Special Report

The 15 Biggest Diamonds Ever Discovered

Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

15. Golden Jubilee Diamond
> Weight: 755.50 carats (5.3 oz)
> Mine found: Premier Mine, Cullinan, South Africa
> When: 1985

Discovered at the same South African mine that yielded the spectacular Cullinan Diamond (see No. 1) 80 years earlier, the diamond that became known as the Golden Jubilee was only the 15th largest stone found in the rough state, but it was turned into the world’s largest cut and faceted diamond. Blessed by Pope John II, it was bought by a group of Thai businessmen in 1995 and presented to King Bhumibol Adulyadej in observance of the 50th anniversary of his coronation as Thailand’s ruler.

Source: Courtesy of Christie's via christies.com

14. Woyie River Diamond
> Weight: 770 carats (5.4 oz)
> Mine found: near Koidu, Sierra Leone
> When: 1945

The Woyie River Diamond was the largest alluvial diamond ever found at the time of its discovery. In 1953, the diamond was cut into 30 gems by the London firm Briefel and Lemer.

The largest of these is a D-color 31.34-carat stone named the Victory Diamond in celebration of the Allied victory in World War II. The emerald-cut diamond, which had belonged to arts patron Florence Gould, sold for $4.3 million at Christies in 2015.

Source: Jamie McCarthy / Getty Images

13. Millennium Star Diamond
> Weight: 777 carats (5.5 oz)
> Mine found: Mbuji-Mayi , Democratic Republic of Congo
> When: 1990

The Millennium Star Diamond is the second-largest colorless stone with the highest color rating of D in the world. It was bought by the major diamond mining and retail consortium De Beers and cut by the Steinmetz Group to create a 203.04-carat, D-Flawless pear-shaped diamond. It was unveiled in 1999 as part of the De Beers Millennium Diamond Collection and displayed at the Millennium Dome in London. London police thwarted an attempt to steal the collection in November 2000. The Millennium Star is estimated to be worth more than $40 million.

12. Koh-i-Noor
> Weight: 793 carats (5.6 oz)
> Mine found: Kollur Mine, India
> When: 13th century

A lot of blood has been spilled over the Koh-i-Noor Diamond. Reportedly discovered in the Kollur Mine, a series of gravel-clay pits now submerged by the Krishna River in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh, it was the possession of the ruling Kakatiya dynasty for many years and passed through the hands of Sikh, Mughal, and Persian rulers. In 1849, the British obtained the diamond after the Second Anglo-Sikh War. In 1852, Prince Albert ordered that the diamond be cut, resulting in a 186-carat oval-cut diamond. The diamond is the property of the British crown 174 years later.

Source: Courtesy of Lucara Diamond Corp.

11. Constellation Diamond
> Weight: 813 carats (5.7 oz)
> Mine found: Karowe Mine, Botswana
> When: 2015

The year 2015 would prove to be an important one for the Lucara Diamond Corp. and the Karowe Mine in Botswana. That is when the Canadian mining company started using a new X-ray transmission sorting equipment to discover diamonds. The 813-carat Constellation diamond was found in the same year and mine where the Lesedi La Rona Diamond (see No. 5) was found. The Constellation was bought by De Beers, which sold it to Zale Corp. In 2016, the Dubai-based firm Nemesis International DMCC purchased it for a record $63.1 million, making the diamond worth $77,649 per carat.

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