Diamonds are the most sought-after stones in the World. The largest and rarest diamonds have bewildered the World for centuries. Diamonds have been discovered deep within the earth’s crust by gemologists to a pile of trash by a young girl. Here’s a list of the top 10 massive diamonds in the World.
- Cullinan Diamond
The Cullinan diamond is the World’s largest and popular gem-quality diamond weighing about 1,109 carats (Cullinan I & II). It is part of a colossal 3,106-carat rough diamond discovered by Frederick Wells, a surface manager at the mine only 18 feet below earth in the Premier Diamond Mines, Pretoria, South Africa, 1905.
Four of its eight smooth surfaces indicate that it once had been part of an even bigger stone broken up by natural forces. The Cullinan was the largest diamond ever discovered. The diamond was named after the mine owner, Sir Thomas Cullinan. The Transvaal Colony government bought the Cullinan in 1907 and gifted it to King Edward VII in 1907 by the South African Republic. It was decided to cut the stone into smaller pieces. This monumental task was assigned to Mr. Asscher of I. J. Asscher & Co. had the privilege to cut a 971-carat famous Excelsior Diamond.
Ascher meticulously examined the diamond for six months before cutting it. The diamond was so massive & hard that the steel cleaver blade was shattered on his first attempt without affecting the diamond. On his second attempt, the diamond cut precisely as planned!
It cut the diamond into 9 major and 100 other pieces. Two of the largest diamonds in the series are the Cullinan I, or the “Star of Africa I,” which weighs 530.20 carats, the Cullinan II, or the “Star of Africa II,” weighing 314.4 carats. Cullinan I has been set in the Sovereign’s Scepter with Cross, while Cullinan II is set in the Imperial State Crown. Both are on display in the Tower of London. Seven other major diamonds with a total weight of 208.29 carats were privately owned by Queen Mary, who inherited them from Elizabeth II in 1953.
Cullinan diamond is, without doubt, the largest diamond ever to be found in the World. Here’s a list of other largest diamonds ever discovered in nature:
- Sewelô Diamond
Sewelo diamond is the second-largest gem-quality rough diamond ever discovered in the World. A 1,758-carat rough diamond was recovered in 2019 at the Karowe mine, Botswana, by the mining company Lucara Diamond Corp. It has taken its name from Setswana, a South African language, meaning ‘rare find.’ This black beauty, purchased by Louis Vuitton, has surpassed the 1,111 carats, Lasedi La Rona. It is suggested that beneath the thin blanket of black carbon, the Sewelô diamond is a gem-quality stone”. However, the color and clarity of the diamond remain a mystery for now.
- Lesedi de Rona Diamond
It is the third-largest gem-quality stone in the World. It was discovered in Karowe mine, Botswana, in 2015. The 1,109-carat diamond Lesedi de Rona originates from Botswana’s Tswana language, meaning “Our Light.” The tennis ball-sized diamond was bought by Graff jewelers, who had it cut into one large 302.37 carats square emerald cut diamond and 66 smaller stones. This is the gemstone with the highest color and clarity grade as certified by the Gemological Institute of America.
- The Excelsior Diamond
The Excelsior diamond had the privilege to be the World’s largest diamond until the Cullinan was discovered. This fascinating blue-white tinted 995.20-carat diamond is now the fourth largest rough diamond in the World. It was found in 1893 at the Jagersfontein Mine, South Africa. Unable to find a suitable buyer for its large size, the diamond was sent to Amsterdam to diamond expert I. J. Asscher in 1904. Asscher cut this mighty gemstone into twenty-one pieces, and later ginormous gemstone was fashioned into eleven smaller pieces. The largest gemstone is a 69.69 carats pear-shaped gem.
- Star of Sierra Leone
The largest alluvial diamond was discovered in 1972 in a river near Koidu, Sierra Leone. The rough diamond weighed about 968.9 carats. It was purchased by the New York City Jeweler Harry Winston for USD 2.5 million. The Star of Sierra Leone is the fifth-largest gem-quality diamond ever found. The diamond was initially cut into 143.2 carats emerald-cut gemstone and later into 17 smaller stones, six of which were mounted onto the jeweler’s famous Star of Sierra Leone brooch.
- Millennium Star
The Millennium Star is the second largest colorless diamond with the highest grade of color, i.e., grade D, and a rough carat weight of 777 carats. This incredible diamond was found in the Democratic Republic of Congo in 1990.
- The Incomparable Diamond
This beautiful fancy deep brownish yellow, Internally Flawless diamond was discovered by a young girl, playing on a pile of rubble, in 1989. It weighed about 890 carats when she stumbled upon it. She gave it to her uncle, who sold it to a diamond dealer. Ultimately, it was transported to Belgian Antwerp, where it took four years to cut into a beautiful step-cut diamond with a reduced weight of 407.48 carats.
- Koh-I-Noor Diamond
Koh-I-Noor diamond is, historically, one of the most popular diamonds. Koh-i-Noor diamond was discovered in the Kollur Mine, India, in the 13th century. The diamond stayed with the ruling Kakatiya dynasty for generations. There have been many fights for this diamond as it changed hands between various Sikh, Mughal, and Persian rulers. After the Second Anglo-Sikh War, the diamond was presented to Queen Victoria In 1849.
- The Woyie River Diamond
The gorgeous Woyie River diamond was discovered in 1945 and named after a river where it was found in Sierra Leone. The rough diamond weighed approximately 770 carats. It was dubbed as one of the largest alluvial diamonds ever discovered. The diamond was presented to Queen Mary in 1947 and to the public in 1949 in the British Industrial Fair. The diamond ended up being cut and polished into thirty smaller stones, the largest of which is dubbed as Victory diamond after the Allies’ victory in WWII. A 31.35-carat D-color and VVS2 clarity grade Victory Diamond were purchased by investor Frank Gould in the mid-1900s.
- The Golden Jubilee
The Golden Jubilee is one of the world’s largest diamonds. It was discovered in 1985 and weighed about 545.67 carats. The beautiful gemstone was given a blessing by Pope John Paul II. The diamond was presented to the King of Thailand in 1997 after it was cut and polished. Presently, the diamond is owned by the Royal Family of Thailand.
No doubt, each diamond is unique in itself. The above-listed diamonds are popular for their giant sizes. However, the Cullinan diamond is the largest of them all. The carat weight plays an important role in determining the worth of the diamond. But, other Cs of the diamond, i.e., clarity, color, and cut, also enhance its beauty and brilliance.