Diamonds are the world’s premier precious stone. Their rarity and beauty combine to elevate them to a position of high esteem that is unmatched by any other precious gems. While diamonds, in general, are very rare, far rarer still are the large and flawless diamonds that have gained fame as cherished gifts given with love, or as spoils of war taken by force. Here are some of the world’s more notable examples:
This 105 carat colourless diamond is undoubtedly one of the world’s most famous. It is of Indian origin and believed to date from the 13th century. It has been owned by a variety of rulers, including Persian, Sikh, Mughal, and finally, the British royal family, its present custodians.
The Darya-ye Noor
Like the Koh-i-Noor diamond, this large (185 carat) diamond of delicate pale pink colour originates from the mines of Andhra Pradesh in India. Having been taken as a spoil of war by a variety of rulers, the diamond is now part of the Iranian Crown Jewels and on display in Tehran at the Central Bank of Iran.
At an incredible 3,106 carats, this is the largest diamond ever found. Two famous polished diamonds, the Star of Africa and the Lesser Star of Africa at 530 and 317 carats, respectively, are the largest polished diamonds to be cut from the Cullinan.
The Golden Jubilee
At 545 carats, this is the world’s largest polished diamond. It was mined in South Africa and, after a fairly anonymous history, was purchased and presented to the King of Thailand in honour of his Golden Jubilee. It now forms part of the Crown Jewels of Thailand and is housed in the Royal Palace in Bangkok, Thailand.
The Taylor-Burton Diamond
This 69 carat diamond, also from South Africa, was purchased by the actor, Richard Burton, for his wife Elizabeth Taylor. Following their divorce, the diamond was auctioned by Taylor for $5,000,000, with the proceeds being used to finance the construction of a hospital in Botswana.