Sunday, December 17

Largest Diamonds

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The Star of Africacurrently claims the title of largest cut diamond in the world. It weighs 530.20 carats, and has 74 facets. It is part crown jewels of the British Royal family and is housed in the Tower of London.  It is in the scepter of King Edward the VII.

The Excelsioris the second largest diamond ever found. It originally weighed 995.2 carats. The diamond was cut into ten pieces, the three largest weighing 158, 147 and 130 carats. These pieces were then cut into 21 gems ranging from 70 carats to less than 1 carat.

The Centenary was discovered in July 1986 at the Premier Mine of South Africa It weighed in at 599.10 carats in rough form. It took almost three years to complete its transformation into the world’s largest, modern-cut flawless diamond. The Centenary has 75 facets on top, 89 on the bottom and 83 on the girdle, for a total of 247 facets. It weighs 273.85 carats and now forms part of the British Crown Jewels.

The Regent was discovered in 1701 by an Indian slave near Golconda, it weighed 410 carats in the rough form. It was cut into a cushion shaped brilliant of 140.50 carats and, until it was sold to the Duke of Orleans.  The Regent and set in the crown Louis XV wore at his coronation. After the French revolution, it was owned by Napoleon Bonaparte who set it in the hilt of his sword. It is now on display in the Louvre and is known as one of the world’s largest diamonds.

The Taylor-Burton diamond was found in the Premier mine in 1966, the rough stone weighed 240.80 carats. The diamond was purchased by Harry Winston who commissioned the stone cut into two pieces; the larger piece weighed 162 carats and was eventually cut into a pear shaped 69.42 carat diamond. It the diamond was then purchased by Richard Burton and given to Elizabeth Taylor and renamed the Taylor-Burton. The current owner is Robert Mouawad, President of the Mouawad Group.

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