The diamond is one of the most precious, most beautiful, and most coveted natural creations in the world. The larger diamonds are in size, and the more exceptional their clarity and color, the more these incredibly durable and eye-catching gems are worth. Today, we’ll reveal 10 of the most breathtaking and expensive diamonds in the world.
10. The Rare and Beautiful Sakura Diamond – $29.3 Million
Found in Russia’s Yakutia mine, the Sakura Diamond absolutely dazzles with its pink and purple hues. Cut from a rough 27.8 carat diamond, “Sakura” is Japanese for “cherry blossom.” This tenth entry in our favorites list is so highly graded that it falls in the top 4% of the pink diamonds in its category.
Graded as a flawless, fancy vivid diamond, the Sakura was auctioned in Hong Kong by Christie’s in 2021 for a cool $29.3 million dollars. Though it’s unclear just who the current owner is, the Sakura stone is not only the most expensive diamond of its color to ever sell at auction, at 15.81 carats it’s also the largest diamond of its kind to be sold in this way.
9. The Record-Setting Orange Diamond – $35.5 Million
Also known as fire diamonds, one that is pure orange (i.e., without secondary colors) is an extreme rarity. That, and the fact that the Orange diamond is an unbelievable 14.82 carats in size—8.62 carats, or four times larger than any other polished fire diamond—are what make this gem such a treasure.
Discovered in 2010 in the southeast node of the Namakawa mine in South Africa, the diamond now belongs to a private collector who was present in the sale room at Christie’s Geneva Magnificent Jewels Sale in November of 2013.The $35.5 million price tag, unprecedented for a diamond of its size, type, and grading, easily surpassed the Christie’s prediction of between $17 and $20 million dollars.
8. The Lesotho Legend – $40 Million
Discovered in 2018 at the Letseng-la-Terae mine in Lesotho, South Africa, the Lesotho Legend is a rough diamond weighing more than a baseball. Coming in at 910 carats, this spectacular stone was the fifth largest gem-quality diamond ever recovered in history.
Auctioned in Antwerp, Belgium by Gem Diamonds just two months after it was found, The Lesotho Legend was purchased by an unnamed buyer for $40 million.
7. The Blue Moon – $48.4 Million
Another South African find, the Blue Moon is a fancy, vivid, 12.03-carat blue diamond. Discovered in 2014, the Blue Moon diamond was nearly flawless. These characteristics led to the beautiful stone amassing $4 million per carat, the highest amount until the Oppenheimer Blue Diamond—the most expensive diamond ever sold—appeared on the scene.
The Blue Moon was auctioned in 2015 by Sotheby’s and purchased by Joseph Lau, a Hong Kong billionaire. Following his purchase, Lau renamed the stone Josephine, after his then 7-year-old daughter.
6. The Lesedi La Rona – $53 Million
Botswana’s Karowe mine was where the Lesedi La Rona, the world’s fourth largest diamond and second-largest gem-quality rough diamond was found. The 2015 discovery was 1109 carats and later cut into a 302-carat, square emerald shape.
The Tswana name Lesedi La Rona translates to “Our Light” in English. The tennis-ball-sized stone was purchased in 2017 by famed British jeweler Laurence Graff for $53 million. It would be one and a half years before this absolutely gorgeous emerald cut diamond would be brought into existence with 66 stones of smaller cuts.
5. The Pink Star – $71.2 Million
The 59.6 carat Pink Star diamond was found at the De Beers mine in South Africa in 1999. Its color is completely natural, and the stone is graded as a fancy vivid pink. The diamond is the largest known diamond to receive this grading.
Being such an internally flawless and therefore exceptional stone, it would be two years until the Pink Star would be cut by no fewer than eight experts into its current Type IIa form. Sotheby’s auctioned the stone in 2017 to Chow Tai Fook Enterprises in Hong Kong.
4. The Centenary – $100 Million
Discovered in 1988, the Centenary’s original size of 599-carat weight earned it the title of the third largest diamond ever found in South Africa’s Premier Mine. It is internally and externally flawless, and the diamond was graded D for color—the highest available.
3. The Hope Diamond – $350 Million
The famous—or perhaps notorious—Hope Diamond has a long and dark history. India is where this beautiful blue stone was originally discovered in the 1600s. In 1668, it was purchased by King Louis XIV and then cut into a 67.125-carat gem. After disappearing during the French Revolution, the Hope Diamond resurfaced in the Netherlands in 1830, where diamond cutter Wilhelm Fowles became its owner.
Fowles cut the stone to its current 44.4-carat, antique cushion shape to prevent the pursuit of the diamond by the French Government. Following the purchase of the gem by jeweler Henry Phillip Hoppe, who gave it the Hope Diamond name, Harry Winston, American jeweler, would purchase the Hope Diamond in 1947. Ultimately, the stone was donated to and can now be viewed at the Smithsonian Institute.
2. The Cullinan Diamond – $400 Million+
Also known as The Star of Africa, the Cullinan Diamond was discovered at South Africa’s Cullinan Mine in 1905. Originally weighing 3,106.75 carats, it was the largest rough diamond ever to be found.
From the rough stone, nine diamonds were cut, and all appear on the United Kingdom’s Crown Jewels. The largest of these, named The Great Star of Africa, is 530.2 carats and is on top of the Sovereign’s Scepter with Cross. The remaining diamonds appear at the front of the Imperial State Crown, in brooches, on the Delhi Durbar necklace, and in the Cullinan IX ring.
1. Koh-i-Noor – Priceless
Persian for “Mountain of Light,” some claim the Koh-i-Noor is anything but. The stone is said to be cursed, bringing doom to anyone who owns it. Allegedly, this is exactly what transpired from its discovery in the 1300s to 1849, when it came into British possession.
The stone has been reduced several times from its original 793 carats. It was cut from 105.6 to 86 carats in 1852 by Prince Albert. This was done to increase the sparkle and brilliance of the stone, which now occupies its famous position at front and center of the Queen Mother’s crown.
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