. john Says:

      You appeared to have omitted the Golden Jubilee Diamond, which while not that expensive is the largest cut diamond in the world. The Star of Africa hasn’t been the largest for some time now.

    3. Tania Mance Says:

      I have to say that for the last couple of hours i have been hooked by the impressive articles on this site. Keep up the great work.

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