While all diamonds may be wished for, sought-after, and cherished for a long time after their purchase, the most expensive diamonds in the world share some additional qualities: they are rare, the have unparalleled value, and they share some fascinating histories. Here are some of most expensive diamonds in the history of the world.
Cullinan Diamond: $400 Million – several billions
The Cullinan, the largest rough diamond ever to have been mined, was recovered in Africa in 1905. The Cullinan weighed 3,106 carats (621 grams) in its rough form. It took eight months to work on the diamonds. The work done by three polishers working 14 hours a day. The result: nine principal numbered stones (numbered I through IX), 96 small brilliants and nine carats of unpolished fragments. All and one belong to the Crown Jewels of the United Kingdom. The Cullinan I weighs 530.2 carats and Cullinan II weighs 317.4 carats. By itseld, Cullinan II (also called The Star of Africa) is worth about $400 million. The worth of all nine diamonds cut from the Cullinan remains unknown, but rough estimates put it at several billions of dollars.
Millennium Star: Priceless
De Beers’ Millennium Star Diamond was mined in Zaire in 1990, weighing a mind-blowing 777 carats in its rough form. It is the world’s second largest known top-color, internally and externally flawless, pear-shaped diamond. After cut and polish, the Millennium Star weighs 203.04 carats. The Millennium Star diamond was the centerpiece of De Beers’ diamond exhibition at London’s Millennium Dome in 2000. In an operation called “Operation Magician”, the London Police foiled a daring robbery attempt of the Millennium Star on November 7.
The Koh-i-Noor, mined in the 13th century in India, is one of the oldest diamonds on earth with a documented history. After being presented to Queen Victoria of England, it was exhibited at the Crystal Palace during 1851. The Koh-i-Noor is now part of the British Crown Jewels and after several cuttings, the diamond now weighs 106 carats.
The Hope Diamond: $350 Million
The Hope Diamond, a rare blue weighing 45.52 carats (9.10 grams), passed through several distinguished hands since its arrival in Europe in1668. It was owned by \ King Louis XIV and King Louis XV of France, was stolen during the revolution and then found years afterwards in London in the possession of the Hope family, then sold in 1911 to the widow of Edward McLean, founder of the Washington Post. Sometimes later, it became the pendant on a diamond necklace and was sold to the celebrated diamond merchant, Harry Winston. Today, the diamond is kept at the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C. Its estimated worth is $350 million.
The Centenary Diamond: $100 Million
The Centenary Diamond, the third-largest diamond ever recovered from De Beers’ Premier mine in South Africa, weighed 599 carats in its rough form. It was revealed in 1998, during the De Beers’ 100th anniversary celebrations, which also gave the diamond its name. The diamond in its polished form weighs 273.85. It has 247 facets and two flawless separate pear-shaped diamonds. While the stone has never been officially valued, it was insured for $100 million prior to its unveiling to the public in May 1991.