There are so many to choose from …
All diamonds are beautiful. Let’s make that clear from the start. No two stones are the same, even with the exact same characteristics: diamond cut, diamond clarity, diamond color and diamond carat weight.
However some diamonds are just enormous and magnificent. So which diamond is the most famous? It’s not an easy answer, there are so many choices. The first question should be what makes a diamond famous? It’s probably a combination of many factors: size, color, rarity, who has owned them, who has worn them, the story behind their discovery, the story behind their conquest.
We have compiled a short list of diamonds which could all easily vie for the title of most famous. What do you think? Send us a comment. If we missed one you particularly like, we’ll add it and give you credit!
The Cullinan diamond was found on January 26, 1905 in South Africa by Frederick Wells. Wells worked at the Premier Diamond Mining Company owned by Sir Thomas Cullinan, where the diamond got its name. The Cullinan was the largest rough gemstone ever found, an amazing 3,106.75 carats (621.35 g). It was cut into 9 large gemstones and 96 small ones.
Diamond cutting in the early 1900s was more difficult than it is today. Joseph Asscher, a talented craftsman, was given the job of cutting the Cullinan. He took six months to study the diamond before beginning the complicated task of dividing and cutting it. Some of the more prominent diamonds cut from the Cullinan were set into royal crowns of Great Britain and as jewelry worn by the royal family.
The Hope Diamond’s origins are the subject of rumor, the most popular being that the Hope diamond was the eye of a statue of an Indian goddess. The earliest verifiable knowledge of this diamond is from a French merchant to India, Jean-Baptiste Tavernier. He traveled extensively in India between 1640 and 1667 and obtained the diamond then. It was not yet called the Hope Diamond. It got its present name from the Hope family, owners of the diamond from 1839-1902. The Hope diamond is a deep blue color, and weighs 45.52 carats (9.10 g).
The rumors surrounding the Hope Diamond include a curse, said to be the result of having been stolen from the Indian goddess. Misfortune and tragedy has followed the owners of the Hope Diamond, including French kings, Turkish sultans and American socialites. The Hope diamond is now part of the gem collection at the Smithsonian Institute.
Dresden Green Diamond
The first record of the Dresden Green diamond is a newspaper article about it in London dated October 25, 1722. The Dresden Green’s unique green color is the result of exposure to radioactive materials. It weighs 41 carats (8.2 g) and is nearly flawless.
The Dresden Green was owned by the royal family of Prussia and has been on display for the past 200 years in Dresden, Germany. It is now located in the Dresden State Art Collections.
The Koh-i-noor Diamond originated in India, with the first reference to it dated 1302. Koh-i-noor, meaning Mountain of Light in Persian, is a white diamond that originally weighed 186 carats (37.21 g) with an egg shape. In 1852 it was cut down under the instructions of Prince Albert of Great Britain, to 105 carats (21.61 g) and shaped into an oval brilliant, in order to increase the beauty of the diamond.
With the rulers of India and Persia constantly at war, the Koh-i-noor diamond changed hands many times, ending up in the possession of the East India Company and presented to Queen Victoria of Great Britain. The Koh-i-noor Diamond was set into a brooch for Queen Victoria, and then in a crown for Queen Alexandra. It is now on display in the Tower of London with the Crown Jewels. To learn more about this and other diamonds, visit: What is the Oldest Diamond?
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