Koh-i-Noor (‘Mountain of Light’)
Koh-i-Noor means ‘Mountain of Light in Urdu and is an appropriate name for this astonishing diamond. The first mentions of the Koh-i-Noor date back as far as 1304 and at this time the diamond is said to have had a carat weight of 186. It was once the biggest known diamond in the world and has been owned by various Indian and Persian rulers. The famous jewel originated as an oval cut stone from India. It became a part of the British Crown Jewels during the reign of Queen Victoria and was re-cut to 105.60 carats. It is now set in the Queen Mother’s crown which is kept in the Jewel House in the Tower of London.
The largest piece of gem diamond rough ever found, the Cullinan was discovered in 1905 at the Premier mine in South Africa. It weighed an extraordinary 3106ct and was cut into 9 major stones and 96 smaller stones. The largest is a pear-shaped stone of 530.20 carats with 74 facets. It is often referred to as the ‘Great Star of Africa’ and is now set in the Sovereign’s Sceptre. The second largest stone, a cushion shape cut of 317.40 carats is set in the Imperial State Crown. The stones make up part of the British Crown Jewels and are located in the Tower of London.
The Hope Diamond is an antique cushion cut of 45.52 carats. The blue diamond is believed to have originated in India. The stone is often referred to as ‘the Blue of France’ due to its history in the country. The Hope diamond is a rare Type IIb diamond and
exhibits a red glow under SW ultra violet. It is part of a collection at the Smithsonian Natural History Museum in Washington D.C.
Originally known as the Pitt Diamond the Regent was reportedly discovered by a slave in the Kollur mine in India, 1698. It is a cushion shaped stone of 140.50ct and weighed 410ct in its rough form. It was sold to the Duke of Orleans, then the Regent of France in 1717. The spectacular diamond was set in various French crowns and is now on display at the Louvre Museum.
Considered one of the most famous stones in the world, the Sancy Diamond has had a long and interesting history. The pale yellow stone was once a part of the British and the French Crown Jewels. The 55.23ct double rose cut stone is now located in the Apollo Gallery at the Louvre Museum in Paris, France.
The Eureka Diamond was the first authentic diamond discovery made in South Africa. It is thought that the discovery took place around 1867-1968. The precise date is unclear as there are several versions of the event. The Eureka Diamond weighed 21.25ct in the rough and was cut into a cushion shaped stone weighing 10.73ct. It has a yellow tint.
Star of South Africa
The Star of South Africa also known as the Dudley Diamond is a white diamond discovered by a shepherd in 1869. It originally weighed 83.5 carats and had a cut weight of 47.69ct. It is thought that the discovery of the oval diamond may have spurred the Kimberly diamond rush in South Africa.
The Dresden Green Diamond is kept in the New Green Vault in Dresden Castle, Germany. It is a pear-shaped stone of 41ct and is a natural green colour. It is thought to have come from India and is believed to have reached Europe in the 1720s.
The Shah is a partially polished light yellowish diamond from India. It has a weight of 88.70 and bears the engraved names of three part owners. It is located in the Kremlin, Russia.
The Tiffany Diamond is a golden yellow cushion cut stone from South Africa with a weight of 128.51ct. It was named after the famous Fifth Avenue New York jewellers.
The Centenary Diamond is a modified heart shaped D colour internally flawless diamond. It weighs 273.85 carats. Found in 1986 at the Premier Mine, South Africa, it was cut from rough weighing 599ct. It has 247 facets, 164 on the crown and pavilion and 83 on the girdle.
The De Beers Millennium Star is a classic pear shaped D Colour Flawless diamond, weighing 203 carats. It originated in Zaire and had a rough weight of 777ct.
The rough diamond of 755.50ct was found in 1985 at the Premier Mine, South Africa. The diamond is so called because of its golden yellow colour and its royal significance. The Golden Jubilee is a rose cushion shape of 545.65ct and was given to King Bhumipol by the people of Thailand to celebrate his reign of 50 years.
A beautiful pink stone weighing 54.5ct in the rough was discovered in 1947 at the Mwadui mine, Tanzania. The diamond was named after geologist Dr John Williamson, the owner of the mine. Williamson presented the stone to Princess Elizabeth on the occasion of her wedding. It was cut as a round brilliant stone of 23.60ct and set in a diamond flower spray brooch designed by Frederick Mew of Cartier.
The Taylor-Burton Diamond is a D colour flawless 69.42ct pear shape stone. It was discovered in 1966 at the Premier Mine, South Africa. Originally 240.80ct in the rough, it was given to Dame Elizabeth Taylor by her husband Richard Burton.