famous diamonds





The De Beers Millennium Star

The Star was originally mined by De Beers in the early nineties, in the Republic of Congo. The stone was shaped and cut with lasers over a period of over three years. The Star is the world's largest and flawless diamond, weighing in at a whopping 203-carats. The Star was unveiled as the centerpiece of the De Beers Millennium diamond collection. The rare collection consisted of 118-carats of blue diamonds and the 27-carat Heart of Eternity diamond. The collection remained on display at London's Millennium Dome until the year 2000.

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The Hope Diamond

The Hope Diamond, named after its purchaser, Harry Thomas Hope, is one of the oldest diamonds formed, aged at over a billion years old. The Hope is the world's largest blue diamond, weighing in at 45.52-carats. However, despite its weight and beauty, the Hope receives its fame from the bad luck of its previous owners. The diamond was inherited by Hope's son, who lost his fortune soon thereafter. It was then acquired by a widow named Mrs. Edward McLean, whose family was hit with an odd string of catastrophes after she received it. Finally, in 1949, Harry Winston purchased the diamond, but no one dared to purchase it. The stone is now on display at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington for all to enjoy, with no worries.

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The De Beers Diamond

The De Beers was found in the Kimberly mines of South Africa. The original rough weighed in at 428.5-carats. De Beers unveiled this beauty at the Paris Exhibition of 1889. The cut diamond weighed 228.5-carats and was believed to be the largest cut diamond in the world. Over the years, many more diamonds have been discovered and cut, but De Beers proudly holds this diamond as the fourth largest cut in the world.

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The Star of Africa

The Star of South Africa was cut from the 3,106-carat Cullinan, the largest diamond ever found. With a carat weight of 530.20-carats, is pear-shaped diamond is the largest cut diamond in the world. With 74-facets, this magnificent piece is set in the Royal Scepter and is kept with the other Crown Jewels in the Tower of London.

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The history of the Koh-i-Noor dates back to 1304. The literal meaning of its name is "mountain of light," and it was said by many that he who owns the Koh-i-Noor, owns the world. The stone was orginally owned by the Rajah of Malwa, but was seized by Nadir Shah of Persia, after he successfully defeated Delhi and tricked the emporer into switching turbans with him (an old oriental custom). The diamond then traveled to Persia, where it remained until the fall of the Persian empire. After the British annexed the Punjab, they took possession of it. After the diamond arrived in Britain, it was cut down to 108.93-carats from 186-carats in order to restore its brilliance and luster. Queen Victoria then mounted it in a tiara. The tiara was worn by Queen Elizabeth in 1937 for her coronation ceremony and the diamond is currently kept in the Tower of London with the other Crown Jewels.

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The Taylor-Burton

The Taylor-Burton is a 69-carat, pear-shaped diamond orginally unearthed from the Premier mine of South Africa in 1966. The diamond was cut down from its original size of 244-carats by Harry Winston. In 1969, Cartier obtained the stone through an auction, and then it was purchased by Richard Burton as a gift for his wife, the lovely Elizabeth Taylor, who is known for her love of diamonds. Ten-years later, Taylor put the stone up for auction and the proceeds went to fund a hospital in Botswana. In 1979, the diamond was purchased by a buyer in Saudi Arabia for $3,000,000.

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Created by Sunny Kim. E-mail at: Cocofire@ufl.edu