Famous Diamonds

The Oppenheimar Diamond

The Oppenheimer

The Oppenheimer diamond is one of the largest uncut diamonds in the world. It’s almost perfectly formed and 253.7 carats. It measures almost twenty by twenty millimeters. It was found in a mine in South Africa in 1964 and was acquired by Harry Winston not long after. He presented it to the Smithsonian Museum in memory of the late Sir Ernest Oppenheimer. It has been there ever since.

 

The Hope Diamond

The Blue Hope

The Hope Diamond is a deep blue diamond that measures 45.52 carats. It is currently housed in the Smithsonian Museum. It was once owned by Louis XIV and was officially designated the “Blue Diamond of the Crown.” It was stolen during the French Revolution, only to be found in 1830 in London. It was then bought by Henry Pope…its namesake. Legend has that the Blue Hope diamond carries enormous bad luck. Henry Pope died penniless, as did its subsequent owner, Edward McLean.

 

The Koh-I-Noor Diamond

The Koh-I-Noor Diamond

Originally 793 carats when uncut, it is now a 105.6 carat diamond on display at the Tower of London, set into the crown of Queen Elizabeth. The diamond is said to have been found in India. It belonged to many dynasties and was stolen over and over again during war times. In 1850, the diamond was confiscated by the British East India Company. It became part of the Crown Jewels of Queen Victoria, Empress of India in 1877.

 

The Star of Sierra Leone Diamond Diamond

The Star of Sierra Leone

The third largest diamond ever found, the Star of Sierra Leone weighed in at a whopping half pound when it was first found. Since then it has been cut into 17 individual diamonds, six of which are set in the Star of Sierra Leone broach. Thirteen of those seventeen stones are said to be flawless. In 1872, Harry Winston purchased it for around $2.5 million.

 

The Idol's Eye Diamond

The Idol's Eye Diamond

This large diamond has a carat weight of 43.38. Despite what is depicted in pictures, its color was more of a pale blue than a deep blue. It was discovered in India and resided there from the 1500’s to 1817. It was sold to British jewelers Rundell and Bridge in 1818. It was imported to the US in 1927. In 1940, Harry Winston acquired the diamond but sold it in 1942. In 1970, it was sold to Edward J Hand, where it still resides today.

 

The Hortensia Diamond

The Hortensia Diamond

The Hortensia Diamond is a pale orange-ish pink stone that weighs in at 20 carats. It was owned by King Louis XIV and an addition to the Crown Jewels of France. It was named after the Queen of Holland, Hortense de Beauharnais, who was the stepdaughter of Napoleon Bonaparte. It does have a large visible crack in it and is currently on display at the Louvre in Paris, France.

 

The Kahn Canary Diamond

The Kahn Canary

One of the few large diamonds to be mined in the United States, this 4.25 carat stone was found in the Crater of Diamonds National Park in Arkansas. It is the only park that is open to the public where patrons can dig for a diamond and keep what they find. It was discovered in 1977. It has remained uncut and is considered flawless. It has a triangular shape, a yellow color and is presently mounted in a ring that has been worn by Hilary Clinton at the inauguration of her husband, former President Bill Clinton.

 

The Kimberley Diamond

Kimberley Diamond

The Kimberley Diamond is a 70-carat champagne colored diamond that was found in South Africa. After being re-cut to 55.09 carats in 1921, it was shaped into a large flat stone that was once a part of the Russian Crown Jewels. It was re-cut again in 1958 to increase its brilliance. It has a value of $500,000 today and is owned by an undisclosed collector in Texas, who purchased the stone in 1971.

 

The Niarchos Diamond

The Niarchos

This diamond was mined in 1954 and when uncut, was 426.5 carats. It was internally flawless but slightly chipped on the outside, most likely from mining. It has a blue-white color that Sir Ernest Oppenheimer considered “Perfect.” In 1956 Harry Winston purchased the stone. Two years later, he sold it to Greek shipping magnate, Stavros Niarchos, for whom it is named.

 

The Tiffany Diamond

The Tiffany Diamond

This stone is the largest golden diamond in existence and was cut into 90 facets…32 more than the traditional 58 facet stone. This gives the stone immense brilliance and almost a fire-like look to it. It is believed to have been found in 1877 or 1878 somewhere in South Africa, but not formal records were kept. This stone is on display at the Tiffany’s jewelry store in New York City.

 

The Eureka Diamond

The Eureka Diamond

This diamond was the first discovered in South Africa. It weight 21.67 carats and was found in 1867. It is now cut in a 10.73 carat cushion cut. It was discovered by a 15 year old boy who’s family owned a farm on the river. Legend has he saw something shiny while taking a rest, and picked it up and put it in his pocket. After many people attempting to ascertain its value, it was eventually confirmed to be a true diamond. It is currently on display in the Kimberley Mine Museum in South Africa.

 

The Cullinan Diamond

The Cullinan Diamond

This is the largest lump of diamond ever discovered. While rough, it weighed 3106 carats and was about one and a half pounds. It was purchased for $750,000 in 1907 and presented to King Edward VII on his birthday. In 1908, King Edward sent it to Amsterdam for more cutting. It was cut into nine major stones, two of which were placed in the Crown Jewels. It is on permanent display in the Tower of London.

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