Diamonds are one of the most precious gemstones in the world. Diamonds were formed in the Earth’s crust more than three billion years ago when carbon is subjected to immense heat and pressure. The wealthy and powerful gladly pay millions of dollars for these stones depending on their color, clarity, weight, the number of reflecting edges, and cultural and historical significance. Here we take a look at the top 10 most expensive diamonds in the world.
The most expensive diamonds in the world
Demand for diamonds continues to rise around the world. According to consulting firm Bain & Company, global demand for natural diamonds has been increased at an annual rate of 5.9%, with the US being the largest consumer of the gemstone.
In recent years, countries such as Russia, Brazil, Australia, and Canada have discovered vast diamond reserves. But the majority of the world’s most expensive diamonds were discovered in India and South Africa. Diamonds mined in these countries have historical and cultural significance.
10- The Heart of Eternity, $16 million
The Heart of Eternity is a Fancy Vivid Blue colored diamond mined in the South African Premier Diamond Mine. Blue diamonds make up only 1% of all the mined diamonds. This 27.64 carats diamond weighs 5.528g. The Heart of Eternity is so expensive because of its rare shape and color. This heart-shaped gemstone was cut by the Steinmetz group and sold to De Beers Group in 2000.
9- The Perfect Pink, 23.2 million
The emerald-cut, rectangular diamond was sold for $23.2 million to an unnamed bidder at Christie’s Hong Kong auction. The 14.23 carats diamond was named The Perfect Pink because of its intense color. Christie’s has auctioned only 18 pink diamonds in its 244 years of history. The Perfect Pink was discovered in India. It is in a class of its own and has a clarity grade of Very Very Slightly Included 2 (VVS2) because of tiny internal blemishes, which are common in such diamonds.
8- The Wittelsbach-Graff Diamond, $23.4 million
This 31.06 carats deep blue diamond has a royal history. It was discovered in India more than 300 years ago. During the 17th century, Spanish king Philip IV gave it away as part of his daughter’s dowry. Later it became part of the crown jewels of Bavaria and Austria. British jeweler Laurence Graff purchased it from Christie’s London for $23.4 million. Graff had it recut in 2010 to remove all the impurities, which had sparked a heated debate in the historical circles.
7- The Winston Blue, $23.8 million
It is the world’s largest flawless vivid blue diamond. It was originally known as the Fancy Vivid Blue Diamond, but was renamed The Winston Blue when Harry Winston, Inc of The Swatch Group purchased it in 2014 for $23.8 million at Christie’s Geneva auction. At 13.22 carats, it commanded a price of $1.8 million per carat, which is the highest per carat price ever paid for blue diamonds. The Gemological Institute of America has certified it as a type IIb diamond.
6- The Steinmetz Pink aka Pink Star, $71.2 million
The Pink Star was previously known as The Steinmetz Pink. Discovered in South Africa in 1999, it is the largest diamond with a Fancy Vivid Pink grade. This 59.60 carats (11.92g) stone was purchased by Hong Kong-based Chow Tai Fook Enterprises at a Sotheby’s auction in 2017. This oval-shaped diamond is flawless internally. It took the Steinmetz Group close to 20 months to cut it.
5- De Beers Centenary Diamond, $100 million
The colorless and flawless beauty has received the highest grade – Grade D – of a diamond ever by the Gemological Institute of America. It is 273.85 carats and weighs 54.77g. The De Beers Centenary Diamond has been cut into a heart shape without a groove. It is the 3rd largest diamond to be produced by De Beers’ Premier Mine.
4- The Hope Diamond, $350 million
The Hope Diamond was discovered in India and purchased by King Louis XIV in 1668. It is made up of 45.52 carats and weighs 9.10g. The Fancy Dark Gray Blue colored stone has an antique cushion cut. It gives a red glow when exposed to ultraviolet light. It was stolen in 1791 during a crown jewel robbery and re-appeared in London in 1839. Currently valued at $350 million, it is said to be a cursed stone that brings death or bad luck to its owners. Legend has it that it was stolen from an Indian temple and when the priests found out, they cursed it. It’s put on display at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History in Washington DC.
2- The Cullinan, $400 million
At 3,106.75 carats and 621.35g , it is the largest rough diamond ever discovered. Mined in Cullinan, South Africa in 1905, The Cullinan is valued at more than $400 million. The rough diamond was gifted to King Edward VII. It was later cut into nine different stones, the biggest of which is Cullinan I at 530.2 carat. You can view the Cullinan I and Cullinan II at the Tower of London. They adorn the Imperial State Crown and the Sovereign’s Scepter. It’s one of the world’s most expensive diamonds.
2- The Sancy Diamond, un-estimated price
This 55.23 carats (11.05g) diamond is Pale Yellow in color. It is one of the most expensive diamonds in the world because of its indistinguishable shape and pale yellow color. Its exact value is still unknown. It was discovered in India and is currently on display at the French Crown Jewel collection of Apollo Gallery at the Louvre, Paris. It originally belonged to the Mughal rulers of India. It got its current name in the 16th century from Nicolas de Harlay, seigneur de Sancy, a French soldier and diplomat.
1- Koh-i-noor, Priceless
This 105.6 carat diamond is considered the most expensive in the world. It is currently the property of the British Crown. Koh-i-noor, meaning the ‘Mountain of Light’ in Persian, was discovered at Golconda in the Telangana state of India in the 13th century. Throughout history, it was owned by various Sikh, Mughal, and Persian rulers. Its real value is unknown, but experts estimate that it is worth well over a billion dollars. In the early 19th century, Sikh ruler Maharaja Ranjit Singh had willed the Koh-i-noor to the Jagannath Temple in Puri, India. But the British East India Company didn’t honor the will and kept the diamond with itself. The colorless oval diamond now adorns the Queen’s crown.