Diamonds are one of nature's most stunning creations. It's no wonder that they've been dubbed "fountains of light" and "stars of hope" as they reflect light from their edges. The most valuable of all gemstones, the price of a diamond is determined by numerous of factors such as the number of reflecting edges, color, clarity, weight, and historical and cultural value. The wealthy and powerful continue to compete for them, and the most valuable stones have frequently been the prized possessions of kings and gods.
Here is a list of the top ten most valuable diamonds in the world right now.
1. THE KOH-I-NOOR DIAMOND — Completely Priceless
The name is enough to capture people's interest. In Persian, Koh-i-Noor means 'Mountain of Light,' which describes the prominence this stone has held since its alleged discovery in the 1300s in India's Golconda diamond mines. It was the world's largest diamond until 1852, when Prince Albert reduced it from 105.6 carats to 86 carats in order to improve its brilliance and sparkle.
2. THE SANCY DIAMOND- Completely PRICELESS
A pale yellow diamond in the shape of a shield, the Sancy. It's one of the first large diamonds to have symmetrical facets cut out of it. It has an unusual shape due to the lack of a pavilion and only two crowns. While legend has it that it belonged to the Mughals, the shape suggests that it is of Indian origin, which is logical given that most diamonds were mined in Golconda until the discovery of the Kimberley and American mines.
Its documentation started in 1570, making it one of the first diamonds to gain a reputation in Europe. Before disappearing during the French Revolution, it was owned by Charles the Bold, Duke of Burgundy, Manuel I of Portugal, Nicolas de Harlay, seigneur de Sancy (from whence it gained its current name), King James I, King James II, King Charles I, Charles II, and Louis XIV of France.
3.THE CULLINAN DIAMOND – $400 Millions
It was the largest gem-quality rough diamond ever unearthed when it was discovered at the Premier No. 2 mine in Cullinan, South Africa. It was originally 3,106.75 carats (621.35 g) and has since been cut into 9 diamonds, all of which are now part of the United Kingdom's Crown Jewels. Cullinan I, or the Great Star of Africa, remained the largest diamonds until 1985, when the Golden Jubilee, measuring 545.67 carats and coming from the same mine, dethroned it. It is, however, still the world's largest clean cut diamond. It's now perched atop the Sovereign's Sceptre with Cross.
4. THE HOPE DIAMOND – $350 MILLIONS
With a name like that, you might be surprised to learn that it has a curse attached to it. It has ruined the majority of its prior owners, which is unsurprising. It is blue in hue due to the presence of boron atoms, but it turns red under UV light due to the presence of phosphorus. This 45.52 carat diamond was discovered in the 1600s in the Kollur mines of Andhra Pradesh, India, and was named after the Hope banking family of London, who bought it in 1839.
5. DE BEERS CENTENARY DIAMOND – $100 MILLIONS
The De Beers Centenary diamond, weighing 273.85 carats, is the third largest to come from the Premier Mine, which also produced the Cullinan Diamond. The original, on the other hand, weighed in at an incredible 599 carats. It boasts the highest grade D color rating from the Gemological Institute of America, and it is flawless both internally and externally. After being presented in its original form for the De Beers Consolidated Mines Centennial Celebration on May 11, 1988, it was given its name.
6. THE STEINMETZ PINK DIAMOND – $71.2 MILLIONS
The Pink Star, which weighs 59.60 carats and is graded Fancy Vivid Pink in color by the Geological Institute of America, is today known as the Pink Star. It is the world's biggest diamond with this grade. It is a millennial, mined in the prodigal De Beers mines in 1999. Because of its rarity, it took 20 months for Steinmetz Diamonds of the Benny Steinmetz company to cut it. On May 29, 2003, it made its public debut in Monaco. Chow Tai Fook Enterprises in Hong Kong paid USD 71.2 million for it at a Sotheby's auction on 3 April 2017.
7. THE OPPENHEIMER BLUE DIAMOND – $57.5 MILLION
The Oppenheimer Blue, at 14.62 carats, is the biggest diamond ever sold at auction. It was originally owned by Sir Philip Oppenheimer and sold for $57.5 million at Christie's in Geneva in May 2016. It held the record for being the most expensive diamond ever sold until 2017.
8.THE BLUE MOON OF JOSEPHINE DIAMOND – $48.4 MILLION
The Blue Moon Josephine Diamond won the hearts of millions before the Oppenheimer Blue Diamond established the record. In November 2015, Sotheby's auctioned the 12.03 carat diamond for a record $48.4 million. It fetched the highest-ever price per carat ($4 million/carat) with a pre-sale estimate of $35 – $55 million. In January 2014, the Blue Moon diamond was found in South Africa and was rated nearly flawless.
9.THE GRAFF PINK DIAMOND – $46.2 MILLION
The Graff Pink is a 24.78-carat pink diamond with a Fancy Intense pink vividness and a diamond type IIa grade placed in a ring. This places it in the top 2% of all diamonds on the planet. It was sold to a private collector in the 1950s after being held by legendary jeweler Harry Winston. In November 2010, Sotheby's Geneva auctioned it for $46.2 million to Lawrence Graff.
10.THE ORANGE DIAMOND – $35.5 MILLION
While pink and blue diamonds are more popular among collectors, the Orange is a unique gem that stands out for its beauty. When the 14.62 carat Orange Diamond made its debut in Christie's Geneva sale in November 2013, it turned a few heads. It sold for $35.5 million, substantially above its pre-sale estimate of $17.4 million to $20 million.
According to the GIA, pure orange diamonds, often known as fire diamonds, are extremely rare. Orange diamonds with secondary colors are quite prevalent. They are never more than 6 carats when polished, demonstrating that this piece is a true quirk of nature.