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The Allnatt Diamond

Updated on April 16, 2012
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Rebecca Graf is a seasoned writer with nearly a decade of experience and degrees in accounting, history, and creative writing.

The Allnatt Diamond
The Allnatt Diamond

Diamonds with unknown origins always seem to possess a sense of mystery about them. So many tales could be written. The Allnatt diamond appeared on the world scene in the 1950s, yet no one knows where or when it was mined or who found it. What we do know is what has happened since then.

Current Allnatt Diamond Setting
Current Allnatt Diamond Setting


The Allnatt Diamond is currently 101.29 (102.07 carats when Allnatt purchased it) and labeled a fancy yellow. Its cut is the cushion style. The exact carat when it was mined is not known as it was purchased by Major Alfred Allnatt already cut and ready to be displayed in a magnificent setting.

The cushion setting can either be square or rectangle. In the case of the Allnatt Diamond, it is square with rounded edges and stepped sides creating extra facets than a standard square. Today, it is not just a yellow diamond. It is a diamond nestled in platinum and diamond encrusted petals to form an exquisite and expensive brooch.

Public Domain View of Kimberley Mine
Public Domain View of Kimberley Mine


The origin of the Allnatt Diamond is not known. From the characteristics of the diamond, many experts feel that the diamond originated from South Africa, specifically the De Beers Premier Diamond Mine. As the diamond mines began to get heavily active in the late 1800s, many yellow diamonds were found. It is assumed that the Allnatt Diamond was found during this time period and cut to its present shape and weight before it was purchased sometime in the 1950s by Englishman, Major Allnatt.

It was in 1966 that the Allnatt Diamond found itself on the world market. A Hong Kong company bought it for over $3 million. The new owners saw potential in the stone that was ignored or not seen by Allnatt and gemologists. The company cut the diamond down just short of another carat allowing the brilliant color to be exposed to more intensity.

It has been on display at the Smithsonian and other locations as part of a much larger diamond collection.

Present Day Kimberley Mine
Present Day Kimberley Mine | Source
De Beers Mine
De Beers Mine | Source

South African Mines

Not all diamonds come from South Africa, but a vast majority do. Some originate from India, South America, North America, and Asia. But the South African ones are the most active and most well-known.

The majority of yellow diamonds have been found in the Kimberley and De Beers mines. The Kimberley is the largest of the mines and is nicknamed “The Big Hole”. Why? Because it is a huge hole in the ground that is man-made. The actual depth of it cannot be seen in pictures as it has been filled in with debris and water.

The De Beers Premier Diamond mine is the one that most assume the Allnatt Diamond was found it, but no prove has actually been found. This is an underground mine that has produced other famous diamonds such as the Cullinan Diamond which later on the mine’s name was changed to the Cullinan mine.

Most of the South African mines are still working today though the output is considerably less than it was in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Political tension also makes diamond mining hazardous and deadly. Some African countries are mining diamonds to fund their wars and murders of dissidents. These diamonds have been labeled ‘Blood Diamonds’ and are avoided by many consumers.

Yellow Diamonds

Many people think erroneously that yellow diamonds are cheap diamonds or that they are made within labs. Actually, yellow diamonds occur in the lab and in nature though the ones in nature are much more rare. The presence of nitrogen is what gives a diamond its yellow appearance. The more vivid the yellow, the more nitrogen present at formation as the intense heat and pressure from the volcano presses on the carbon object, such as coal.

Very few natural diamonds have been found to be large in carat weigh and with such vivid yellow. That makes the ones that are found, such as the Allnatt Diamond, very expensive.


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    • Paradise7 profile image

      Paradise7 5 years ago from Upstate New York

      Awesome diamond! I like the blue better, though this one also seems HUGE! Thanks for a very interesting article.