The existence of Earth for several millions of years has given the earth a lot of mystery and intrigue. The gradual uncovering of those mysteries led us to the discovery of diamonds, pieces of stone that were formed several kilometers below the earth’s crust. They came into existence long before our earliest ancestors did. The history and mystery of diamonds make them some of the rarest, most appreciated, and by extension, one of the most expensive things anyone could own.
But just like the humans that discovered and put them to use, not all diamonds were created equal when they were formed billions of years ago. The difference in size, clarity, and the human history behind each stone sets it apart, both in price and demand. We took a look at ten of the most expensive diamonds in the world below. Check it out.
Most Expensive Diamonds in the World
1. The Koh-i-Noor
Price – $1 billion
Pretty much anyone who has seen a Hollywood heist movie has seen how valuable diamonds can be, especially to rich people. But while one imagines them to be very expensive, a diamond so costly people won’t put a price on it seemed unimaginable. That is the Koh-i-Noor diamond.
If there is ever a diamond that could spark a diplomatic row, it is the Koh-i-Noor. It is at the center of an ongoing battle between India and England, both of whom have laid claim to the precious stone. It was first discovered in 1294 and has been owned by several important personalities over the course of history, from Mughals to Persian rulers. At the moment, the rare diamond is currently in the possession of the Queen of England as part of the British Crown Jewels.
The original size of the diamond was 186 carats before Prince Albert had it cut down to its current size of 105.6 carats. The colorless diamond also has a few other names such as Mountain of Light and Diamond of Babur. It is the most expensive diamond in the world at a value of $1 billion.
2. The Cullinan
Price – $371 million
It would take a diamond of similar prestige to follow the reputation of the Koh-i-Noor. But, The Cullinan presents a good case for being the largest rough diamond ever found. Valued at $371 million, it weighed 3,106 carats when it was originally discovered in Cullinan, South Africa in 1905 and has been in possession of the British Monarchy since it was gifted to King Edward VII after its discovery.
To improve its value, the rough diamond was cut into nine pieces and was refined. The largest of them weighs 530.2 carats and goes by the name, The Cullinan too.
3. The Hope Diamond
Price – $200 million
The Hope Diamond is perhaps one of the most popular diamonds on this list known to non-diamond enthusiasts. The diamond has been a plot device in several Hollywood heist films. It has a value of $200 million, making it the third most expensive diamond in the world.
Its history is very similar to the diamonds before it but with a significant difference. It was discovered in India in the 1600s and became the property of King Louis XIV in 1668. But unlike the rest, it did not remain in the crown’s possession. The Hope Diamond was stolen in 1791 during the looting of the crown jewel. Less than a century after, it found its way back to London in 1839 and was bought by Harry Winston, who donated it to the Smithsonian Institution.
It has remained there ever since, for viewing by tourists. The institution is also considered to be the only ‘safe’ space for the diamond because it is believed to be cursed.
4. The Centenary Diamond
Price – $100 million
It is unknown which came first, the name of this diamond or its price tag. The De Beers mining company discovered the Centenary Diamond at an original size of 500 carats. But while its size gave it a significant value, it appreciated after it was cut to a size of 273.85 carats with a heart shape.
After it was cut, it improved in color and clarity and is the highest grade of colorless diamond in the world. With such unique qualities, it is no wonder it is worth $100 million and one of the most expensive diamonds in the world.
5. The Pink Star
Price – $71.2 million
Rounding up the top five is another diamond found in the mines of South Africa, the Pink Star. Aside from being worth a ton of money, it currently holds the record as the largest fancy vivid pink diamond ever discovered.
It is the first diamond on this list that is the property of an individual. It is owned by Chow Tai Fook, who bought it in a Sotheby’s auction in 2017. The diamond, which was discovered in 1999, weighs a remarkable 59.6 carats, has an oval shape and is flawless. A rare combination in a pink diamond, giving it its expensive price.
6. The Winston Blue
Price – $23.8 million
Before this diamond became The Winston Blue, it was called the Fancy Vivid Blue Diamond. The name change came after it was bought by Harry Winston in 2014.
The Winston Blue Diamond is one of the small-sized diamonds on this list with a carat size of 13.22, even though it is the largest of its kind. Pear-shaped, it is internally flawless and is estimated to cost as much as $2 million per carat.
When it was sold to Winston in 2014, it became the most expensive blue diamond in the world. It is the second diamond connected to the famous American Jeweller, and he has been involved in the sale of several other diamonds, earning the name, the ‘King of Diamonds.’
7. The Wittelsbach Diamond
Price – $23.4 million
It is not every material that improves in value after it’s been cut, but that is just one of the unique qualities of diamonds. The Wittelsbach Diamond achieved its place on this list after it was cut from its original 35.56 carats to 31.06 carats. It is one of the diamonds on this list with a lot of history behind it; it has been owned by a few members of European royalty, giving the Wittelsbach a royal background.
The deep blue internally flawless diamond was first discovered in India more than 300 years ago. It is currently owned by another royalty; emir of Qatar, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa, who bought it in 2011 for $23.4 million.
8. The Perfect Pink
Price – $23.2 million
The Perfect Pink achieved its place among the most expensive diamonds in the world in 2010. Though, sadly, the identity of the owner is unknown. But no matter, because it doesn’t change how impressive this diamond is. Even though the price tag places it further down this list, the Perfect Pink diamond is a fancy looking diamond that weighs 14.23 carats. It is also emerald cut and has a rare hue of pink that was achieved via the mixture of gases during the formation of the diamond.
As for its clarity, the Perfect Pink is not a flawless precious stone. It has only been able to achieve a clarity grade of VVS2 (Very Very Slightly Included 2). Its grade is due to a few blemishes inside the precious stone but this does not matter because a diamond as beautiful as this is perfect.
9. The Moussaieff Red Diamond
Price – $20 million
The ninth most expensive diamond in the world is another colored diamond, The Moussaieff Red Diamond. It is the only diamond on this list that was discovered in South America. It was found in Brazil in the 1990s, and while it does have a low price compared to the other diamonds on this list, it is the largest red diamond ever graded.
The red diamond weighs 5.11 carats and has a trilliant cut that gives it the shape of a triangle. Before it was cut, it weighed 13.9 carats. Internally, the Moussaieff Red Diamond is flawless and is considered one of the most incredible diamonds in the world.
The current owner of this diamond is Moussaieff Jewelers Ltd. However, it has been exhibited at the Natural History Museum of the Smithsonian Institution twice, in 2003 and 2005.
10. The Heart of Eternity
Price – $16 million
The majority of diamonds tend to have a white/colorless look, thus making colored diamonds one of the rarer and most gorgeous looking kinds of diamonds. Blue Diamonds, in particular, are less than 1% of mined colored diamonds, making them a unicorn in an already rare group.
Thus, it comes as no surprise that one of the most expensive diamonds on this list is The Heart of Eternity. One of the several diamonds that have been found in South Africa, the Heart of Eternity was discovered by miners in South Africa. This diamond has no gray or black undertones and originally weighed 777 carats after it was discovered. It has since been cut into a heart shape and has passed through the hands of a few notable owners.
The last confirmed owner is De Beers, who bought it in 2000 from the Steinmetz Group, but it has been reported to have changed hands again, this time to the famous boxer, Floyd Mayweather. He reportedly bought it for his fiancée at the time, Shantel Jackson, but there has been actual confirmation of this.