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Most Famous Diamonds – Bigger, Better, and Highly Desired: Part I

Millions, perhaps billions of diamonds have been mined, cut and polished in the last 30 centuries that we have known about them. However, there have been a few diamonds that have risen far above the rest. Their size, color and brilliance have made them the objects of desires for everyone from the lowliest workers to the biggest kings at one time or the other.

Interesting Trivia: Diamonds are valued based on their carat, clarity, cut and color. Even among these, color and clarity demand great value – so a colorless and flawless diamond in lesser carats would fetch much higher value than a larger stone of say lower color and clarity.

These magnificent stones have been the objects of wonder, of desire, of jealousy and of course, something to be possessed with a passion.

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  1. Cullinan I or the Great Star of Africa: It was cut from the Cullinan diamond, which is widely believed to be the largest gemstone diamond ever to be found (it dipped the scales at 3,106 carats when found in Transvaal, South Africa in 1905). It carries the name of the mine owner Sir Thomas Cullinan and was gifted to the then monarch of England King Edward VII in 1907. Asscher of Amsterdam was commissioned to cut and polish this huge stone. The rough stone yielded nine large and ninety six smaller polished diamonds. Among these, the Cullinan I or Great Star of Africa (530 carats) is the largest colorless and flawless diamond presently known. It forms a part of the British Crown Jewels.

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  1. The Golden Jubilee: A yellowish brown colored beauty discovered in South Africa in 1985, the Golden Jubilee is officially the largest cut diamond in the world at 545.67 carats. It was blessed by Pope John Paul II. Though the largest known cut and polished diamond, it fails to match the Cullinan I diamond in value on account of it’s yellow-brown coloring. It has still found a place of pride in the collection of the Thai Royal Family.

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  1. The Incomparable: This truly incomparable diamond was presented to the world in 1980 by the Democratic Republic of Congo. An awe-inspiring 890 carats in its rough state, this diamond took nearly four years to reach its final cut size of 407.48 carats. It is the most unique cut of all the largest diamonds in the world – a triangular shape. Just like the Golden Jubilee, the Incomparable is also a yellowish brown colored diamond that is internally flawless.

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  1. The Cullinan II or Lesser Star of Africa:The smaller sibling of the Cullinan I, this 317.40 carat diamond was cut from the same massive stone that yielded the Great Star of Africa. Polished into a cushion shape, the Cullinan II followed the Cullinan I into the Crown Jewels and forms the center piece of Britain’s Imperial Crown.

This list of most famous stones will be continued on my next blog.

Stay tuned.

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