With celebrities buying more and bigger diamonds every year for engagement rings or for other special occasion jewellery (the most well-known recent example being Beyonce’s 18-karat diamond engagement ring), it can be tempting to believe that some of these have to be among the biggest and most expensive diamonds ever sold. But true diamond enthusiasts know that rings like Beyonce’s don’t even come close to the world record holders. Those diamonds are among the most famous ever discovered, held by billionaire owners, museums, and royalty. Let the countdown begin!
10. The Allnatt Diamond
No one really knows where this 101.29 karat, cushion cut diamond was discovered, but many experts believe South Africa to be its home and have theorized that it originated from what is now the De Beers Premier Diamond Mine. The Gemological Institute of America rates the Allnatt diamond colour as Fancy Vivid Yellow, and it gets its name from one of its former owners, Major Alfred Ernest Allnatt, an English businessman and philanthropist. This diamond is currently valued at $3 million.
9. The Moussaieff Red Diamond
Not just a red diamond, but a Fancy Red diamond, at least as rated by the GIA, the Moussaieff has a triangular brilliant (or trilliant) cut. Of all the diamonds in the top 10, this gorgeous 5.11 karat gem was discovered the most recently – in 1990 by a Brazilian farmer who found it in the Abaetezinho River. At just over 5 karats, it’s also the smallest of the top 10 diamonds, but its value comes from the fact that it is that largest Fancy Red ever rated by the GIA. It is currently owned by Moussaieff Jewelers Ltd. and valued at $7 million.
8. The Heart of Eternity Diamond
Discovered in the De Beers Premier Diamond Mine in South Africa, the Heart of Eternity was cut by the Steinmetz Group into the shape of – what else? – a heart, then sold to the De Beers Group. The GIA rates this 27.64 karat diamond as Fancy Vivid Blue, which puts it in a very rare class of coloured diamond. The Heart of Eternity is probably most famous for a failed attempt to steal it in 2000 that was discovered and stopped. It is valued at $16 million.
7. Wittelsbach-Graff Diamond
The Wittelsbach-Graff Diamond is notable for actually losing value – and karats – after being recently recut. Currently a 31.06 Fancy Deep Blue Diamond, it used to be 35.36 karats and known as the Wittelbach Diamond back when it was part of both the Austrian and Bavarian crown jewels. Experts even compared its colour and clarity to the Hope Diamond. But in 2008, a London jeweller bought it at an auction for what was then the highest price ever paid — $23.4 million! – and subsequently had it recut to its current smaller size. It is now worth $16.4 million.
6. The Steinmetz Pink Diamond
The largest and finest Fancy Vivid Pink diamond in the world, the Steinmetz Pink was first revealed in May of 2003 in Monaco, and has been displayed at the Smithsonian as part of their “The Splendour of Diamonds” exhibition. It weighs 59.60 karats, and the Steinmetz group took 20 months to cut it. It is currently valued at $25 million.
Check back to see the rest of this incredible list of rare and expensive diamonds.