Outstanding diamonds are like Hollywood celebrities. They have a rhapsodic, unpredictable life. Even though these movies stars are just like any other person and these magnificent gemstones are – scientifically speaking – almost just like any other stone in the middle of the woods, they all have an interesting property in common.
They make people curious.
People always want to know what happens among the richest and most famous of the Earth. And once you get started talking about them, it is quite hard to skip talking about diamonds.
The point we want to bring across here is that we do not like to stereotype either people or gemstones, but just as certain people are more likely to become stars. Likewise, the pear shape appears uncannily often amidst the most famous and infamous diamonds of history.
Let us take a look at some of the heights of diamond cutting and the top 4 most famous diamonds that had captivated humankind.
Photograph credits: http://famousdiamonds.tripod.com
According to legends, this flattened pear-shaped diamond was once functioning as the eye of a Hindu god, a so-called idol. It was believed that the 70 carat stone was stolen sometime after and had quite a troubled fate. Another story suggests that the Idol’s eye might have been given as ransom to the Sultan of Turkey by the Sheik of Kashmir for her kidnapped daughter.
The cut of the diamond is a fusion between a triangular brilliant and old mine cutting style which gives it a squatty pear outline. It is a colorless diamond and likely a Type IIa with a strong blue fluorescence property.
This highly prized diamond was last sold to an anonymous buyer in 1983 during an auction put together by Mr Laurence Graff.
The famed pear diamond necklace.
Compared to other well-known diamonds of our era, the Taylor-Burton was found only recently in 1966. The original stone weighed a whopping 240 carats. It was later recut into some smaller brilliants and yielded a spectacular 69 carat pear-shaped diamond.
The connection I mentioned between Hollywood and diamonds will hereby be confirmed. The stone was named after one of the most legendary couples of the twentieth century, Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor.
In fact, this was probably the most expensive gemstone to have ever been in the possession of civilians. After Richard Burton’s 1979 untimely death, Elizabeth Taylor sold the diamond and donated the proceedings to charity in the memory of his love.
The 55.23 carats Sancy.
If the Taylor-Burton was the newcomer to the group of famous diamonds, the Sancy could definitely be considered our doyen here. The history of the diamond spans from the middle of the fifteenth century until the French revolution.
The Sancy has changed hands with quite a handful of owners, beginning with Charles de Bold, the Duke of Burgundy who lost it on the battlefield in 1477. Seigneur Sancy, the “godfather” of the stone and King James I. of England were people who had gotten possession of the famed diamond.
The last known price of the Sancy was $1 million which was sold to the Louvre museum by the Astor family. In today’s money, the Sancy is estimated to be worth upwards of $50 million dollars. Today, you can find the fabled Sancy on display at the Apollo Gallery alongside other famous diamonds like the Regent and Hortensia.
Last but not least, weighing in at 530 carats, the Great Star of Africa is the largest cut diamond on Earth. Without any doubt, this is hands down the most impressive pear-shaped diamond ever cut with its flawless clarity and color.
The Great Star was cut from the Cullinan, the biggest rough stone ever found. The original rough weighed 3106 carats – which is over a pound. Even at an enormous size of three thousand carats, some experts believe that the Cullinan rough is actually part of an even bigger crystal. Could you imagine that?
The Cullinan was cut by Joseph Asscher (the cutter who invented the Asscher cut) and yielded 9 major and 96 minor stones, along with the Great Star of Africa. The price of this enormous diamond is about $450 million.