Diamond and Jewelry News and Information

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Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Famous and Valuable Diamonds Throughout History

The name "diamond" is a variation of the Greek word "adamas," meaning "invincible."

Some older famous diamonds include the following: the Kohinoor, weighing 106 carats, one of the crown jewels of Great Britain; the Regent or Pitt, weight 137 carats, belonging to France; the Orloff, which is mounted in the Russian imperial scepter, weighing 199 carats; the Florentine yellow diamond, which weighs 137 carats; the Star of the South, weighing 129 carats.

Large stones found in the late nineteenth century in South Africa included the following: the Victoria or Imperial, which weighed 468 carats when found, and 236 when cut. It was later recut to 190 carats, however. The Stewart weighed before and after cutting 296 and 123 carats, respectively. The Tiffany diamond, which is of a brilliant yellow color, weighed 287 carats before and 125 carats after cutting.

The Green Dresden diamond weighs 50 carats, and the blue Hope diamond 45. The Colenso diamond, presented to the British Museum in 1887 by John Ruskin, weighs 133 carats. The Excelsior diamond, found at Jagersfontein in 1093, weighted 650 carats and was renamed the Jubilee, weighing in at 245 carats.

The Culinan or Star of Africa diamond found at the Premier mine, Transvaal, was the largest stone ever found, weighing 3106 carats or about 22 ounces, and measured 4 by 2 ½ by 2 inches. This stone was presented to King Edward VII by the Transvaal Government and was cut into nine large stones and into 96 smaller brilliants, the largest two weighing 540 and 317 carats, respectively.

The largest African stone found in recent years, known as the Jonker diamond, was discovered by Jacobus Jonker in 1934 in stream gravels near the Premier mine. It weighed 726.25 carats when found but has since been cut. The Vargas diamond was discovered in Brazil in 1938, weighing about a ½ carat more than the Jonker.
Beginning in the late eighteenth century many experiments were made with the hope of synthesizing diamonds and many claims have been made for its synthesis. However it was not until 1955 that the General Electric Company made authenticated diamonds. The synthetic diamonds were small and not suitable for cutting into gems. However, they were produced in competition with small natural industrial diamonds.

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