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Famous Diamonds

World´s Famous Diamonds

Koh-I-Noor ("Mountain of Light")


  • Weight: 108.93 Carats
  • Color: Unrecorded
  • Clarity: Unrecorded
  • Cut: Round Brilliant
  • Source: India

First mentioned in 1304, it weighed 186 carats and was an oval cut stone. It is believed to have once been set in the famous peacock throne of Shah Jehan as one of the peacocks eyes. Recut in the reign of Queen Victoria, it is among the British Crown Jewels and now weighs 108.93 carats.

It has been said that whoever owned the Koh-I-Noor ruled the world, a suitable statement for this, the most famous of all diamonds and a veritable household name in many parts of the world. Legend has suggested that the stone may date from before the time of Christ; theory indicates the possibility of its appearance in the early years of the 1300s; history proves its existence for the past two and a half centuries.

The Great Mugal

Weight: 793 Carats

The Great Mugal is one of the worlds largest diamonds. The largest diamond ever found in India. The rough diamond was discovered in the 17th century, weighed 793 carats and was named after Shah Jahan... builder of the Taj Mahal.

It was discovered as a 787-carat rough stone in the Golconda mines in 1650 and subsequently was cut by the Venetian lapidary Hortentio Borgis. The French jewel trader Jean-Baptiste Tavernier described it in 1665 as a high-crowned rose-cut stone with a flaw at the bottom and a small speck within.

Thus the fact that the stone can no longer be found is not sufficient reason to deny its former existence. Some believe that the Koh-I-Noor diamond may have been cut from this stone after its loss following the assassination of its owner, Nadir Shah, in 1747.

The Great Star of Africa 

  • Weight: 530.2 carats
  • Color: Unrecorded
  • Clarity: Unrecorded
  • Cut: Pear
  • Source: South Africa 

One of the most famous diamonds is the Great Star of Africa, weighing 530.2 carats, which was cut from the worlds largest rough diamond, the Cullinan I. The historic Cullinan diamond, found in South Africa in 1905, weighed an astounding 3,106.75 carats. It was cut into the Great Star of Africa (Cullinan I), the Lesser Star of Africa (known as the Cullinan II, weighing 317.40 carats), and 103 other diamonds of nearly flawless clarity. The principal diamonds are mounted in the British crown jewels.

Pear shaped, with 74 facets, it is set in the Royal Scepter (kept with the other Crown Jewels in the Tower of London).

It was cut from the 3,106-carat Cullian, the largest diamond crystal ever found. The Cullian was discovered in Transvaal, South Africa in l095 on an inspection tour of the Premier Mine.

The Cullian was cut by Joseph Asscher and Company of Amsterdam, who examined the enormous crystal for around six months before determining how to divide it. It eventually yielded nine major, and 96 smaller brilliant cut stones. When the Cullian was first discovered, certain signs suggested that it may have been part of a much larger crystal. But no discovery of the "missing half" has ever been authenticated.

Hope Diamond 

  • Weight: 45.52 carats
  • Color: Fancy Dark Grayish-Blue
  • Clarity: Unrecorded
  • Cut: Antique Cushion
  • Source: India 

The 45.52 carat steel blue Hope Diamond was found in India back in remote times as a rough crystal weighing 112 carats. It first came to light when Jean Batiste Tavernier, the noted French traveler of the 17th century, was approached in India by a slave who had a very secretive manner about him.

It turned out that he had in his possession an intriguing steel blue stone which at first look seemed to be a large sapphire, but the well-experienced Tavernier soon realized it was a diamond - the largest deep blue diamond in the world.

The whereabouts of the stolen blue diamond for the next twenty years remains a mystery. Finally, in 1812, a memorandum by John Francillon, a London jeweler, dated precisely twenty years and two days after the Frenh Crown Jewels had been reported missing, documented the presence of a 44¼-carat (45.52 modern metric carats) blue diamond in England in the possession of London diamond merchant Daniel Eliason.

This diamond was undoubtedly cut from the French Blue, a contention supported by the fact that, according to French law, the statute of limitations for any crimes committed during wartime twenty years, of which Francillon and his client were surely aware. The Francillon memorandum established the person in possession of the diamond as its new legal owner.

The Golden Jubille 

  • Weight: 545.67 carats
  • Color: Yellow Brown
  • Clarity: Unrecorded
  • Cut: Fire rose Cushion
  • Source: South Africa 

The Golden Jubilee is currently the largest faceted diamond in the world. Since 1908, Cullinan I, also known as the Great Star of Africa, had held the title, which changed following the 1985 discovery of a large brown diamond of 546 carats (151 g) in the prolific blue ground of the Premier mine in South Africa; the diamond would later be cut and named The Golden Jubilee, with an as-of today unsurpassed weight of 545.67 carats (109.13 g).

The Premier mine was also the origin of the Cullinan diamonds in 1905, as well as other notables such as the Taylor-Burton in 1966 and the Centenary in 1986.

The "Unnamed Brown", as the Golden Jubilee was first known, was considered something of an ugly duckling by most. It was given to Gabriel Arellano (DCW) by De Beers for the purpose of testing special tools and cutting methods which had been developed for intended use on the flawless D-colour ("colourless") Centenary.

These tools and methods had never been tested before, and the "Unnamed Brown" seemed the perfect guinea pig; it would be of no great loss should something go amiss.

The Idols Eye 

  • Weight: 70.2 Carats 

The Idols Eye is a famous pear shaped diamond; its polished size weighing in at 70.20 carats makes it one of the worlds largest diamonds.

This is another famous diamond that was once set in the eye of an idol before it was stolen. Legend also has it that it was given as a ransom for Princess Rasheetah by the Sheik of Kashmir to the Sultan of Turkey who had abducted her.

The shape of the Idols Eye can be explained as something between an Old Mind cut and a triangular brilliant, but rather than having 8 main facets it has 9, along with 9 pavilion main facets corresponding. There are also a number of non-symmetrical facets scattered around the crown and pavilion of the stone, as can be seen in the facet layout drawing.

The first authenticated fact in the diamonds history was it appearance at a Christies sale in London on July 14th 1865, when it was described as a splendid large diamond known as the Idols Eye set round with 18 smaller brilliants and a framework of small brilliant. The Idols Eye is clearly a Golconda diamond, possessing a slight bluish tinge.

The Regent

  • Weight: 140.50 Carats
  • Color: Unrecorded
  • Clarity: Unrecorded
  • Cut: Cushion shaped brilliant
  • Source: India 

The Regent another of the worlds largest diamonds was discovered in 1701 by an Indian slave near Golconda, it weighed 410 carats in the rough. Once owned by William Pitt, the English Prime Minister, it was cut into a cushion shaped brilliant of 140.50 carats and, until it was sold to the Duke of Orleans, Regent of France when Louis XV was a boy in 1717, was called The Pitt.

It was then renamed The Regent and set in the crown Louis XV wore at his coronation. After the French revolution, it was owned by Napoleon Bonaparte who set it in the hilt of his sword. It is now on display in the Louvre as one of the worlds largest diamonds.

The Regent Diamonds facet pattern, from Gemcad. This design was originally created by R.H., Long & Steele, but was missing the needle pavilion facets as well as the vertically split star facets on the crown. British gemologist Michael Hing altered the design to be more accurate, adding the missing facets. Hing has personally handled a number of large diamonds, among them the Hortensia, Sancy, and Mauna.



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