All diamonds are expensive. Their uniqueness and brilliance can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. However, not all diamonds are created equal. Some are so valuable that they shatter prices records and cost millions. Here’s a list of the top 20 most expensive diamonds in the world.
The Koh-i-Noor (Mountain of Light Diamond)
The most valuable diamond in the world is Koh-i-Noor, also spelled Koh-i-Nur and Kohinoor. The diamond is also called the Mountain of Light diamond, and it’s known as one of the largest cut diamonds, weighing a whopping 105.6 carats. Koh-i-Noor is a colorless diamond and features an oval brilliant cut.
Its history is long and interesting; it was most likely mined in the Kollur Mine in India hundreds of years ago, and it changed several owners until it found its way to Queen Victoria. Many people believe the British people stole Koh-i-Noor from India.
Koh-i-Noor is believed to bring bad luck to men. Since the diamond arrived in the U.K., only female family members wore it. Today, Koh-i-Noor is one of the many diamonds featured in the Crown of the Queen Mother, making it a part of the British Crown Jewels. The diamond is considered priceless.
The Cullinan Diamond
Another diamond that is a part of the British Crown Jewels is the impressive Cullinan Diamond. Its price is estimated to be over $400 million making it one the worlds most expensive diamonds.
The Cullinan Diamond was mined in 1905 in the Cullinan mine in Africa. At the time of mining, the diamond weighed 3,106.75 carats. Although it was discovered more than 100 years ago, the stone remains the largest gem-quality rough diamond ever found.
This diamond was cut into several diamonds of varying sizes, the largest being Cullinan I. The diamond is also known as the Star of Africa and weighs approximately 530 carats. Today, the diamond is set in the Sovereign’s Sceptre with Cross, which has been used at every coronation since King Charles II’s in 1661. The diamond became a part of the scepter in 1910.
The Hope Diamond
The third most expensive diamond in the world is the Hope Diamond, also known as Le Bleu de France or “the French Blue.” Unlike the previous two diamonds, the Hope Diamond has a dark blue color due to the presence of boron. Although it’s not clear when exactly the diamond was mined, it’s assumed it was sometime during the 17th century, probably in the Kollur Mine.
This impressive diamond weighs around 45 carats and has an antique cushion cut. The Hope Diamond has changed owners numerous times throughout the centuries. Today, the diamond is located in the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History and has been a part of the museum’s collection since 1958. As one of the world’s most expensive diamonds, the Hope Diamond is worth around $350 million.
De Beers Centenary Diamond
The De Beers Centenary Diamond was mined in 1986 in the Premier Mine in South Africa. It’s the third largest diamond that originated from this mine, and it’s worth around $100 million. The diamond was named the Centenary because it was revealed at the De Beers Centennial Celebration in 1988. At the time, the diamond was presented in its rough form.
The 273.85-carat De Beers Centenary Diamond has the highest color grade (D), flawless clarity, and features a heart-shaped brilliant cut. Interestingly, nobody knows where this diamond is today. De Beers claims it no longer owns it, and the current owner remains unknown.
The Wittelsbach-Graff Diamond
The Wittelsbach Diamond was mined in the 17th century in the Kollur Mines in India. This deep blue diamond was sold to Laurence Graff in 2008. Two years later, Graff admitted he had the diamond cut to make it flawless and that it was now four carats lighter. Due to this, the diamond was renamed Wittelsbach-Graff.
The diamond weighs 31.06 carats and features an antique oval stellar brilliant cut. Its estimated worth is around $80 million.
The Pink Star Diamond
Another color diamond that has made this list is the Pink Star Diamond. The stone was mined in 1999 in South Africa by De Beers, and at the time, the diamond weighed 132.5 carats. Today, the diamond weighs 59.60 carats, making it the largest known vivid pink diamond.
Due to its breathtaking rarity, it took more than 20 months to have it cut to perfection. The diamond features a mixed oval brilliant cut; it has a step-cut crown and a brilliant-cut pavilion. In 2017, the diamond was auctioned and sold to Chow Tai Fook Enterprises for $71.2 million.
The Regent Diamond
The Regent Diamond was discovered at the end of the 17th century. There’s an interesting legend regarding its history.
It’s believed the diamond was discovered by a slave who worked in the Kollur Mine in India. After finding it, the slave hid the diamond in bandages from a wound on his leg. A British sea captain killed the slave, stole the diamond, and sold it to a merchant. Although it hasn’t been confirmed whether this is a true story, one thing is sure: the diamond has changed numerous owners throughout the years.
The Regent Diamond is a 140.64-carat, cushion cut, internally flawless diamond. It’s white but has a bluish fluorescence that makes it even more impressive. The diamond has been displayed in the Louvre since 1887 and is owned by the French state. It’s worth around $60 million which makes it worthy of being listed as one the top most expensive diamonds in the world.
The Graff Lesedi La Rona Diamond
The Graff Lesedi La Rona Diamond is the fourth-largest diamond ever found, weighing over 1,000 carats. It was discovered relatively recently compared to other diamonds on this list. The diamond was mined in Botswana in 2015. Two years later, the British jeweler Graff bought the rough diamond for around $53 million and cut it into a large diamond weighing 302.37 carats and 66 smaller diamonds. The largest diamond got the name Graff Lesedi La Rona and is one of the most expensive diamonds in the world.
This colorless white diamond features an emerald cut and high clarity. Per Graff, Lesedi La Rona is the highest-color, highest-clarity diamond the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) has ever graded.
