The Seven Most Famous Diamonds in the World
The Cullinan is the largest cut diamond in the world. It was found in South Africa and was named for the owner of the mining company.
The Cullinan diamond was 3106 carats, and was cut into 105 stunning diamonds. The largest was named the "Star of Africa" and is 530 carats by itself. In 1907 this diamond was given to King Edward VII of England, and set into the Royal Scepter. It is kept, along with the other Crown Jewels, safely in the Tower of London.
The Cullinan II is 317.40 carats. The color is white and is the cushion-shaped diamond in the center-front of the Imperial State Crown of Great Britain. It is also in the Tower of London with the British Crown Jewels.
The Dresden Green Diamond is 41 carats; it is a fancy green diamond, and a very rare type diamond of extraordinary quality. It gets its name from the city of Saxony where it had been on display for 200 years. The Dresden Green is now on display at the Albertinium Museum in Dresden.
The Hope Diamond is 45.52 carats, is a fancy blue diamond, and is in the Smithsonian Institute. According to legend, a curse was placed on the large, blue diamond after it was stolen from an idol in India. Whether you believe in curses or not, the diamond has had a fascinating past - it was owned by King Louis XIV, stolen during the French Revolution, sold to pay gambling debts, owned and worn almost daily by an American heiress, sold and worn to raise money for charity, and finally donated to the Smithsonian Museum.
The Kohinoor is 108.93 carats, white and is located in the Tower of London. As with many of the most famous diamonds, there is a curse of death and destruction attached to it. Its name means "Mountain of Light" and legend has it that it actually comes from another diamond also rife with legend, called the "Great Mogul" which was said to have weighed 244 carats and mysteriously disappeared in 1665. The Kohinoor was owned by the first sultan of Mogul, and passed down through generations, until it was given to Queen Victoria. It was recut and now rests in the crown of Queen Elizabeth.
The Orloff is 189.62 carats. It is thought to have weighed about 300 carats when it was discovered. For a while, it was confused with the Great Mogul diamond. One of the legends of the Orloff is that it was set in the eye of a god statue in the temple of Sri Rangen, and stolen by a French soldier dressed up like a Hindu. He is said to have escaped by swimming down a raging river during a storm. It was eventually sold to Prince Gregory Orloff. In an attempt to win back her heart, he gave it to Catherine the Great, who collected lovers and precious gems with equal passion. She had the diamond mounted on top of the double eagle in the Imperial scepter. It is in the Russian Diamond Fund, Moscow.
The Taylor-Burton Diamond is a 69 carat pear-shaped white diamond that was originally called the "Cartier Diamond" after the jeweler paid $1,050,000 for it at an auction. Richard Burton purchased it the day after the auction for Elizabeth Taylor. She later renamed it the Taylor-Burton diamond. Ms. Taylor wore the diamond publicly at a party for Princess Grace's 40th birthday party in Monaco. She sold the diamond in 1978 and used the funds to build a hospital in Botswana. The diamond was later purchased by Robert Mouawad.