Famous Diamond Legends - diamond jewelry, famous diamonds and diamonds in history

Some unique diamonds are legends because of their size, color, beauty and history.

Cullinan DiamondThe Cullinan Diamond
One of the largest diamonds ever found was in South Africa and named for the owner of the mining company. The Cullinan diamond was 3106 carats. It was cut into 105 beautiful diamonds. The largest is the Star of Africa, a 530 carat diamond. In 1907 this diamond was given to King Edward VII of England and set into the Royal Scepter. It is kept, along with the other British Crown Jewels, in the Tower of London.

Hope DiamondThe Hope Diamond
A 44 carat blue diamond set as a pendant with 16 white diamonds surrounding it and a chain of 45 white diamonds. This diamond has an infamous reputation and fluoresces with a unique reddish color when exposed to ultraviolet light.
Donated to the Smithsonian.

Excelsior diamondThe Excelsior Diamond

A large diamond weighing 995 carats was found in 1893 by an African mine worker. The name Excelsior, meaning higher, came from the stone's original shape - flat on one side and rising to a peak on the other. It was cut into 21 diamonds, the largest being 69 carats. The diamonds were sold to undisclosed parties. The Excelsior 1 was purchased in 1996 by Robert Mouawad.

Regent DiamondThe Regent Diamond
Found on the Kistna River, India in 1701, this 410 carat stone originally known at the Pitt. The diamond was sold to Thomas Pitt who sent it to England to have it cut and polished. The result was a brilliant cushion shaped diamond of 140 carats. In 1717 it was sold to the the Duke of Orleans, regent of France, from which it gets the name Regent. The royals used the stone in many ways including being set in the Crown of Louis XV, as a hair ornament of Queen Marie and as an adornment in the hat of Marie Antoinette. After the French Revolution the stone was set in the hilt of Napoleon Bonaparte's sword. Napoleon's wife, Marie Louisa, carried the Regent back to Austria upon his death. Later her father returned it to the French Crown Jewels. Today, it remains in the French Royal Treasury at Louvre.

Sancy DiamondThe Sancy Diamond

The Sancy is a 55 carat diamond believed to have come from India. The pale yellow stone that fluoresces yellow and pink has become one of the most famous diamonds in history. In 1477 the diamond was lost on a field of battle by it's first know owner Charles, Duke of Burgundy. Not until the 16th century was the Stancy Diamond named - for Seigneur de Sancy, a French Ambassador to Turkey.

The Sancy Diamond has been loaned to the French Kings Henry III and Henry IV, sold to the English King James I and traveled to Paris by way of James II. It has been used to raise money for war, lost for an unpaid loan, bought by a Cardinal, willed to the French Crown and stolen in a great heist of the French Crown jewels. Later it was a part of the Napoleon court, purchased by a Bombay merchant, shown at the 1867 Paris Exhibition, finally making it's way in 1906 to America's Lady Astor as a wedding tiara. In 1978, the Astor family sold the Sancy Diamond, returning it to France again. It is now housed in the Louvre.

Taylor - Burton DiamondThe Taylor-Burton Diamond
This 69 carat diamond was originally known as the Cartier diamond after Cartier Inc. paid the record price of $1,050,000 for the gem at auction. The next day Richard Burton bought the stone for Elizabeth Taylor. It was then renamed the Taylor-Burton diamond. She first wore the pear shaped diamond publicly at a party for Princess Grace's 40th birthday in Monaco. In 1978, she sold the diamond to build a hospital in Botswana. It was subsequently purchased by Robert Mouawad.


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Mouawad and F&W Encyclopedia