Arlecchino jewelsWorld's 10 Most Famous Diamonds

 

The Great Star of Africa
530.20 Carats - the Cullinan I or Star Africa diamond is the largest cut diamond in the world. Pear shaped, with 74 facets, it is set in the Royal Scepter (kept with the other Crown Jewels in the Tower of London). It was cut from the 3,106-carat Cullian, the largest diamond crystal ever found. The Cullian was discovered in Transvaal, South Africa in l095 on an inspection tour of the Premier Mine. The Cullian was cut by Joseph Asscher and Company of Amsterdam, who examined the enormous crystal for around six months before determining how to divide it. It eventually yeilded nine major, and 96 smaller brilliant cut stones. When the Cullian was first discovered, certain signs suggested that it may have been part of a much larger crystal. But no discovery of the "missing half" has ever been authenticated.

 

LOOKING FOR that unique
Italian handmade jewel?
CLICK HERE!

     The Great Star of Africa - Cullian I

 

The Orloff
300 Carats when found, color: slightly bluish green, clarity: exceptionally pure, cut: Mogul-cut rose, source: India.
This gem may be found in the Diamond Treasury of Russia in Moscow.
There are so many historical episodes involving the Orloff. First, it may have been set at one time as the diamond eye of Vishnu's idol (one of the Hindu Gods) in the innermost sanctuary temple in Sriangam, before being stolen in the 1700s by a French deserter. However, the deserter just dug one eye from its socket, because he was terror-stricken at the thought of retribution, so he couldn't take the other. He went to Madras, and sold the stone quickly to an English sea-captain for 2,000 pounds.
The time passed, the stone arrived at Amsterdam where the Russian count Grigori Orloff, an ex-lover of Empress Catherine the Great was residing. He heard about rumors of the stone, and he bought the diamond for 90,000 pounds and took it back to Russia for Catherine's favor. The stone has been called the Orloff since then. Catherine received his gift and had it mounted in the Imperial Sceptre. She gave a marble palace to Grigori in exchange for the Orloff. However, Grigori couldn't get Catherine's love. Grigori Orloff passed away at the nadir of disappointment in 1783.
In 1812 the Russians, fearing that Napoleon with his Grand Army was about to enter Moscow, hid the Orloff in a priest's tomb. Napoleon supposedly discovered the Orloff's location and went to claim it. However, as a solider of the Army was about to touch the Orloff, a priest's ghost appeared and pronounced a terrible curse upon the Army. The Emperor, Napoleon scampered away without the Orloff.

 

 

     The Orloff

 

The Centenary Diamond
273.85 Carats, discovered at the Premier Mine, in July 1986. The 'Centenary' diamond weighed 599.10 carats in the rough. Together with a small select team, master-cutter Gabi Tolkowsky took almost three years to complete its transformation into the world's largest, most modern-cut, top-colour, flawless diamond.
Possessing 247 facets - 164 on the stone and 83 on its girdle - the aptly-named 'Centenary' diamond weighs 273.85 carats, and is only surpassed in size by the 530.20 carat 'Great Star of Africa' and the 317.40 carat 'Lesser Star of Africa', both of which are set into the British Crown Jewels. The 'Centenary' diamond was unveiled, appropriately at the Tower of London in May,1991.

 

 

     The Centenary Diamond

 

The Regent
140.50 Carats, although it is now surpassed in weight by other famous diamonds, the exceptional limpidity and perfect cut of the Regent give it an uncontestable reputation as the most beautiful diamond in the world. Discovered in India in 1698, it was acquired by Thomas Pitt, Governor of Madras, who sent it to England where it was cut. In 1717 the Regent purchased it from Pitt for the French Crown. It first adorned the band of Louis XV's silver gilt crown (in the Louvre) at his coronation in 1722, going then to Louis XVI's crown in 1775. Later in 1801 it figured on the hilt of the First Consul's sword (Fontainebleau, Musée Napoléon 1st), and then on the Emperor's two-edged sword in 1812. In 1825 it was worn on the crown at the coronation of Charles x, and during the Second Empire it embellished the "Grecian diadem" of the Empress Eugenie. It can be seen today at the Louvre in Paris.

