Did you know that one of the many planets in our Milky Way galaxy is made of diamond? In 2004, astronomers discovered an alien planet that they named ‘55 Cancri e’. After research, it was unraveled that approximately a third of the planet is most likely to be made of pure diamond! How amazing, right? The Diamond Planet is likely to cost somewhere around $26.9 nonillion. If estimated, the worth of the planet is 384 quadrillion times more than Earth’s total GDP. The universe is surely full of surprises.
Diamonds are one of the most expensive gemstones. They are also considered the epitome of elegance and grace. You may have heard the quote, ‘Diamonds are made under pressure.’ And this quote is quite literally true. Diamonds are created 100 miles deep within the Earth’s surface. The temperatures are often extremely high, and the overlying pressure makes it ideal for diamonds to form. Thus, the symbolic use of diamonds to derive motivational quotes.
Coming to the point, diamonds now are not a rare element; however, high-quality diamonds are unique and quite pricey. Moreover, finding a diamond that is the acceptable carat weight, clarity, and color used in jewelry is challenging. And this is also what makes a diamond super expensive!
But while we are discussing some interesting facts about diamonds, let us look at eight of the most famous diamonds in the world and what makes them so legendary!
1. The Koh-I-Noor:
Someone who may not be interested in gems and jewels may also know about the Kohinoor diamond. Such is the place of this famous gem in history. This diamond weighs around 105.6 carats and is a topic of serious discourse among historians. But we will get to that later.
The Kohinoor diamond is one of the biggest cut diamonds in the world. It currently has a significant place in the Crown Jewels of the United Kingdom, in the Tower of London. Crown Jewels of England is a collection of royal ceremonial objects worn by the British kings and queens at their coronations. The stone is also known as the ‘Mountain of Light.’
The Kohinoor diamond is said to be mined in the Kollur mine in India. The gemstone was once part of the Mughal peacock throne of the emperor Shah Jehan. However, later, after numerous changes of hands, it was ceded to Queen Victoria after the British annexation of Punjab. A few countries, including India, Pakistan, Iran, and Afghanistan, claim the Kohinoor diamond ownership and demand that it be given back to its rightful owners. However, the British government has rejected the claims saying the diamond was obtained legally through the Last Treaty of Lahore.
2. The Orlov:
The story revolving around the famous Orlov diamond starts with a different name. In 1650, in the Kollur mine of the Indian region, a diamond was found, which weighed around 787 carats. Later, this half-egg-shaped diamond was gifted to the 5th Mughal emperor Shah Jehan by Emir Jemla. Soon After, Persian ruler Nadir Shah invaded Delhi and Lahore and is known to have taken the Great Mogul with him. However, after his assassination in 1747, the Great Mogul is said to have disappeared.
After some time, a diamond was found on sale in Amsterdam, which deeply resembled the Great Mogul. Modern scholars are now confident that the now-named Orlov is actually the Great Mogul diamond. Count Grigory Orlov purchased the diamond at a whooping price of 1.4mln Dutch florins. The story goes on to narrate that Count Orlov was romantically involved with Catherine The Great of Russia. Count Orlov presented the diamond to Catherine as a show of affection, which is why the diamond is now named The Orlov. Catherine The Great had her jeweler incorporate the diamond in a scepter, which is now known as the Imperial Sceptre. The Orlov is now displayed at Moscow’s Kremlin Armory, home to the Russian Diamond Fund.
3. The Cullinan:
Let us talk about the largest diamond ever found, the Cullinan. It weighed around 3,106 carats and was discovered in a mine in South Africa. The diamond is named after the chairman of the mine, Thomas Cullinan. In 1907, the Cullinan was presented to the King of the United Kingdom, Edward VII, as a gift.
Because of the huge size and rough cut, the Cullinan was sent for shaping in Amsterdam. This rare gemstone produced nine individual diamonds of various cuts and sizes. The biggest of them is known as the Cullinan I and weighs approximately 530.4 carats. This diamond is also known as the Great Star of Africa. It is said to be the largest clear-cut diamond in the world. The Cullinan I is affixed in the head of the Sovereign’s Sceptre with Cross.
