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Famous Diamonds

Updated on October 22, 2011

Diamond is the hardest substance known and the ultimate gemstone in the world. In fact, it is even four times harder than the next hardest substance found in nature called corundum.

What makes diamond so special is its variety of colors. It can be of different colors like green, red, yellow and many more.

Its transparency makes it look even more beautiful. Following are few of the world’s most famous and historic diamonds.

The Great Star of Africa

The Star of Africa diamond is called Cullinan I. This diamond is the largest cut diamond in the world. This pear shaped diamond is of 530.20 Carats. It is placed in the tower of London in Royal Scepter with other jewels under the maximum security.

Nine large cut pieces of the Cullinan Diamond.
Nine large cut pieces of the Cullinan Diamond.

Cullinan I or Star of Africa diamond was cut from the largest diamond ever found called Cullinan. Cullinan was of 3,106 Carats.

It was found in 1095 in South Africa during the inspection of one of the mines. Cullian was cut into 96 brilliant cut stones.

It is and will always remain one of the most historic and famous diamonds ever.

An old illustration of The Koh-I-Noor's cut.
An old illustration of The Koh-I-Noor's cut.
Glass made copy of The Koh-I-Noor.
Glass made copy of The Koh-I-Noor.

The Koh-I-Noor

The meaning of Koh-I-Noor is mountain of light.

This diamond stays true to its name its one of the most beautiful cut gems in the world.

The Koh-I-Noor diamond is an oval cut gem. It is of 105.60 Carats.

It has the longest history among all the famous diamonds in the world. Its history is dated back to the year 1304.

In the sixteenth century it was captured by Moghuls it remained in their possession for a long time.

When the Persian Empire was broken it was brought to India. When Shah Jahan was murdered his body guard fled with this precious stone.

It was later offered to Ranjit Singh for their expected help of military assistance which never arrived.

When East India Company took control of India they claimed the diamond and later on presented it to Queen Victoria.

When the Koh-I-Noor diamond first came to England it weighed 1986 Carats, but was later delicately cut into a beautiful looking stone weighing 108.93 Carats.

It has been worn by various queens of England through out the last century.

Now it is kept in the tower of London with the other precious jewels.

An sketch of The Orloff diamond.
An sketch of The Orloff diamond.

The Orloff

The Orloff is a slightly bluish green diamond. It is extremely pure in clarity. Its origin is from India. The gem is placed in the Diamond treasury of Russia situated in Moscow. The diamond is placed under the maximum security.

The Orloff has a very interesting history. At first it was placed in the eyes of vishnu’s idol (Indian god) in one of the temples in India.

It was stolen from there by one French deserter, who was so frightened that he only stole one diamond from one eye and quickly sold it to one English Captain in madras.

After some time passed, the diamond later appeared in Amsterdam where it was bought by Russian count Grigori Orloff an ex-lover of Empress Catherine for the price of 90,000 pounds. He took the diamond back to Russia to win the heart of Catherine and gave it to Catherine. Since then the stone was being called as Orloff stone.

At the beginning of 19th century, Russians were afraid that Napoleon will enter Moscow and take away the diamond so they placed the Orloff in some priest’s tomb. However, Napoleon did discover the location of this diamond and came with a huge army, but just when he was about to touch Orloff, Napoleon and his army saw a ghost of priest who cursed his army and napoleon ran away with his army.

The Regent diamond.
The Regent diamond.

The Regent

The Regent diamond weighs 140.50 Carats and although it weighs lesser than other famous diamonds, the beautiful and fine cutting of Regent diamond give it an edge over other diamonds.

It was discovered in India in 1698. In 1717 the governor of Madras, Thomas Pitt sold it to the Regent for the French crown.

It became the beauty of the crown of Louis XV at his coronation in 1722. Nowadays it can be seen at Louvre in Paris. 

The Idol’s Eye

The idols eye is a pear shaped stone. It weighs 70.20 Carats. This famous diamond was once stolen from the eye of an idol.


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    • H P Roychoudhury profile image

      H P Roychoudhury 7 years ago from Guwahati, India

      Diamond is hard and hardest of all materials. Our scientists have given us the clue as because atoms of Carbon have a unique position in compare to all atoms of known element. Because of its easy structural capacity, it is the only micro particle gets united to build a material hardest of all. But yet it is a subject open for further study. Thanks for a remarkable article.