Remember The Heart of the Ocean, or Le Couer de la Mer? It is the blue diamond from the movie Titanic that was worn by the character of Kate Winslet. King Louis XVI of France was said to have owned the diamond originally, before it got cut into a heart shape after the monarchy’s overthrow in the French Revolution. It was set into a necklace, before a rich steel tycoon from the United States bought it as a gift to his fiancee’.
It was an amazing story, indeed, but the problem is, it was fictional. Though Harry Winston tried to recreate it using a 15 carat blue diamond in 1998, you just can’t help but wonder how much these things really cost.
Well, wonder no more, because here is the list of the top ten most expensive diamonds in the world.
This diamond has been in existence since 1294. It has changed ownership several times because it was taken as part of the winning country’s spoils of war. It is now part of the British Crown Jewels after the British East India Company confiscated it in 1850 and Queen Victoria was proclaimed Empress of India in 1877. Its color is of the finest white, and it weighs 186 and 1/16 carats, though the current cut is down to 105.6 carats in order to increase its brilliance. Koh-i-noor means mountain of light in Persian. India is demanding for its return.
2. The Sancy Diamond
The Sancy diamond has a rich history. It passed ownership from the Portuguese monarchy to the English crown to the French king. It was named after Nicolas de Harlay, seigneur de Sancy, a French diplomat who bought the diamond from the Prior of Crato, a claimant to the Portuguese throne. It has a pale yellow color and weighs 55.23 carats. It is shaped like a shield and features back to back crowns. The diamond is now with the Louvre in Paris, France.
3. The Cullinan
This diamond was discovered in South Africa in a mine owned by Sir Thomas Cullinan. It is color white and has the distinction of being the largest rough diamond ever found at 3,106.75 carats. The Great Star of Africa and the Lesser Star of Africa were subsequently cut from this stone. The Cullinan is under the possession of the British crown.
4. The Hope Diamond
Probably the most famous diamond in the world, the Hope diamond traced its roots to India, before it got moved to France, England and, finally, the United States. Also known as Le Bleu de France, it weighs 45.52 carats and is colored deep blue to the naked eye because of the presence of boron inside its structure. It will reflect a reddish color when exposed to ultraviolet light, however. It was named after Sir Thomas Hope, an English banker who once owned the gem. It is now displayed at the Smithsonians.
5. De Beers Centenary Diamond
The de Beers Centenary Diamond is named after the de Beers Consolidated Mines, which celebrated its centennial year in 1988 when the diamond was first presented to the public. The colorless diamond is flawless and weighs 273.85 carats. The original cut actually weighed 599 carats.
6. The Steinmetz Pink
7. Wittelsbach Diamond
This fancy deep grayish blue diamond weighs 35.56 carats. It was discovered in the mid-1600s in India. It became part of the Austrian crown jewels when Maria Amalia, the archduchess of Austria, married Charles of Bavaria, a German monarch who belonged to the Wittelsbach family. It has an antique oval stellar brilliant cut. It is now owned by Laurence Graff, a jeweler based in London.
8. The Heart of Eternity
The Heart of Eternity was discovered in South Africa in the Premier Diamond Mine. It is extremely rare as it has a fancy vivid blue color, even though blue diamonds account for less than 0.1% of the mine’s output. It is cut like a heart and weighs 27.64 carats. It was cut by the Steinmetz Group, and then sold to the de Beers Consolidated Mines. The Heart of Eternity diamond was then included in their Millennium Jewels Collection. Sayyid Qadri is rumored to be the current owner after purchasing it during the de Beers exhibit.
9. The Moussaieff Red Diamond
Also known as the Red Shield Diamond, the Moussaieff Red Diamond was discovered along the Abaetezinho River in Brazil in 1990 by a Brazilian farmer. The area is known for its large colored diamonds. It has a triangular brilliant cut and weighs 5.11 carats. It is the largest red diamond in the world. The original rough stone actually weighed 13.9 carats. Shlomo Moussaieff, the owner of Moussaieff Jewellers Ltd, then purchased it in the early 2000s. The Israeli jewelry dealer then brought it to London, where he is currently based.
10. The Allnatt
The Allnatt Diamond weighs 101.29 carats and has a color of fancy vivid yellow. AN English businessman named Major Alfred Ernest Allnatt discovered the cushion cut diamond. It is not known where exactly it was found, but experts believe it was mined from the current site of the De Beers Premier Diamond Mine.
After Major Allnatt had bought the diamonds in the early 50s, Cartier was contracted to make a setting for it. At that time, the diamond weighed 102.07 carats and had a fancy intense yellow hue. The result was a classic flower made of platinum that featured five petals, a couple of leaves and a stem, all of which were set with diamonds. It was later sold at an auction in Geneva. The diamond was subsequently purchased by the SIBA Corporation, which ordered a re-cutting of the gem to its present weight. The color intensity of the diamond was upgraded, as a result of the re-cut.
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