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Famous Diamonds

Agra Diamond

Like many historical diamonds, the Agra’s saga is a familiar combination of fact and legend, leaving the reader with the challenging task of choosing what is indeed its true story. Regardless, the Agra diamond’s travel through time is an interesting mixture that...

Akbar Shah Diamond

Unfortunately, the history of famous diamonds is not without its list of casualties. In this category are those magnificent stones that somehow could not escape the fate of enduring such calamities as an uneducated owner, an untalented or unscrupulous gem cutter, an...

Archduke Joseph Diamond

This stone enjoys the distinction of being the twelfth largest “perfect” diamond in the world. Named for a military man of royal blood, this diamond followed a long history of courting danger, yet, like its longest-tenured owner, was lucky enough to survive two world...

Arcots

ARCOTS – A Pair of Diamonds They began their existence as nature had made them; two beautiful pear-shaped diamonds. Their brilliance was of such magnitude that they would be owned by the royal families of three countries. Ownership would take them from Arcot, located...

Banjarmasin Diamond

One could rightfully call this stone the Rodney Dangerfield of diamonds. Almost from the moment of its discovery, this diamond has gotten positively no respect from the jewelry world. Even after it was cut in an attempt to make it more marketable the newly sized...

Beau Sancy

This diamond's name is taken from its first recorded French owner, Nicolas Harlay de Sancy, a fancier of fine gems who just happened to be King Henri IV’s exceptionally talented Minister of Finance. With de Sancy’s name already attached to another larger diamond in...

Brunswick Blue

To paraphrase Charles Dickens, this is a tale of two diamonds. Purportedly cut from the same stone that produced the Hope Diamond, this diamond’s path through history turned out quite differently from its alleged famous sibling. Shrouded in mystery, this diamond’s...

Cleveland Diamond

If ever fate has lent a hand in determining the course of a diamond's story, it is this one. Just a few seemingly random events combined to influence its path through history, including a beginning that would have been much different, had its original owners not...

Cullinan Diamond

It was the late afternoon of January 25, 1905. Employees at the Premier Diamond Mine in the British African colony of Transvaal were finishing up for the day when their routine was shattered by an animated worker hurriedly approaching the mine superintendent,...

Darya-ye-Noor Diamond

Darya-ye-Noor Diamond. Darya-ye-Noor, translating “river of light” or “sea of light”, is the product of an undocumented – but what some might call happy- accident. The Darya-ye-Noor is believed to be a major portion of the fabled Great Table Diamond discovered in the...

Dresden Green

The Dresden Green Diamond in its Setting. Labeled as the greatest example of a naturally green colored diamond, the Dresden Green survives today because of the preparedness of its former owners and a healthy combination of good timing and luck. It survived in a region...

Eugénie Diamond

Believed to be of Brazilian origin, this much-traveled diamond has not only changed hands many times, it’s also one of the few diamonds to successfully change its name. Its history is that familiar tale of royal ownership highlighted by all the perils, passion and...

Excelsior Diamond

June 30, 1893, appeared to be just another day at the Jagersfontein Mine in South Africa until a worker, performing the mundane task of shoveling dirt into a truck, made the startling discovery of a rough, magnificent looking diamond. Fearing that reporting his find...

Florentine Diamond

Studying the history of this diamond is an exercise that will challenge even the most talented detective. Almost everything about this diamond’s story – from its origins to its current whereabouts – is up for debate. Those attempting to uncover the true story will...

Golden Jubilee

If you record size as the number one trait in judging the importance of a diamond then this stone would top your list. In its polished form this diamond outweighs its closest competitor, the massive Cullinan I, by a full 15 carats! A diamond of this magnitude...

Great Mogul Diamond

This is the kind of story that would make a great Indiana Jones movie – solving the mystery of the Great Mogul Diamond. Its last owner murdered, the famed gem has not been seen for centuries and to this day its whereabouts remain unknown. Still, theories swirl about...

Hastings Diamond

If ever there was a famous diamond named for a certified scoundrel, it’s the Hastings Diamond. Using this gem as a tool to enhance his questionable reputation, politically blindside his unsuspecting King, and throw a country into turmoil, this diamond’s namesake,...

Hope Diamond

Thievery, royalty, revolution, gambling, eccentricity, mystery and curses are all part of the spectacular and storied past that is the famous - and infamous - Hope Diamond. Weighing in at 45.52 carats, this type IIb, dark blue stone's condition is reportedly flawless....

