There is no doubt that diamonds are some of the most coveted and sought-after gems in the world. They come in all shapes, sizes, and prices, but some diamonds are worth far more than others. If you’re interested in luxury and high-end items, then you’ll want to check out the most expensive diamonds in the world. These stones are truly breathtaking – and incredibly expensive! Read on to learn more about these luxurious diamonds.
Most Expensive Diamonds in the World
In this article, we’ll look at some of the most famous diamonds worldwide. First though, let’s look at the reasons why these gemstones are so exorbitantly priced.
Why Are Diamonds Expensive?
Taking their name from the ancient Greek word adamas meaning indestructible, diamonds are known for their physical qualities. Ranked at 10 on the Mohs Scale of Hardness, diamonds are virtually impossible to break or scratch.
Surprisingly, diamonds themselves are not all that rare. In fact, they’re one of the most common precious stones found.
Nevertheless, only about 30% of mined diamonds are considered to be of gem-quality. Extracting diamonds is quite a complicated, labor intensive process. A rough diamond must be cut and polished before being brought to market.
Another reason for the high price of diamonds is market demand. The De Beers Corporation created advertising campaigns to convince men to spend 2 months salary on a diamond engagement ring. A Diamond is Forever became one of the most famous diamond quotes of all time.
The 4 Cs of diamond classification are Cs are diamond cut, color, clarity, and carat weight. The higher each of these, the more expensive the diamond will be.
19. Allnatt Diamond: $3.043 million
This 101.29 carat Fancy Vivid Yellow diamond is named after Major Alfred Ernest Allnatt. He was a British businessman and art collector.
It is thought that this unique diamond came from one of the De Beers Premier mine in South Africa. After buying the diamond in the 1950s, Major Allnatt commissioned Cartier to make a flower shaped setting for it.
Colored diamonds over 100 carats are very rare, and this is one of the largest yellow diamonds in the world. Sold by Christie’s Geneva at auction for $3,043,496 USD in May 1996, the cushion-cut gemstone originally weighed 102.07 carats and was graded Fancy Intense Yellow.
After the sale to the SIBA Corporation, the Allnatt Diamond was regraded as Fancy Vivid Yellow.
18. The Sancy Diamond: $6 million
This pale yellow 55.23 carats diamond was originally an even larger diamond called Balle de Flandres. Given as a dowry of Valentina Visconti, who married Louis I, Duke of Orleans, the gemstone has been owned by several royal figures.
King Manuel I of Portugal, Henry III of France, Henry IV, King James VI, Charles I and James II all owned this historical gemstone. Henry III was bald and hid this by wearing a hat adorned with The Sancy Diamond.
It takes its name from the Seigneur de Sancy, Nicolas de Harlay who was a French diplomat and jewelry collector.
William Waldorf Astor bought The Sancy in 1906 and the Astor family owned the diamond until 1978, when they sold it to The Louvre in Paris. The Sancy is displayed in the Apollo Gallery, together with the Regent Diamond.
Although The Sancy has never been valued, it is estimated to be worth at least $6 million.
17. Golden Jubilee Diamond: $12 million
At 545.67 carats and with a weight of 109.13 g, the Golden Jubilee Diamond is the largest cut and faceted diamond in the world. An unusual brown diamond, it has a golden hue.
Discovered in the Premier Mine in South Africa in 1985, it was originally nicknamed “Unknown Brown”. As there were cracks in the interior, De Beers hired famous diamond cutter Gabriel Tolkowsky to cut it.
They built a vibration underground chamber to work on the diamond. Two years later, the original 755.50 carats gem stone had been reduced to 545.57 carats.
This huge diamond was bought by a team led by Thai businessman Henry Ho. As a celebration of King Bhumibol’s 50th coronation anniversary, they presented the diamond to his daughter, Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn, to give to the King.
16. The Heart of Eternity: $16 million
The Heart of Eternity is a Fancy Vivid Blue diamond that measures 27.64 carats. Discovered in the Premier Mine in South Africa, the only significant source of blue diamonds worldwide, it has a distinctive heart shape.
Cut by the Steinmetz Group, the diamond was then sold to the De Beers Group. In November 2000, The Heart of Eternity was one of the intended targets of the Millennium Dome diamond heist in London, UK. However, the plot was foiled by the Metropolitan Police.
The present owner of this rare blue diamond is unknown. However, there’s a rumor that Floyd Mayweather bought the Heart of Eternity necklace for his ex-fiancé Shantel Jackson.
15. Archduke Joseph Diamond: $21.5 million
A colorless, elongated cushion-shaped diamond, the Archduke Joseph is one of the most expensive colorless diamonds to be sold at auction. Taking its name from Archduke Joseph August of Austria whose family owned it for a number of years, this impressive gemstone was then bought by Molina Fine Jewelers of Phoenix.