The next in line is the Cullinan II or the Second Star of Africa. It weighs around 317.4 carats and is a part of the Imperial State Crown. Elizabeth II inherited the other seven diamonds from her grandmother, Queen Mary.
4. The Excelsior:
Before the Cullinan stole the show and became the largest diamond globally, the Excelsior held the status of being the biggest diamond. It was discovered from the Jagersfontein mine in South Africa in 1893. It has a blue-white tint to it and weighs around 971 old carats. Currently, the Excelsior rates as the fourth largest diamond ever found.
Similar to the Cullinan, the Excelsior diamond was also sent to Amsterdam for shaping. The precious diamond produced ten astoundingly beautiful diamonds weighing between 13 to 68 carats.
5. The Centenary:
The uniquely identifying characteristic of the Centenary diamond is that it ranks third in the list of top-color diamonds. The Cullinan I and II stand at the first and second positions, respectively. It is the third-largest diamond produced by the Premier Mine in South Africa and weighed around 599 carats when first mined. It is rated as color Grade D, the highest grade of colorless diamond and flawless, both internally and externally.
The diamond was first unraveled as a rough cut; however, later, experts were hired to cut the Centenary diamond. After the initial cutting steps, the team was left with an egg-shaped diamond weighing around 500 carats. Several designs were suggested; however, the finalized cut was the heart-shaped form, which is the shape of the diamond today. The final cut of the Centenary, unveiled in May 1991, weighed around 273.85 carats. The current owner of the diamond is unknown, and it is believed that De Beers, the initial possessor of the Centenary, does not own it anymore.
6. The Daria-I-Noor:
This rare beauty is the largest pink diamond in the world. It is also one of the largest diamonds in the world, weighing approximately 182 carats. It is named as Daria-I-Noor, which means the ‘Sea of Light’ in Persian. Like the Koh-I-Noor, the Daria-I-Noor diamond was also mined in the Kollur mine in Andhra Pradesh, India. It was also affixed to the oh-so-famous peacock throne of the emperor, Shah Jahan.
When Nader Shah invaded Northern India, he took away the entire treasury of the Mughal emperors, including the Daria-I-Noor and the peacock throne. After Nader Shah’s death, the pale pink stone was inherited by his grandson, Shahrukh Mirza. Currently, this gemstone is kept in the Iranian Crown Jewels collection of the Central Bank of Iran.
7. The Tiffany Yellow Diamond:
While we are talking about the rarest colored diamonds, we should not forget the Tiffany Yellow diamond. This diamond weighed around 287.42 carat when originally found and is one of the largest yellow diamonds ever mined! It was discovered in 1878 from the Kimberley mine in South Africa.
The diamond is now owned by the world-renowned jeweler Charles Tiffany. This yellow beauty was cut to a brilliant shape of a cushion and now weighs around 128.54 carats. Today. Tiffany & Co. flagship store homes this gorgeous yellow diamond. In 2019, Lady Gaga adorned the Tiffany Yellow diamond at the 91st Academy Awards. Four women have only worn the diamond to date.
8. The Blue Hope:
Discovered from the Kollur mine in Andhra Pradesh, India, the Blue Hope diamond weighs approximately 45.52 carats. However, the exceptional feature is the astonishing blue color of the diamond. The rare blue color of the diamond is because of the traces of boron atoms.
The Hope diamond was initially named the Tavernier Blue when it was purchased by a French gem trader, Jean Baptiste Tavernier. Later, it was stolen, recut, and acquired by a London banking family called Hope. The Blue Hope diamond is currently exhibited in the National Museum of Natural History, United States.
Diamonds are one of the most expensive elements in the world. Numerous factors make a diamond invaluable, one of which is that it takes years for a diamond to form. Diamonds have a very well-known place even in history. Some of the most famous diamonds worldwide date back centuries and have great antiquity attached to them. We hope the above-given information about the most famous diamonds in the world amazes you as much as it amazed us!