Hortensia Diamond

It seems each famous diamond has some kind of mystery attached to it, usually involving the location of its discovery, the identity of the discoverer, or a contested ownership. With the Hortensia diamond, the mystery lies in its name. Not as in who it was named after...

Idol’s Eye Diamond

Like many of its contemporaries, the Idol’s Eye diamond possesses an early history that combines a rich mixture of legend, myth, mystery, fabrication and perhaps just enough truth to make its story interesting and, to some extent, possible. Tales of idol worship,...

Kazanjian Red

Kazanjian Red Diamond.©Tino Hammid, Los Angeles This stone belongs to an extremely small – and select - group of diamonds. It is one of only three red diamonds known to exist in the world today weighing in at 5 carats or more. Its rarity makes putting a value on it a...

Koh-i-Noor Diamond

The Fabled Koh-i-Noor Diamond Like other famous gems, the Koh-i-Noor diamond has its share of mystery, intrigue, and curses attached to its long history. This gem has the unusual distinction of never being sold, only won in the course of bloody rebellions,...

Le Grand Condé

Louis II de Bourbon - aka le Grand Condé If there was an award for the most gaps in a historical diamond’s story, Le Grand Condé would lead the competition. Its discovery is unrecorded. Much of its travel through time cannot be authenticated. It’s very likely it was...

Mazarins

This diamond story is an unusual one. In most instances, a name is attached to one or perhaps two diamonds but in this case, Mazarins refers to a group of 18 stones! Then there is the diamonds’ namesake -- an unusual character with an even more unusual career path. An...

Mirror of Portugal

Owners of this stone ranged from the tenacious to the hapless, the romantic to the cunning. This diamond helped persuade a Queen to risk her fleet, a king to satisfy the love pangs of his son, another King to go into hoc, a Duke to risk his wealth, an Italian turned...

Nassak

This particular stone could be the reason for the cliché “diamond in the rough.” During its early history, this stone gains a reputation of underwhelming its observers - especially for a diamond of its impressive size. This disappointment in its beauty plagues the...

Orlov Diamond

Perhaps there is no famous diamond with a more disputed history than that of the Orlov. Through the passage of time so many stories and legends have attached themselves to this impressive stone that separating fact from fiction has become an impossible task. Even its...

Penthièvre

It is a diamond not as well known as its contemporaries. It is somewhat of an anomaly, for through its rich French history of royal ownership it has the unusual distinction of never being used as collateral, offered as a gift, or used as part of some military,...

Pigot Diamond

With apologies to Charles Dickens, this diamond’s story could be entitled the “Tale of Two Diamonds” for its history diverges more than once into unconfirmed, but interesting, parallel stories. Wrapped around established facts, these stories make the Pigot Diamond...

Queen of Holland

As diamonds go this one is pretty impressive, not only because of its size but because of its renowned quality. This story is somewhat unique because its history is devoid of the usual tales of mystery owners, the clandestine changing of hands, long absences from...

Regent Diamond

This magnificent gem has generated enough fodder to churn out a series of pulp fiction novels. Its travel through history is intertwined with theft, murder, intrigue, a lost reputation, revolution, a World War and perhaps even a curse. It all begins in 1701 as a slave...

Sancy Diamond

Diamonds tend to be described in such glowing terms as “beautiful,” “exquisite,” or “impressive.” The Sancy is that rare gem that carries more unorthodox labels such as “versatile” and “entertaining.” Versatile because documentation shows it being used for a variety...

Shah Diamond

Imagine a diamond where the reader is not faced with the challenge of trying to separate fact from fiction when researching its history. Such is the case of the Shah Diamond. A rarity in the gem world, this famed Golconda diamond, once part of the Persian jewel...

Shah Jehan Table-Cut

By any gemological standard, the Shah Jahan Table-Cut Diamond is one impressive stone. Like many of its contemporaries, this diamond has gone through periods of time when it has disappeared from public view leaving its owners unknown. Yet, this legendary stone’s...

Wittelsbach

The Wittelsbach-Graff Diamond.Image Courtesy of Christie's Images, 2008 It’s that rare diamond that could match its color to the blue-blood of its various royal owners. It’s been used as part of a dowry and as collateral for a loan. In the early 1960s, the Wittelsbach...