They had the diamond recut from its original 78.54 carats to 76.45 carats. Singer Celine Dion wore the diamond for a television special in 2002.
The Archduke Joseph Diamond was sold to an unknown bidder for $21.5 million in November 2012 by Christie’s in Geneva.
14. The Perfect Pink: $23.17 million
A rare pink diamond measuring 14.23 carats, The Perfect Pink was one of only 18 pink diamonds appearing at auction to weigh more than 10 carats. Among those 18 diamonds, this was the only one to be ranked a Fancy Intense Perfect Pink by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA).
The Perfect Pink Diamond sold for $23.17 million at Christie’s Hong Kong in 2010 to an unknown bidder. This was almost 30% higher than its upper estimate.
This diamond is mounted in 18k gold and rose gold, surrounded on either side by two clear diamonds.
13. Wittelsbach-Graff Diamond: $23.4 million
An internally flawless 31.06 carat deep blue diamond, the Wittelsbach was found in the Kollur Mine, India. In 1664, the Wittelsbach Diamond was given by Philip IV of Spain to his daughter, the Infanta Margarita Theresa, when she got engaged to Emperor Leopold I of Austria.
In 1722, the diamond passed to the Wittelsbach family, rulers of the House of Bavaria as part of a dowry. Bought by jeweler Laurence Graff in 2008 for £16.4 million, the Wittelsbach-Graff Diamond wasn’t always perfect.
Graff later admitted that three diamond cutters had removed flaws with the diamond. This stunning diamond sold for $23.4 million at Christie’s in 2010, however it is now estimated to be worth $80 million.
12. The Winston Blue Diamond: $23.8 million
This blue diamond was bought by Harry Winston Inc. at Christie’s Geneva Magnificent Jewels sale in May 2014 for $23.8 million. The 13.22 carat diamond was originally called The Blue but renamed by Nayla Hayek, the CEO of Harry Winston.
Certified by the Geological Institute of America as Fancy Vivid Blue with flawless clarity, The Winston Blue has a pear shape. It is flanked by two shield shape colorless diamonds.
11. The Orange Diamond: $35.5 million
One of the rarest types of gemstone, pure orange diamonds get their color from nitrogen elements. Named simply The Orange, this pear-shaped stone weighs 14.82 carats.
Rated the largest Fancy Vivid Orange diamond graded by the Gemological Institute of America at the time of the report, this exceptional stone sold for $35.5 million at Christie’s Geneva Magnificent Jewels Sale in 2013.
10. The Princie: $39.3 million
Discovered in the Golconda Mines in India more than 300 years ago, The Princie Diamond weighs 36.65 carats. Graded a Fancy Intense Pink, it takes on an orangey-red hue when exposed to ultraviolet light.
The diamond takes its name from Sayajirao Gaekwad, the son of Sita Devi, Maharanee of Baroda. In 2013, the gemstone was sold at Christie’s in New York to an anonymous phone bidder.
9. The Graff Pink Diamond: $46.2 million
A rare 24.78 carat Vivid Pink diamond, The Graff is named after Laurence Graff, who acquired it at the Sotheby’s Magnificent Jewels Sale in Geneva in 2010.
Graff had 25 small natural faults removed from the ring, and the carat size was reduced from 24.78 carats to 23.88 carats. This changed the color from intense to vivid and the stone’s clarity to internally flawless.
Previously owned by the American jeweler Harry Winston, this emerald cut diamond is mounted in a ring.
8. The Blue Moon of Josephine: $48.4 million
This flawless 12.03 carats blue diamond was found in January 2014 at the Cullinan mine in South Africa. It sold at a Sotheby’s auction in Geneva in November 2015 for $48.4 million.
The sale was the first time any diamond had sold for over $4 million per carat. Only four of the 400 blue diamonds graded by the GIA have been graded vivid blue.
The Blue Moon Diamond, as it was originally known, was renamed The Blue Moon of Josephine by the purchaser, Hong Kong businessman Joseph Lau Luen Hung. He named the diamond after his daughter Josephine.
7. The Oppenheimer Blue Diamond: $57.5 million
When this rare diamond was sold in May 2016, The Oppenheimer Blue set a new world record for the highest amount ever achieved by a jewel at auction. That record was broken by the Pink Star Diamond in April 2017.
This 14.62 carat vivid blue diamond was named after its previous owner, Sir Philip Oppenheimer. The racehorse owner was a British diamond dealer and collector.
The large rectangular shaped diamond has an emerald cut set in a platinum ring. On either side, there’s a colorless trapeze-shaped diamond.
6. The Regent Diamond: $61 million
If you visit The Louvre in Paris, look out for The Regent Diamond. A140.64-carat cushion-shaped gemstone, The Regent is internally flawless. According to rumor, the magnificent diamond was discovered in 1698 by a slave in the Kollur Mine in India.
