Diamonds are a girl’s best friend! There’s no arguing with that. Diamonds are also forever… As the ultimate symbol of luxury, status and wealth; big and rare diamonds are always on UHNWIs’ (ultra high net worth individuals’) radar, and can be sold at staggeringly high prices.
Below in this article, we will introduce you to the top 3 biggest and most expensive diamonds in the world for the time being, arranged from the least to the most expensive:
3- The Hope Diamond / 200-250 M $
The Hope Diamond is one of the most famous jewels in the world, with ownership records dating back almost four centuries. Its much admired rare blue color is due to trace amounts of boron atoms. Weighing 45.52 carats, its exceptional size has revealed new findings about the formation of gemstones.
The jewel is believed to have originated in India, where the original (larger) stone was purchased in 1666 by French gem merchant Jean-Bapstiste Tavernier as the Tavernier Blue. The Tavernier Blue was cut and yielded the French Blue (Le Blue de France), which Tavernier sold to King Louis XIV in 1668. Stolen in 1791, it was recut, with the largest section acquiring its “Hope” name when it appeared in the catalogue of a gem collection owned by a London banking family called Hope in 1839.
After going through numerous owners, it was sold to Washington socialite Evalyn Walsh McLean, who was often seen wearing it. It was purchased in 1949 by New York gem merchant Harry Winston, who toured it for a number of years before giving it to the National Museum of Natural History of the United States in 1958, where it was since remained on permanent exhibition.
The Hope Diamond has long been rumored to carry a curse, possibly due to agents trying to arouse interest in the stone. It was last reported to be insured for $250 million.
2- The Cullinan Diamond / 2B $
The Cullinan Diamond or Star of Africa was the largest gem quality rough diamond ever found, weighing 3107 carats, discovered at the Premier No. 2 mine in Cullinan South Africa, on 26 January 1905. It was named after Thomas Cullinan, the mine’s chairman. In April 1905, it was put on sale in London but despite considerable interest, it was still unsold after 2 years. In 1907, the Transvaal Colony government bought the Cullinan and then presented it to Edward VII, king of the United Kingdom, who had it cut by Joseph Asscher & Co, in Amsterdam.
Cullinan produced stones of various cuts and sizes, the largest of which is named Cullinan I or the Great Star of Africa, and at 530.4 carats (106.08 g) it is the largest clear cut diamond in the world. The stone is mounted in the head of the Sovereign Sceptre with Cross. The second largest is Cullinan II or the Second Star of Africa, weighing 317 carats, mounted in the Imperial State Crown. Both are part of the Crown Jewels. Seven other major diamonds weighing a total of 208 carats, are privately owned by Elizabeth II, who inherited them from her grandmother, Queen Mary, in 1953. The Queen also owns minor brilliants and a set of unpolished fragments.
1- The Koh – I – Noor / Beyond 2B $
The Koh-I-Noor (Mountain of Light) is one of the largest cut diamonds in the world weighing 106 carats. It is part of the British Crown Jewels.
Mined in Kollur Mine, India, during the period of the Delhi Sultanate, there is no record of its original weight – but the earliest well-attested weight is 186 old carats (191 metric carats or 38.2 g). The diamond was part of the Mughal Peacock Throne. It changed hands between various factions in south and west Asia, until being ceded to Queen Victoria after the British annexation of the Punjab in 1849.
Originally, the stone was of a similar cut to other Mughal Era diamonds like the Darya-I-Noor, which are now in the Iranian Crown Jewels. In 1851, it went on display at the Great Exhibition in London, but the lacklustre cut failed to impress viewers. Prince Albert, husband of Queen Victoria, ordered it to be re-cut as an oval brilliant by the Coster Diamonds. By modern standards, the culet (point at the bottom of a gemstone) is unusually broad, giving the impression of a black hole when the stone is viewed head-on; it is nevertheless regarded by gemologists as “full of life”.
Because its history involves a great deal of fighting between men, the Koh-i-Noor acquired a reputation within the British Royal Family for bringing bad luck to any man who wears it. Since arriving in the UK, it has only been worn by female members of the family. Victoria wore the stone in a brooch and a circlet. After she died in 1901, it was set in the Crown of Queen Alexandra, wife of Edward VII. It was transferred to the Crown of Queen Mary in 1911, and finally to the Crown of Queen Elizabeth (later known as the Queen Mother) in 1937 for her coronation as Queen Consort.
Today, the diamond is on public display in the Jewel House at the Tower of London, where it is seen by millions of visitors each year. The governments of India, Pakistan, Iran, and Afghanistan have all claimed rightful ownership of the Koh-i-Noor and demanded its return ever since India gained independence from the UK in 1947. The British government insists the gem was obtained legally under the terms of the Last Treaty of Lahore and has rejected the claims. In 2016 the government of India conceded that the Koh-I-Noor was not stolen from India, but was given to the British voluntarily.
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