Every diamond is unique. It can be white or colored, flawless or flawed, big or small and it takes skill to cut and set each one to show it off at its best and bring out the sparkle that can only be seen in a real diamond. “Diamonds Are Forever” and “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend” reflect our lasting affection for these stones, traditionally given as a token of undying love.
There are a few diamonds in the world that are so huge and rare that they are almost priceless. Some are even rumored to be cursed. Here are a few of these famous rocks to knock your socks off.
Among the best known is the Hope Diamond. Before being cut, it was a rather flat, blocky 110-carat rough diamond. It is now 45.52 carats, steel blue in color and you can see it on display at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington DC. There are many legends of bad luck and curses falling on those who own the Hope Diamond. Maybe that’s why it was donated to the Smithsonian in 1958.
The Koh-I-Noor (Mountain of Light) is now among the British Crown Jewels. This diamond weighs 105.60 carats. First mentioned in 1304, it is believed to have been once set in Shah Jehan’s famous peacock throne as one of the peacock’s eyes.
The Agra is graded as a naturally colored fancy light pink and weighs 32.34 carats. It was last sold for about $6.9 million in 1990. Since this sale, it has been modified to a cushion shape weighing about 28.15 carats.
The Dresden Green stands out among the natural colored diamonds. It is the largest green diamond in the world weighing 40.70 carats. This diamond is historic, large and has a natural green color with a slight blue overtone. These aspects make it virtually priceless.
The Transvaal Blue is pear cut. This blue diamond weighs 25 carats. It was found in the Premier Diamond Mine in Transvaal, South Africa.
The Great Chrysanthemum was discovered in the summer of 1963, in a South African diamond field. This 198.28-carat fancy brown diamond appeared to be a light honey color in its rough state. However, after cutting, it proved to be a rich golden brown, with overtones of sienna and burnt orange.
The Conde Pink is a pear shaped and weighs 9.01-carats. This pink diamond was once owned by Louis XIII.
The Tiffany Yellow diamond is a beautiful canary-yellow octahedron weighing 287.42 carats in the rough. It was discovered in either 1877 or 1878 in South Africa. After cutting, this gem weighs an extraordinary 128.54 carats and, until recently, was the largest golden-yellow in the world.
The Taylor-Burton diamond is a pear-shaped 69.42 carat diamond. Cartier of New York purchased this diamond at an auction in 1969 and christened it “Cartier.” The next day Richard Burton bought the diamond for Elizabeth Taylor. He renamed it the “Taylor-Burton”. In 1978, Elizabeth Taylor put the diamond up for sale. Prospective buyers had to pay $2,500 each to view the diamond to cover the costs of showing it. Finally, in June of 1979, the diamond was sold for nearly $3 million.
The author lives in Australia, home of the Argyle mine where rare pink diamonds are found.