Diamonds are forever... Diamonds are a girl's best friend... Whatever cliche you want to use, the fact is the world loves diamonds. This incredibly hard and beautifully sparkling type of precious stone has been a coveted item for centuries. An estimated $13 billion worth of rough diamonds are taken out of the ground each year, the majority weighing just a few carats (1 carat = 0.007055 oz). But every now and again, a monster diamond is found, big enough to amaze the exhausted miners who find it, and when eventually cut into a diamond gemstone, these are grandiose enough to impress even the wealthiest of the world's royalty.
This list of the 10 largest uncut rough diamonds will no doubt evolve in coming years, as the diamond industry is huge - and unsurprisingly, worth a fortune. Ten million people worldwide work in this industry with a value of $72 billion a year. As recently as 2013 two huge rough diamonds were found at the Karowe mine in Botswana, Southern Africa, both coming in at over 200 carats each (1.4 oz). And yet neither of these diamonds makes the top 20, never mind the top 10.
Some of these diamonds have become famous, with fascinating histories behind them. The diamonds in the top two positions on our list are vastly different, but are so massive that the chances of finding their equals are infinitesimally small. That is, unless NASA ever decides to take a mining crew to the prosaically-named planet PSR J1719-1438 b, which has a mass greater than the sun, and is believed to be composed mostly of crystalline carbon - better known to the layperson as diamond. Fortunately for the mining companies worried about cheap space gems, this diamond planet is about 3,900 light years (around 23,000 trillion miles) away!
10 The Jonker: 726 carats
9 The Vargas: 726.6 carats
8 The Golden Jubilee: 755 carats
7 The Woyie River: 770 carats
6 Millennium Star: 777 carats
5 Incomparable Diamond: 890 carats
4 Star of Sierra Leone: 969 carats
3 Excelsior Diamond: 995.20 carats
2 Cullinan Diamond: 3106.75 carats
1 "Sergio": 3167 carats
Many still place the Cullinan as the largest rough diamond ever found, with The Golden Jubilee and Star of Africa as the first and second largest polished diamonds in the world respectively. However, "Sergio", a black carbonado diamond from Brazil discovered in 1893, beats all its rivals for weight. These so-called black diamonds are rare and scientists are still in debate over their origins. There are some that believe these black diamonds come from outer space, having travelled to Earth as fragments of an ancient meteor.
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