Diamonds have always been one of the most admired stones on the planet and have been undoubtedly one of the most sought-after gems for hundreds of years. So we wanted to highlight the world’s largest diamonds in this article.
First, let’s set the stage with some interesting facts about diamonds..
Facts about diamonds
Until about the 15th century, only kings were allowed to wear diamonds, since they were considered to be a symbol of courage and strength.
Over the years though diamonds have become the ultimate token of love. Since their discovery, diamonds have always been associated with the notion of legend and romance.
The word diamond itself originates from a Greek word which means unyielding and invincible. This suggests the everlasting nature of love. According to Greek mythology, the fiery radiance of a diamond, in its true meaning, reflects the eternal flame of love.
So, it is no surprise, that when it comes to sentimental jewelry pieces such as engagement or wedding rings, diamonds are the most popular choice.
With that in mind, you can probably understand how larger diamonds attract far more attention, in part due to their rarity, but also because they are simply magnificent items of beauty… that we just seem to be attracted to.
With that laid out, let’s now dive into some of the world’s largest diamonds, their origins, their values, and other facts…
#1 The Cullinan Diamond
The Cullinan diamond when discovered as a rough diamond, was one of the highest gem-quality diamonds that was ever found. The diamond weighed an astonishing 106 carats when it was found in South Africa by Sir Thomas Cullinan, in 1905.
This diamond was then gifted to King Edward VII of the United Kingdom and taken to Amsterdam, where it was precision cut and polished.
Today, the diamond comprises of 9 large stones and 96 smaller stones.
Two of the largest of these stones are a part of the Crown Jewels.
Original weight: 106 Carats
Current Location: Mainly the United Kingdom, Crown Jewels
#2 Millennium Star Diamond
The Millennium Star diamond is the second-largest diamond that has been found to date. This diamond has the highest color rating of D in the world – D meaning it is colorless.
This fascinating, colorless gem was found in the Democratic Republic of Congo in 1990 and weighs approximately 777 carats. The flawless, pear-shaped jewel is currently owned by the De Beers Group.
Original Weight: 777 Carats
Current Location: De Beers Group, London
#3 The Sergio Diamond
Although the Cullinan diamond is famous for being one of the largest diamonds ever to be found, the black carbonado diamond, named Sergio, is known for outweighing the stone in terms of carat weight.
This magnificent, rare black diamond was found in the year 1893 in Brazil and weighs nearly 3167 carats in total, it was eventually sold to a London based company in 1895.
Original weight: 3167 Carats
Current Location: Broken down in London for industrial diamond-tipped drills
#4 The Golden Jubilee Diamond
The Golden Jubilee diamond is known to be the world’s largest faceted gemstone and weighs about 545.67 carats in total. This remarkable stone was discovered in 1985 in South Africa and was given a papal blessing by Pope John Paul.
The Golden Jubilee diamond was then presented to the King of Thailand in the year 1997. It took gemmologists a few years after this to cut and polish the stone. The world’s largest finished gemstone is currently owned by the Royal Family of Thailand.
Original weight: 545.67
Current Location: Royal family of Thailand
#5 The Jonker Diamond
Named after its founder Johannes Jacobus Jonker, the Jonker diamond was found at the Elandsfontein mine in South Africa in the year 1934. The dazzling stone originally weighed 726 carats and was later cut into 13 smaller pieces; each piece weighed nearly 142.90 carats and was cut into the shape of an emerald.
An anonymous bought the diamond in 1977 in Hong Kong for $2,259,000.
Original weight: 726
image courtesy Twitter.com
Current Location: Last known location Hong Kong
#6 The Star of Sierra Leone Diamond
The star of Sierra Leone is truly one of a kind. It was found in 1972 on Valentine’s Day in a river near Koidu, in Sierra Leone. The diamond weighed about 968.9 carats originally before it was cut into 17 pieces, 13 of which were considered flawless.
The Star of Sierra Leone is known to be the fourth-largest gem-quality diamond and is one of the largest alluvial mining diamonds discovered to date.
The largest of the 17 final cut stones, was a single finished pear-shaped diamond of 53.96 carats. Six of the 13 flawless cut diamonds were later set into the “Star of Sierra Leone” brooch by Harry Winston
Original weight: 968.9
So there you have it, a rundown of some of the largest diamonds ever found. So what if you were to find a diamond, how could you tell it was real or fake? And what tests would you need to perform to know for sure? Let’s take a look at how to tell a real diamond…
Identifying a fake diamond from a real diamond
Given the high market value of diamonds and how they are one of the most sought-after gemstones, it’s not surprising that there are many replicas or fake stones that are in circulation. Be it for security reasons or simply a way to make a quick buck, fake diamonds are a reality and it is important to know how to distinguish them from the real ones.
Identifying a real mounted diamond
Some excellent diamond imitations have successfully fooled even the most expert gemmologists, therefore using only your eyes to determine whether a diamond is real or not can be really tricky, but not impossible.
If a diamond is mounted, you would be unable to see through to its bottom if the diamond is real.
The reason being the way the light travels through the many facets of the gem.
Place an unmounted diamond face down upon a newspaper, if you’re able to see the text clearly, then there’s a problem.
The diamond reflection test
A diamond’s reflection tells a lot about it. A real diamond will reflect in shades of grey. If you happen to see sparkling rainbow colors, the diamond is very likely to be a fake one.
Testing a diamond at home
The density of a real diamond is extremely high, due to the immense pressures required to create them in the earth’s crust. Therefore the water test would show whether your stone matches that level of density.
You can use the following simple test to find out if a diamond is real – or not.
Find a medium-sized drinking glass and fill about three-quarters of it with water. Then, drop the stone carefully into the glass. If the gemstone sinks, the diamond is real. If it floats on the surface of the water, the stone is fake.
The scratch test
This test is one of the easiest ways to test a diamond. All you have to do is simply scratch your stone against a mirror. If the stone in question is hard enough to scratch the mirror, it is most likely a real diamond.
In recent times this has become a more difficult test. A number of strong and durable materials are being used to make fake diamonds; therefore, this method is now less reliable.
A glass will easily shatter into pieces when it’s brought in close proximity to a heat source. On the other hand, an original diamond would be left unscathed.
The fog test
Breath on your stone. Due to the moisture and heat from your mouth, a light layer of fog will form on the diamond. If the stone clears right away, it’s real. If not, then it’s fake.
We hope this has been useful in getting a quick summary of some of the largest diamonds in the world, as well as how to detect a real one from a fake one. If you do happen to find a large diamond, we would still recommend having it checked by a professional though! – of course!