FAMOUS DIAMONDS

The Great Star of Africa is also known as the Cullinan I. It weighs 530.20 carats and is the largest polished colorless diamond in the world. It was originally cut from the largest rough diamond ever found, which was 3,106 carats. It has 72 facets and is part of the British Crown Jewels kept at the Tower of London. It adorns the sceptrer of English royalty.

The Orloff was 300 carats and is located in the Diamond Treasury of Russia. Legends claim it was once used as the eye of God in a Hindu temple before it was stolen.

Before the Centenary Diamond was faceted, it weighed almost 600 carats. It took 3 years for the master cutter, Tolkowsky, to fashion it into the largest, modern-cut flawless diamond. This stone is also part of the British Crown Jewels. The Centenary is cut with 247 facets, 83 of which are on the girdle. It weights 273.85 carats and is only smaller in size to the Great Star of Africa (530.20 carats) and the Lesser Star of Africa (317.40 carats)

The Regent was discovered by an Indian slave in 1701, 410 carats in the rough, and 140.50 carats fashioned. Previous owners include the Duke of Orleans and the Regent of France. It was set in the Louis XV coronation crown and then in Napoleon's sword hilt. It is currently on display at the Louvre in Paris.

Koh-i-noor has been recut several times and currently is 105.6 carats. It was reported to come from the throne of Shah Jehan.

This image was taken from
www.royal.gov.uk/faq/jewels.htm
The British Monarchy


Image taken from
www.alexan.com/worlds10.htm
Alexander's Jewelers
The Blue Hope was named after Henry Philip Hope who collected many beautiful gemstones. Supposedly his family died in poverty, although he stipulated that the gems carry the family name regardless of the owner. It is in a mounting surrounded by colorless diamonds and can be viewed in Smithsonian in Washington, D.C. This stone is also surrounded by stories of "bad luck" to all who try to posses it. Much has been written on the history of the Hope, but two articles online may be viewed at Albritons, a diamond merchant's site, and the winter 1996 Gem Forecaster.

The Sancy diamond has had a very interesting history since its discovery. It is probably of Indian origin and was one of the first diamonds to have been cut with symmetrical facets. It fluoresces yellow under short-wave ultraviolet light and a salmon pink under long-wave, with a greenish-yellow phosphorescence. Nicholas Sancy, French Ambassador to Turkey in about 1570, was an avid gem collector and acquired the diamond. It had been in the possession of French Kings and England's King James I, before its disappearance in 1792. It turned up again in 1828 and went through several owners. In 1906 it was purchased by the Astor family, and was on display at the Louvre in 1962 showing of "Ten Centuries of French Jewelry."

The Uncle Sam diamond is 14.42 carats in size, fashioned in an emerald cut. It is one of the few large diamonds found in North America, found in Murfreesboro, Arkansas, USA.

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