Diamonds had always been linked to extraordinary events happening in our lives and people around us. For that reason, there are a number of world famous diamonds (and even infamous ones) which had gained tremendous awareness and reputation through the way they affected human history.
In my opinion, it is fascinating to see how diamonds have enthralled people so deeply that they could totally change the way they think and behave. Let us take a look at some of them and why they can be considered the peaks in the history of diamonds.
Let us begin our exploration with a diamond that doesn’t sound too technically spectacular compared to the other elite class of diamonds. Even though it has a near perfect cut and a unique shape, this diamond weighs a mere 20 carats and pales in size comparison to other renowned stones.
While it may not be huge in size, the Hortensia makes it into our list because of its rich history and appealing light pink hue. This diamond was named after the Queen of Holland who was also the step-daughter of French emperor Napoleon Bonaparte.
Currently, it is featured in Paris’s Musée du Louvre and is part of the French Crown Jewels.
The Koh-i-Noor, or the Mountain of Light, is probably the stone most people have heard of. The interesting fact is that people do not know the diamond by appearance but rather, by the name. The reason behind this oddity is kind of grotesque in my opinion.
In the late 18th century, Joseph Hardtmuth founded a pencil company named Koh-i-Noor Hardtmuth which he names after the famous diamond. Interestingly, the company still functions in present time and manufactures thousands of pencils every day.
Even though graphite is another form of carbon, it is nowhere near as priceless as diamonds. Isn’t it ironic that one of the most spectacular diamonds has a history so tightly bound to pencils?
Anyways, the Koh-I-Noor is an oval cut stone weighing 105 carats. It’s long and rich history depicts epic stories of ever-changing ownership which started in India during the early 14th century. Today, the diamond is a member of the British Crown Jewels and is kept in the Tower of London.
The Taylor-Burton is a newcomer to the world of famous diamonds. Found recently in 1966, this jewel weighs 69 carats and is the biggest piece that came from an astonishing 240 carat rough diamond.
As the name suggests, this diamond has a direct relation to one of the biggest and most publicized romances of the twentieth century – the relationship between Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor. Richard Burton bought this diamond for his love and placed it in a ring setting as a gift.
After Richard Burton’s 1979 death, Liz Taylor sold the diamond for $2.8 million (the original price was $1.1 million), and donated a large percentage of the proceeds to charity in the memory of her husband.
The Star of Africa or Cullinan I is currently the largest polished, colorless diamond in the world and weighs a hefty 530.20 carats. Interestingly, this diamond was cut from a larger piece of diamond which weighed 3106 carats initially.
Today, the magnificent pear shaped Star of Africa is part of the British crown jewels collection. It is currently set in the royal scepter and kept in the Tower of London.
Minimalists can easily say they are only symbols of greediness and materialism. In my personal opinion, I believe what they say isn’t too far from the truth. Let’s be honest with ourselves and the world. No matter how hard we try to deny it, most of us are vain to certain extent.
While these diamonds might reflect greediness and vanity for many people, I would rather say that they reflect the wonderful complexity and beauty of human fate.