Monday, May 9, 2011

Other Large and Famous Diamonds

The Braganza from a Brazilian mine is reported to be the largest diamond ever found and weighs 1680 carats. It is part of the Portuguese crown jewels, but is not available for testing. Some sau it is not a diamond, but a colourless topaz.
The Presidente Vargas of 726.6 carat is the largest Brazilian diamond ever found in that country.
The Jonker diamond was discovered in 1934. The 726-carat stone, said to be flawless purity, was cut into twelve smaller stones.
The Star of Africa, is the largest polished diamond in the world. It weighs 530.2 carats and has been cut with 74 facets.
The Victoria, Imperial, or Great White weighing 457.5 carats came from a South African mine and reached Europe in 1884. It was cut to a beautiful 180 carats and valued in 1900 at 6,200,000.
The Pitt, supposedly the most perfect and beautiful diamond ever known, was found in Patiala in the Punjab in 1701. William Pitt, then Governor of Madras, had the rough stone of 410 carats cut to a perfect brilliant of 163.9 carats. Duc d'Orleans, Regent of France, bought it and Napolean Bonaparte wore it on the pommel of his sword. The gem was said to be the key to his success.
The danau Rajah, a stone from Borneo found in 1787 and now in the treasury of the Rajah of Mattan in Borneo, is reported to weigh 367 carats. In 1868 gem experts found it to be only a rock crystal, but the story was spread that an imitation was submitted for the examination.

The Nizam, a diamond of 440 carats, was said to have been picked up in Golconda by a child in 1835. Cut to 227 carats from the rough, it is part of the Nizam's collection, now with the Government of India.It was brocken up during the Indian Mutiny of 1857. It may soon be exhibited in the museum at Hyderabad.

The Star of the South, found in 1853, is the largest rough diamond from Brazil. Weighing 254.5 carats, it was part of a cluster of crystals. The Gaekwad of Baroda bought it after it was cut to a pure brilliant of 125 carats.

The Great Table of Tavernier weighed 242.2 carats and was found in 1642 near Golconda.

The Darya-i-noor or Sea of Light of 186 carats and the Taj-e-mah or Crown of the Moon, weighing 146 carats, were both cut as rosettes and were part of the collection of the Shah Pahlevi of Iran.

The Florentine of 137 carats, yellow but clear and lustrous, also known as The Great of Tuscany or the Austrian, is in the Imperial Palace treasury at Vienna. Charles the Bold lost it on the battlefield of Granson, where a Swiss soldier found it. Ultimately the Grand Duke Francis Stephen of Tuscany took it to Vienna.

The Stewart, a large diamond of 288.4 carats was found in 1872 in the river diggings on the Vaal. It was later cut to a slightly yellowish brilliant of 120 carats.

The DeBeers diamond of 228.5 carat was cut from a rough of 428.5 carats soon after the company was formed. Itw as first shown at the Paris Exhibition of 1889 and is recognised as the fourth largest cut diamond in the world.

The Millennium Star was discovered in the Congo in the early 1990s by De Beers. It took three years to cut the stone with lasers, but it is the only completely flawless, 203-carat, pear-shaped diamond known.

The Porter Rhodes, a perfectly colourless blue-white stone, was found at Kimberely on February 12, 1880. It weighed around 150 to 160 carats.

The Tiffany Brilliant, is also from South Africa. Flawless and with a beautiful orange-yellow colour, it weighs 125.5 carats.
The Nasik diamond is a triangular brilliant of 89.5 carats. The last Prince of Peshawar took it from the Shiva temple at Nasik and finally sold it to the East India Company. It is said to be in the possession of the Duke of Westminster.

The Shah of weight 88 carats, was in the collection of the Shah of Iran. It has a peculiar shape and the names of tree Persian kings are engraved on it. The Persian prince, Chosroes, the younger son of Abbas Mirza, presented it to the Tsar Nicolas in 1829.

The Idol's Eye diamond is pear-shaped and weighs 70 carats. It is said that it was used to pay ransom to the Sultan of Turkey for a princess he abducted.
The Empress Eugenic diamond of 51 carats is a beautiful brilliant that Catharine 2 of Russia gave her favourite, Potemkin. Napoleon bought it as a wedding-gift to his bride, Eugenie but it was later sold to the Gaekwad of Baroda.

The Piggott is a brilliant cut diamond of 49 carats brought by Lord Piggott to England around 1775 from India. It was later given to A1 Pasha, the Viceroy of Egypt. This stone has since been lost, and, according to rumour, has been destroyed.

The white Saxon is a beautiful square diamond, and weighs 48.75 carats. August the Strong, Duke of Saxony is said to have paid 1,000,000 thalers for it in 1707 and kept it in the Zwinger Castle in Dresden.

The Pasha of Egypt is a fine eight-sided brilliant of 40 carats, purchased by the Viceroy Ibrahim of Egypt for 28,000.

The Dresden Green, an almond-shaped diamond owned by the Saxon crown since 1743 weighs 40 carats. It is a very clear green, perfectly transparent and flawless.

The Polar Star is a beautiful brilliant cut diamond of 40 carats set in the Russian crown.

The Star of Este of 25.4 carats is absolutely flawless. The cut as a brilliant is so perfect that it appear bigger than the Empress Eugenie ot the Sancy diamond. The Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austrian-Este, eldest son of the Archduke Karl Ludwig bought it for 64,000 Austrian florins in 1876.

The Hortensia diamond of 20 carats has a peach colour. Named after the Queen of Holland, Napoleon Bonaparte's stepdaughter, it is set in one of the French crown jewels.

The Burton Taylor diamond weighed 244 carats when unearthed from the Premier mine of South Africa in 1966. Harry Winston cut it to a pear shaped beauty of weight 69 carats. The jeweller Cartier bought it in an auction in 1969 and sold it to Richard Burton, the actor. It was sold for around $ 3,000,000 recently to fund a hospital in Botswana.

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