The World's 5 Most Famous Diamonds

The World's 5 Most Famous Diamonds

Main PageALROSA FACETSDid you know?The World's 5 Most Famous Diamonds
06.05.2020 / # Did you know?
Diamonds have always been an embodiment of wealth and luxury, serving humankind as lucky charms and guiding beacons. They have witnessed life’s happiest moments, and people have died because of them. They have sparked off wars, and then been used to broker peace... Our list features fantastic tales of the best known gems in the world.

1. The Great Star of Africa

Cut type: pear

Weight: 530.2 carats

The largest polished gem created from the legendary Cullinan rough diamond, which weighed over 3 thousand carats. It remained the world’s largest diamond until 1990. And even though it currently ranks second, it is still the largest colorless diamond in the top color category (Category D) and the largest pear-cut diamond. It now adorns the British royal scepter and is on display at the Tower of London.

2. The Golden Jubilee

Cut type: cushion with fire rose elements

Weight: 545.67 carats

This is the very gem that dethroned the Great Star of Africa: a fancy cut yellowish-brown diamond. The Golden Jubilee is the world’s largest polished gemstone to date. The elements of the «fire rose» cut have intensified its hue and enhanced the light reflection. Cut as recently as in 1990, it is a fairly young diamond, and therefore has not had many owners; it got his name in honor of the King of Thailand and is currently housed at the Royal Palace in Bangkok among the other Thai royal jewels.

3. The Taylor—Burton Diamond, aka the Cartier Diamond

Cut type: pear

Weight: 241 carats

Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton went down in the history of Hollywood as one of the most famous celebrity couples. Their love story was followed most closely by millions of people around the world. The other stars were fond of joking that Richard had two obsessions: one, breaking up and making up with Liz; and two, showering Liz with diamonds. Among all the gems Richard bestowed on Elizabeth, was a glorious pear-cut diamond, worth over a million dollars. It was auctioned by the Cartier jewelry house in 1969. After winning the bid, the actor named the gem Taylor—Burton. When the couple broke up for the final time, Elizabeth Taylor sold the diamond for three million dollars, and then donated the proceeds to fund the construction of a hospital for orphans in Botswana.

4. Hope

Cut type: cushion

Weight: 45.52 carats

This gem has a rather tragic notoriety: it is said to have brought its owners nothing but hardship and bad luck. Shaded a sapphire-like blue, the diamond carries the name of its first owner — the Briton, Henry Philip Hope . It is currently on public display at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in the United States.

5. The Orlov

Cut type: rose

Weight: 190 carats

This diamond originated from India and, for a certain time, was property of the country’s rulers, the Mughal dynasty. In the middle of the 18th century, the Persian ruler Nader Shah invaded India, and the gem passed on to him. After his death, the gem faded into obscurity. Many years passed before it resurfaced in Amsterdam — notably, with a different cut. Count Orlov bought it for Empress Catherine the Great, and the gem is now part of the Moscow Kremlin’s Diamond Treasury.

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