The Oppenheimer Blue Diamond
This extremely rare fancy vivid blue diamond is nothing short of impressive. It got its name after one of its previous owners and a diamond connoisseur, Sir Philip Oppenheimer. The diamond weighs approximately 14.62 carats and features a rectangle (emerald) cut that highlights its beautiful color.
The Oppenheimer Blue Diamond was sold for $50.6 million in 2016, becoming one of the most expensive diamonds sold in an auction. This record was broken in 2017 by the Pink Star Diamond. It’s interesting that the identity of the purchaser still remains unknown.
The Winston Pink Legacy
The Pink Legacy Diamond was mined around 1918 in South Africa. It was owned by the Oppenheimer family (the family that ran De Beers) and sold to Harry Winston at a Christie’s auction in 2018. The diamond weighs 18.96 carats, has a rectangular cut, and features a breathtaking fancy vivid pink color.
Today, the diamond is mounted on a platinum ring and surrounded by two shield-cut colorless diamonds emphasizing its beautiful color. The diamond is worth around $50.3 million making it one of the world’s most expensive diamonds.
The Blue Moon of Josephine Diamond
The Blue Moon of Josephine was discovered in South Africa in 2014 and sold at an auction in Geneva in 2015. The diamond was bought by a Hong Kong billionaire and an avid art and diamond collector, Joseph Lau Luen-Hung. He named the diamond Josephine after his 7-year-old daughter.
This diamond weighs 12.03 carats, and many experts describe it as flawless. It has a cushion cut and an exquisite fancy vivid blue color. Its worth is around $48.4 million.
The Graff Pink Diamond
It’s not clear when or where the Graff Pink Diamond was discovered. The earliest records show that Harry Winston owned the diamond and sold it in the 1950s to an unknown collector. This collector had the diamond until the 2010s when Graff purchased it. Graff had the diamond polished, trimmed, and certified by the GIA.
This 24.78-carat diamond has a high color rating; GIA describes it as a fancy intense pink diamond, and its quality places it among the top 2% of the world’s diamonds. The diamond features an emerald cut and is worth approximately $46 million.
The Lesotho Legend Diamond
The Lesotho Legend Diamond was discovered in the Kingdom of Lesotho in Africa in 2018, and it’s the fifth-largest diamond ever found. The 910-carat diamond was retrieved by Gem Diamonds, which sold it for around $40 million to an unnamed buyer just a few months after its discovery.
Since it was sold, the diamond has vanished, and nobody knows its whereabouts. It’s only fair to assume that it will reappear sometime in the future, as every valuable diamond does.
The Princie Diamond
The Princie Diamond was discovered around 300 years ago in the Golconda Mines in India. It’s believed this 34.65-carat diamond is the fourth-largest pink diamond ever discovered.
The diamond features a cushion cut. The GIA describes its color as fancy intense pink, and it’s the largest diamond of this color ever graded by this institute. Another factor that makes the Princie Diamond special is its orangey-red fluorescence when exposed to UV light. The diamond was sold at an auction in 2013 for $39.3 million.
The Orange Diamond
Pure orange diamonds, also called fire diamonds, are extremely rare. Consequently, this diamond is the largest fancy vivid orange diamond ever found. It weighs 14.82 carats and has an impressive pear cut. Most orange diamonds are approximately four times smaller than this one, so you can understand why it’s so special.
Although its value was estimated at $21 million, the Orange Diamond sold for a whopping $35.5 million. Furthermore, this diamond set the world record for the highest price per carat for a colored diamond at the time.
The Sakura Diamond
Sakura means “cherry blossom” in Japanese, and the name depicts the diamond’s fascinating color. The Sakura Diamond was discovered in the Yakutia Mines in Russia, and it’s the largest pink diamond ever mined in this country.
The diamond weighed 27.8 carats when it was retrieved, but it was later cut to 15.81 carats. This unique diamond is graded as fancy vivid pink, and it sold for $29.3 million at an auction in 2022. The Sakura Diamond is the largest diamond of its color sold at auction.
The Winston Blue Diamond
There isn’t much information about the origin of the Winston Blue Diamond. The records show it was discovered in South Africa, but nobody knows the exact time and location. However, an unknown person sold this fancy vivid blue diamond at a Christie’s auction to Harry Winston Inc. in 2014. The diamond sold for $23.8 million.
At the time of the auction, the diamond was simply called “the Blue,” but the CEO of Harry Winston Inc. added “Winston” to it.
The Perfect Pink Diamond
As you can assume, the Perfect Pink Diamond got its name after its breathtaking color. Although we don’t know much about its history, one thing is sure: this diamond is impressive in many ways. Additionally, this diamond is one of only 18 pink diamonds that appeared at an auction. Moreover, the Perfect Pink Diamond is the only one graded as a fancy intense perfect pink diamond by the GIA.
The diamond was sold at an auction in 2010 when an unknown bidder paid $23.17 million for it.
The Archduke Joseph Diamond
The Archduke Joseph Diamond was discovered in the Golconda Mines in India and weighed 78.54 carats. It was later recut to 76.02 carats, improving its clarity and color. The Gemological Institute of America subsequently graded this diamond as colorless and internally flawless.
This impressive cushion-cut diamond was eventually sold to an unknown bidder for $21.5 million in 2012.
The Heart of Eternity Diamond
The Heart of Eternity Diamond was discovered in the Premier Mine in South Africa. It weighs 27.64 carats and features an exquisite fancy vivid blue color. The diamond has a wonderful heart shape, hence its name. It’s estimated the diamond is worth at least $16 million.
The current owner of this diamond is unknown. However, rumors indicate the diamond may have been bought by Floyd Mayweather.
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