He hid the diamond in bandages from a self-inflicted wound in his leg, but was killed by an English sea captain who sold the diamond to an Indian merchant. It was then sold to Thomas Pitt, the British governor of Madras and named the Pitt Diamond.
The French Regent, Philippe II Duke of Orleans bought the diamond in 1717. It adorned the crown of Louis XV during his coronation in 1722, and was later used to decorate a hat belonging to Marie Antoinette.
Now owned by the French state, The Regent Diamond has been on display in the Louvre museum since 1887. It is considered to be the most beautiful diamond in the world, and has a bluish fluoresence.
5. CTF Pink Star Diamond: $71.2 million
Discovered in 1999 in one of the De Beers South African diamond mines, the rough stone was bought by the Steinmetz Group. The 59.6 carats gemstone was then cut by 8 polishers over 20 months.
Previously known as the Steinmetz Pink, The Pink Star was renamed CTF Pink Star by Dr. Henry Cheng Kar-Shun, chairman of jeweler Chow Tai Fook, after his late father.
The naturally colored diamond is graded Fancy Vivid Pink and internally flawless.
4. De Beers Centenary Diamond: $100 millon
This huge 273.85 carat gemstone is the third largest diamond to have been found in the Premier Mine, South Africa. Only The Cullinan I and II diamonds are bigger.
Mined in 1988, The Centenary Diamond was originally 599 carats, before being cut to a heart shape in a vibration free chamber by Gabi Tolkowsky and his team. It is graded a D color, the highest quality for colorless diamonds.
Although the purchase price and diamond owner are unknown, this gemstone was insured by De Beers for over $100 million.
3. The Hope Diamond: $250 million
This expensive diamond has a rare blue color, due to traces of boron. Weighing 45.52 carats, the gemstone came from the Kollur Mine in India.
The date of the discovery is unknown, but ownership records go back over 400 years for this exceptional diamond. In 1949, the American gem dealer, Harry Winston bought The Hope Diamond and gave it to the National Museum of Natural History of the United States in 1958.
The diamond has been on display at the museum, a branch of The Smithsonian Institute since then. It is estimated to be worth between $200 – $350 million.
If The Hope Diamond looks familiar to you, that’s because the rare gemstone was the inspiration behind The Heart of the Ocean in the Titanic movie.
2. The Cullinan Diamond: over $400 million
The largest gem quality rough diamond ever discovered, The Cullinan Diamond is now actually a collection of 105 stones of different cuts. Originally weighing an astonishing 3,106.75 carats, the enormous diamond was found at the Premier No.2 mine in Cullinan, South Africa in 1905.
Named after the chairman of the mine, Thomas Cullinan, the rough diamond was cut into 9 major stones totalling 1,055.89 carats and 96 unpolished elements and minor gemstones.
The Cullinan I, also known as the Great Star of Africa, is the largest gem, at 530.4 carats. This is the biggest clear cut diamond in the world.
Owned by Queen Elizabeth II, the Cullinan I is mounted on the sovereign’s spectre, while the Cullinan II is part of the Imperial State Crown. You can see both in The Jewel House at the Tower of London.
If the rough Cullinan Diamond was discovered today, it would potentially be worth over $400 million. This priceless diamond has not been recently valued.
1. Mountain of Light Diamond (Koh-I-Noor): Priceless
Thought to be the most expensive diamond in the world, the Koh-I-Noor is also known as The Mountain of Light. Weighing 105.6 carats, this colorless gemstone is now part of the British Crown Jewels.
The central stone of the Queen Mother’s crown, the Koh-I-Noor diamond is viewed by millions of visitors to the Tower of London each year. The Kohinoor diamond is often said to be cursed, as many male owners lost their power or lives unexpectedly, and it has therefore only been worn by women since 1849.
Thought to have come from India, the gemstone was part of the Mughal Peacock Throne. It was later controversially transferred to Queen Victoria when the British annexed the Punjab. Prince Albert had the gem recut by Coster Diamonds as an oval brilliant.
Although the Koh-i-Noor diamond is considered to be priceless, the entire Crown Jewels themselves are estimated to be worth over $1 billion.
In Conclusion: Most Expensive Diamonds in the World
So what makes a diamond expensive? There are several factors, including the 4 Cs of diamonds – Carat, Cut, Clarity and Color.
But there are other considerations as well, such as where the diamond was mined and its rarity. And then there are the truly rare and extraordinary diamonds that can sell for millions of dollars.
Whether you’re in the market for an engagement ring or just curious about how diamonds get their price tags, we hope this article has given you some insights into the most expensive diamonds in the world.
If a diamond is out of your price league, consider buying one of the slightly cheaper gemstones such as zircon or moissanite which both have an impressive sparkle.
For more information on diamond pricing and shopping tips, be sure to check out our other style articles.
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