Throughout history there have been some stunning diamonds – sometimes these have been loose and sometimes they have been featured in diamond engagement rings and in diamond necklaces. Here are the top 5 diamonds in history.
1. Koh-i-Noor – Once called the largest diamond in the world, which contains 105 carats and weighs in at 21.6 grams, the Koh-i-Noor is referred to as ‘Mountain of Light’. It has been the subject of many warring kingdoms, with the Mughals, Hindus, Persian, Sikh, Afghan, and British rulers fighting over ownership. When Queen Victoria was named Empress of India in 1877, the Koh-i-Noor became part of the British Crown Jewels.
2. Darya-ye Noor – The Darya-ye Noor diamond, referred to as the Ocean of Light is 182 carats and weighs about 36 grams. It is noted by its elegant pink color. It is believed to be a most phenomenal diamond. The Darya-ye Noor belongs to the Iranian Crown Jewels and is currently on display at the Central Bank of Iran, located in Tehran.
Nader Shah invaded Delhi, taking control of the city and slaughtering nearly all of its citizens. In exchange for the return of the crown, he plundered the entire treasury, which included the Darya-ye Noor, the Koh-i-noor, and the Peacock throne. He took all the treasure back to Iran with him, where the Darya-ye Noor still remains to this very day.
3. The Great Star of Africa – This diamond is by no doubt one of the biggest rough diamonds ever discovered. Its massive size is over 3 thousand carats (3,106.75 carats) with a weight of 621.35 grams. Discovered in South Africa in 1905, that one diamond was cut into 105 separate gems. The Cullinan diamond was named after the owner of the mine, one Mr. Cullinan.
The most sizable cut is a 530 carat diamond that was named the Great Star of Africa. It was reported that King Edward VII of England acquired this diamond in 1907 when it was set into the Royal Scepter. Although some think it may have disappeared, it remains safely stowed away in the Tower of London where the rest of the British Crown Jewels.
4. The Sancy Diamond- The Sancy Diamond features a pear shaped cut at 55 carats. The first owner of this exquisitely crafted diamond was the Duke of Burgundy; however he lost possession of the diamond during a 1477 fight. Later Seigneur de Sancy, the French Ambassador to Turkey obtained possession of it. The diamond was actually named after him.
Numerous royals including Henry III as well as Henry IV of France borrowed the diamond from Sancy. Henry III wore it in a cap in order to conceal his baldness. The diamond was eventually sold to James I of England in 1664. During the French Revolution, it disappeared along with its last owner, James II. It is thought that he ended up in Paris as the last of the Stuart kings of England. He was also believed to have the diamond in his possession.
5. The Spoonmaker’s Diamond – The Spoonmaker’s Diamond is also known as the pride of Topkapi Palace Museum and is considered to be of the highest value of the Imperial Treasury exhibit with its pear cut shape, 86 carats, and 17 gram weight. Many different stories are floating around that are associated with the Spoonmaker’s Diamond.
One of the best stories illustrates an Istanbul fisherman discovering an unknown shiny diamond. Later, he visited a jewelry store to have it appraised; he identified the diamond as glass and traded it for three spoons, which the fisherman gladly accepted; happy with his treasure, he left the jewelry store. This is the origin of the Spoonmaker’s Diamond’s name.