Most of the ones that are shown are small in size, but these impressive jewels stand out for their carats
Objectively, the extraordinary value of diamonds in luxury jewelry is beyond any possible debate, especially when it comes to some of its highly rare varieties, such as red diamonds or pink diamonds. Both products of an unlikely combination of geophysical circumstances. However, if there is something that triggers its value even more, it is its size. A factor that is calculated by specialists in carats, the unit of measurement that quantifies the weight of these precious stones, equivalent to 200 milligrams.
Jewels with diamonds between one and three carats are usually the most common, in fact, in this range is the recommendation of experts when choosing an engagement ring, for example. However, throughout history some unique pieces have been discovered due to their size that have risen directly to fame, these are the 12 largest diamonds in the world. With the exception of one case, which will be detailed, its carat size corresponds to its raw form. Or what is the same, their original weight when discovered, before going through the carving processes that would turn them into finished pieces of jewelry and with a lower weight.
Cullinan diamond, 3,106 carats
The largest and most famous diamond in recorded history is the Cullinan diamond, also called the South Star, with a rough weight of 3,106 carats. It was the birthday present of the English king Edward VII in 1906, after being discovered in the South African town of Cullinan, where the Sir Thomas Cullinan mine was located.
After ordering the carving of the precious stone, more than one hundred diamonds of different sizes were obtained. Therefore, they were named according to their carats, with the Cullinan I – 530.20 carats – and the Cullinan II – 317.40 carats – being the largest and later becoming part of the British crown jewels. The first of these was set in the scepter of the Cross, while the Cullinan II belongs to the Imperial State Crown. Both pieces are currently on display at the Tower of London museum.
Sewelo diamond, 1,758 carats
The mining company Lucara Diamond made a unique find in April 2019, a diamond of no more and no less than 1,758 carats, the largest since the discovery of the Cullinan more than a century ago. A year later, the French luxury brand Louis Vuitton surprised with its acquisition, months after adding to its parent group, LVMH, the emblematic Tiffany & Co. The gem, known as the Sewelo diamond, was in its rough state, therefore, the cutting and polishing tasks will be carried out by HB Company.
Lesedi La Rona Diamond, 1,109 carats
Today considered the largest square-cut diamond in existence, the Lasedi La Rona, discovered in the Lucara Karowe mine in 2015, in the African country of Botswana, was purchased in 2019 by Graff jewelry and renamed the Graff Lasedi La diamond. Scab. Its cost was 59.5 million euros, due to its weight and its excellent color clarity, of the highest quality. Its rough size was 1,109 carats, which became 302.37 once it was cut and polished. In addition, 66 more precious stones were obtained from the original piece.
Botswana diamond, 1,098 carats
From the same region of the planet comes the fourth largest diamond in the world and of recent discovery, which took place on June 1, 2021. We are talking about the Botswana diamond with a size of 1,098 carats. Found at the Karowe mine in the north-east of the country, the gem is jointly owned by the local government and diamond dealer De Beers.
Excelsior diamond, 995.20 carats
It was considered the largest diamond between 1893, when it was discovered, and until 1905, when the Cullinan diamond made its appearance. The Excelsior diamond is the fifth largest currently mined in the Jagersfontein Valley of South Africa, with a total gross weight of 995.20 carats. Although, once polished, as is often the case with these extraordinarily large pieces, it split into several gems.
Millennium Diamond, 777 carats
More than three years was the necessary time that was invested in cutting and polishing the Millennium Star diamond, one of the largest that has been found with its 777 rough carats. It was found in 1989, in the Mbuji-Mayi district of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and became the property of the specialist diamond company De Beers. Once the cutting processes were completed, the gem had 203.04 carats. In addition to its excellent color quality, one of its most relevant characteristics is its pear shape.
L’Incomparable Diamond, 890 carats
The history of the L’incomparable diamond is surprising to say the least, one of the world’s largest and most unusual diamonds was found in the garbage by a girl. The event took place in the 1980s, in the Republic of the Congo. In addition to its weight, 890 carats in the rough, the L’incomparable diamond stands out for its color: an intense and brilliant yellow qualified by specialists as perfect. Once carved and polished, its 407 carat egg-shaped was incorporated into a necklace by Mouawad jewelry, surrounded by other white diamonds and rose gold. The piece was listed in 2012 by the Guinness Book of Records as the most expensive necklace in history.
Centennial Diamond, 599.10 carats
Another of the largest diamonds in the world is the Centennial diamond, extracted at the Premier mine in Transvaal, South Africa, in 1986. The master carver Gabi Tolkowsky was in charge of carving its 599.10 carats to achieve an extraordinary gem of 273 .85 carats and 247 facets, that is, the flat surfaces that make up the diamond after its cut. A feature that adds complexity and exclusivity to the gemstone.
Regent Diamond, 410 carats
If the English crown has the largest diamond found among its crown jewels, the French royal family has what would currently be the ninth largest diamond in the world. The Regent diamond belongs to the Crown of France, exhibited in the Louvre museum, which was worn by King Louis XV when he ascended the throne. Although it was also worn by Napoleon I on the hilt of his sword and by Empress Eugénie on a diadem. Its discovery dates back to India in the year 1698.
Taylor-Burton diamond, 241 carats
The Taylor-Burton diamond, which weighed 241 carats when it was found in 1966 in a South African mine, is named after its former owners: the legendary actress Elizabeth Taylor (“Cat on a Hot Tin Roof”) and the actor Richard Burton (“The Holy Robe”), who gave it to the first. The first appearance of the actress with the gem happened on the birthday of Princess Grace of Monaco.
Orlov diamond, 189.62 carats
The Orlov diamond presents the most particular cut of the largest diamonds that exists, since it is a unique egg shape cut in half. This diamond, weighing 189.62 carats already cut, is part of the exclusive jewelry collection of the Russian Kremlin. The first data of its existence date back to the eighteenth century and its origin is located in the Indian mines of the time. Empress Catherine the Great wore the Orlov diamond in the Imperial Sceptre.
Koh-i-Noor diamond, 108 carats
The 108 carat Koh-i-Noor diamond makes it one of the largest diamonds ever found, originating from India and currently on display at the Tower of London museum. The history of this jewel is extensive, since it had all kinds of historical personalities as owners since before the 14th century. Beginning with the Islamic Khilji dynasty, which dominated the present-day New Delhi region. It even reached the Mughal emperor, Shah Jahan, known for being the promoter of the construction of the Taj Mahal. Until finally it became part of the English crown and the current Queen Elizabeth.