 

 

     The Regent

 

Koh-i-Noor (Mountain of Light)
105.60 Carats, an oval cut gem, now part of the British Crown Jewels. The name of this diamond means "Mountain of Light" and its history, dating back to1304, is the longest of all famous diamonds. It was captured by the Rajahs of Malwa in the sixteenth century by the Mogul, Sultan Babur and remained in the possession of later Mogul emperors. It may have been set in the famous Peacock Throne made for Shah Jehan. After the break-up of the Persian empire the diamond found its way to India. It may have traveled to Afghanistan with a bodyguard of Nadir Shah, who fled with the stone when the Shah was murdered, to be later offered to Ranjit Singh of the Punjab in exchange for military help (which was never delivered). After fighting broke out between the Sikhs and the British, The East India Company claimed the diamond as a partial indemnity, and then presented it to Queen Victoria in 1850. When the stone came from India, it weighed l986 carats; it was later recut to l08.93 carats. It was first worn by the Queen in a brooch. It was later set in the State Crown, worn by Queen Alexandra and Queen Mary, and 1937 was worn for by Queen Elizabeth for her coronation. It is kept in the Tower of London, with the other Crown Jewels.

 

 

     The Koh-i-Noor

 

The Idol's Eye
70.20 Carats, a flattened pear-shaped stone the size of a bantam's egg. Another famous diamond that was once set in the eye of an idol before it was stolen. Legend also has it that it was given as ransom for Princess Rasheetah by the Sheik of Kashmir to the Sultan of Turkey who had abducted her.

 

 

     The Idol's Eye

 

 

The Taylor-Burton
69.42 Carats, color: F-G, clarity: IF, cut: Pear-shape, source: Premier Mine, Transvaal, South Africa.
It was founded in 1966 in the Premier Mine in South Africa. The rough, which weighted 240.80 carats, was cut into a 69.42 pear shape diamond.
As you might guess from the name, Richard Burton bought and named this stone as a gift for Elizabeth Taylor. Yes, Richard Burton bought it $1,100,000. He also named this stone as an engagement. After Burton's death in 1979, Liz Taylor sold the stone for charity and reportedly received $2.8 million. She donated in his memory to a hospital in Biafra.   It was last seen in Saudi Arabia.

 

 

 

     The Taylor-Burton

 

The Sancy
55 Carats, it was cut in a pear shape and was first owned by Charles the Bold, Duke of Burgundy, who lost it in battle in 1477. The stone is in fact named after a later owner, Seigneur de Sancy, a French Ambassador to Turkey in the late 16th century.  He loaned it to the French king, Henry III who wore it in the cap with which he concealed his baldness.  Henry IV of France also borrowed the stone from Sancy, but it was sold in 1664 to James I of England.  In 1688, James II, last of the Stuart kings of England, fled with it to Paris.  It disappeared during the French revolution.

 

 

     The Sancy

 

The Blue Hope
45.52 Carats, the ironically named Hope diamond (named for its purchaser, Henry Thomas Hope) may have had a long and illustrious history before it became associated with a run of bad luck for its owners. It is thought to be a part of the famous Blue Tavernier Diamond, brought to Europe from India in l642. The Blue was purchased by King Louis XIV who had it cut to 67.50 carats from 112 carats to bring out its brilliance. The diamond was stolen during the French Revolution, and a smaller diamond of similar color was sold in 1830 to Hope, an English banker. After inheriting the diamond, Hope's son lost his fortune. It was eventually acquired by an American widow, Mrs. Edward McLean, whose family then suffered a series of catastrophes: her only child was accidentally killed, the family broke up, Mrs. McLean lost her money, and then committed suicide. When Harry Winston, the New York diamond merchant, bought the stone in 1949, many clients refused to uch the stone. It is now on display at the Smithosonian Institute in Washington.

 

 

     The Blue Hope

 

Hortensia
20 Carats, a peach colored stone, named after the Queen of Holland, the step-daughter of Napoleon Bonaparte, this gem is part of the French Crown Jewels and may be viewed at the Louvre in Paris.

 

 

     The Hortensia

 

 


 

 

Italian Fine Jewelry

 

 

     Copyright ©1998-2007, StudioSoft. All rights reserved.
Arlecchino Jewels footer