DiamondsGemstone Education

10 Largest Diamonds in the World

If you were asked to name a famous diamond, which would spring to mind first? For a lot of people, it would be the notoriously cursed but beautiful Hope Diamond. That blue diamond is quite large, but at 42.52 carats, it doesn’t even make this list. In fact, many of the world’s most famous diamonds are not actually among the largest.

Let’s start with the 10th largest diamond and then count down toward the world’s biggest. Even the “smallest” one on our list is more than 200 carats—more than four times the size of the Hope Diamond!

  1. The Millennium Star Diamond: 203.04 carats

This pear-shaped diamond is owned by De Beers, and is the second largest Grade D Colorless diamond in the world. It was mined in Zaire in 1990, cut from a stone which was originally a whopping 777 carats. It went on display at the De Beers Millennium diamond collection in October 1999. Its value was insured for £100,000,000.

  1. The Red Cross Diamond: 205.07 carats

Only marginally larger than the Millennium Star Diamond, the cushion-shaped Red Cross diamond is a yellow gemstone discovered in South Africa’s Kimberly mines in 1901. There is a Maltese cross in the top facet, and the diamond was also presented by De Beers as a gift in 1918 to an art sale. The gift was given on the behalf of the Order of St. John and the British Red Cross—thus the diamond’s name.

  1. The De Beers Diamond: 234.65 carats

De Beers is all over this list! This diamond was also discovered in the Kimberly mines, but in 1888. The original stone weighed 428.5 carats before it was cut. The diamond’s value is unknown. It was best known as the centerpiece of the Patiala Necklace, designed by the House of Cartier in 1928.

  1. The Jubilee Diamond: 245.35 carats

This diamond was cut from a stone which originally weighed 650.80 carats. It was found in South Africa in the Jagersfontein Mine. The cushion-shaped diamond was previously known as the Reitz Diamond. In 1897, it was renamed to the Jubilee Diamond to honor Queen Victoria, who took the throne that year.

  1. The Centenary Diamond: 273.85 carats

This diamond was discovered in July of 1986 in the Premier Mine, and is the third largest diamond to have come from that mine. The original stone was 599 carats before Gabi Tolkowsky and his team cut it to the shape and size it is now. As of right now, no one is sure where the Centenary Diamond is or who owns it, but in 1991, it was insured for $100 million, which gives you some idea as to its incredible value.

  1. The Spirit of De Grisogono Diamond: 312.24 carats

Now we are finally in the over-300 carats range! This large diamond is also the world’s biggest cut black diamond. The gemstone weighed 587 carats before it was cut, and was discovered in Central Africa. Fawaz Gruosi handled the cutting job in Switzerland. After the gemstone was cut, it was placed in a white gold ring with 702 white diamonds all around the band. These diamonds on their own add up to 36.69 carats. Right now, the stone’s owner and value are unknown.

  1. The Cullinan II Diamond: 317.4 carats

This diamond is just slightly larger than the Spirit of De Grisogono. It is typically known as the Cullinan II, but is also called the Lesser Star of Africa. As the fourth largest polished diamond on the planet, it was discovered in the Premier Diamond in South Africa, and was named for Sir Thomas Cullinan, the mine’s founder.

This is the same mine where the Centenary Diamond was discovered. This flawless diamond features breathtaking clarity, and is recognizable as the central diamond of the Imperial State Crown of Great Britain.

Just how much is the Lesser Star of Africa worth? Its exact value is unknown, but is believed to be in the neighborhood of $200 million. The Cullinan II may be the “Lesser” Star of Africa, but you certainly would not think that when you see it!

  1. The Incomparable Diamond: 407.48 carats

Well, the golden-hued “Incomparable” Diamond may not really be incomparable—there are a couple of diamonds even larger on this list, but there is no denying that its weight is astonishing. Interestingly enough, it wasn’t excavated from a mine. It was actually found by a child who was playing in a pile of rubble by her uncle’s house in the town of Mbuji Mayi in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Amusingly enough, this particular pile of rubble did come from the MIBA Diamond Mine, which was located nearby. The pile was however dumped as worthless, because excavators believed it was too bulky to contain any diamonds.

When the girl discovered the incredible diamond, she gave it to her uncle. He in turn sold it to local dealers, and from there it was passed on to a group of purchasers from Lebanon. Finally, it was bought by De Beers in Antwerp, and from there, it was passed to the Zale Corporation.

In 1984, as part of the 75th anniversary of Zale, the diamond was unveiled to the world. In its original rough cut form, the diamond weighed 890 carats, and was already astonishingly clear and beautiful. The final form features a gold ornament with several small white diamonds.

  1. The Cullinan I: 530.20 carats

Previously we talked about the Cullinan II, the Lesser Star of Africa. This stone is the other which was cut from the original Cullinan diamond. Before it was split into the Cullinan I and the Cullinan II, the Cullinan Diamond was 3,106 carats! That is just an absolutely huge diamond.

The Cullinan I, the Star of Africa, is a D-graded colorless diamond. Its color is almost perfectly and completely white. How much is it worth? If you wanted to purchase this amazing precious gemstone, you would need to be able to shell out around $400 million.

  1. The Golden Jubilee Diamond: 547.67 carats

This diamond shouldn’t be confused with the Jubilee Diamond, which is totally different in size and appearance. This was another one which was excavated from the famous Premier mine in South Africa. Gabriel Tolkowsky, who also cut the Centenary diamond from the same mine, cut the Golden Jubilee to its current size. He described the cut as a “fire rose cushion cut.”

It is generally considered to be a yellow-brown stone, though in some lighting, it looks almost like burnt orange. The color is very rich. The diamond was presented to the King of Thailand in 1997 in honor of his Golden Jubilee, the 50th year of his reign. Before that, the Golden Jubilee has the rather unfitting name “Unnamed Brown.” This is truly an amazing diamond!

Now you know all about the largest diamonds in the world. It is astounding how many of these diamonds were excavated from the same few mines, or even cut from the same original stone. It is also astounding when you think about it just how much larger many of these diamonds were in their uncut form.

Cutting a diamond is a wonderful way to bring out its sparkle and shine, but it also removes a great deal of weight. It takes a true artist to preserve as much of the original size as possible while still creating that sparkling diamond glamour.

Gem Coach

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