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It is impossible not falling the love by the special soul and glow of diamonds. They shine like stars and steal our attention so easily. But what are the biggest and most expensive diamonds around the world? If you are a jewelry lover, this is the perfect article for you. Design Limited Edition has all the answers for you!
Discovered in 1972, the Star of Sierra Leone is the fourth-largest gem-quality diamond ever unearthed, coming in behind the 3,106-carat Cullinan diamond found in 1905, the 1,109-carat Lesedi La Rona diamond, and the 995-carat Excelsior diamond found in 1893. The massive, uncut stone was bought by Harry Winston for $2.5 million and was then broken down into 17 smaller diamonds. The jeweler incorporated six of these diamonds into the Star of Sierra Leone brooch, which has not surfaced on the public market since Harry Winston sold it for an undisclosed amount to an anonymous buyer in 1975. The remaining 11 diamonds were set into various necklaces, earrings, and a brooch.
273-Carat De Beers Centenary Diamond
Discovered in 1986 by De Beers in South Africa, the massive 599-carat rough stone was first unveiled in 1988 as a part of the diamond company’s centennial celebration. It took a year alone to prepare the right equipment to begin to cut the fragile gem, as it was feared that traditional diamond-cutting tools (such as lasers or saws) would damage the stone. The De Beers Centenary diamond was then carefully whittled down to its current 273-carat weight and revealed in 1991. At the time of its final unveiling, the modified heart-shaped gem was the largest known colorless modern-cut diamond in existence.
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203-Carat Millennium Star Diamond
The enormous pear-shaped Millennium Star diamond makes history not only for being the second largest D-flawless classified diamond known to exist, but also because it was the target of what would have been the biggest diamond heist of all time. The stone, which was cut down from a 777-carat rough diamond discovered in the Democratic Republic of Congo in the early 1990s, was on display inside London’s Millennium Dome in 2000 when a group of thieves attempted to steal it in broad daylight. Luckily, Scotland Yard was privy to the robbers’ plan and apprehended them before they reached the Millennium Star (which the authorities had swapped out for a replica in anticipation of the heist). De Beers sold the much-coveted gem to an anonymous buyer in the Middle East for an undisclosed amount in 2006.
101-Carat Winston Legacy Diamond
When Harry Winston purchased the Winston Legacy diamond from Christie’s Geneva in 2013, the company broke a record for the highest price paid for a white diamond at auction. The gem, for which Harry Winston shelled out $26.7 million, came from a 234-carat rough diamond discovered in a De Beers mine in Jwaneng, Botswana; it took 21 months to polish before it was put on the auctioneer’s block. The jewelers named the D-color, type IIa flawless diamond the “Winston Legacy” as an homage to their founder’s reputation as the “King of Diamonds.”
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With the failure to find a buyer for the Lesedi La Rona diamond, this 118-carat gem retains its title as the largest diamond to ever sell at a public auction. The stone, which is the biggest known oval D-flawless diamond in the world, was cut from a 299-carat rough gem that was discovered in southern Africa in 2011. It raked in $30.6 million when it was sold by Sotheby’s Hong Kong in October 2013, breaking the previous record for the highest price paid for a white diamond at auction, set by Harry Winston’s purchase of the Winston Legacy diamond just five months prior.
100-Carat De Beers Diamond
The De Beers diamond — a type IIa stone discovered in a De Beers mine in southern Africa — was the first true emerald cut diamond over 100 carats to be offered at public auction. The stone, which was carefully carved from a 200-carat rough diamond over the course of a year, garnered $22.1 million when it was sold at Sotheby’s New York in 2015. The strikingly clear, 9-volt-battery-sized gem is one of only six flawless diamonds of comparable size to ever be offered at auction.
1,109-Carat Lesedi La Rona Diamond
Meaning “our light” in Botswana’s Tswana language, the Lesedi La Rona diamond was unearthed by Lucara Diamond Corp. in a Botswana mine last November. The stone, which clocks in at a jaw-dropping 1,109 carats, is the largest diamond to be discovered in at least the last 100 years and is one of the largest gem-quality diamonds in existence today. The uncut tennis-ball-sized rock was expected to bring in at least $70 million when Sotheby’s put it up for auction in London in late June, but it failed to sell.
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