Diamonds are commonly small gems on your wedding ring or diamond necklace.
Maybe you’ve seen the extravagant diamonds on celebrity engagement rings but are curious about the real largest diamond in the world.
The answer is tricky. Diamonds are judged and graded by many factors, like size and weight.
Some large diamonds are not of gem quality and therefore not worth much. Other diamonds may be the largest of their specific color grade or shape.
We have put together a list of some of the largest diamonds in the world that range from record-breaking rough diamonds to beautifully cut stones.
What is Carat Weight?
First, it’s essential to understand that diamonds are not categorized by physical size but by weight. Carat weight is the scale used to describe diamonds and other gemstones.
One carat equals one-fifth of a gram. When judging diamonds by size, it is by carat weight. That is why you’ll often hear of one-carat or two-carat diamonds.
Carat weight sounds like it deals with visible size, but it does not. A heavier carat weight diamond is not necessarily more sizable than a diamond of a lesser carat weight. That is usually only significant when talking about differences of one carat or less.
Most diamonds in rings and jewelry will be between 0.5 carats and 2 carats. In contrast, some of the largest diamonds in the world surpass a thousand carats.
Most diamonds in rings and jewelry will be between 0.5 and 2 carats. In contrast, some of the largest diamonds in the world surpass a thousand carats.
What Makes Diamonds Rare?
Large diamonds are rarer than smaller ones. So, a massive diamond is automatically rarer and attracts more attention when discovered.
Diamond grading follows the 4 C’s: cut, color, clarity, and carat weight. The diamonds that make headlines are the colossal stones with the highest gem quality; they are flawless and colorless or have a fancy color.
The more flawless the diamond, the more rare and expensive it will be. A small unblemished diamond is worth more than a larger rough stone.
Diamond pricing is complex, but after learning the principles, you can differentiate between what is physically grand and the most expensive diamonds.
The discovery of the Cullinan Diamond happened at the Premier Mine in 1905.
Its name came from the founder of the Premier Mine, Thomas Cullinan. Thomas Cullinan sold the rough gem to the Transvaal Colony government, who gifted it to King Edward VII.
King Edward VII desired the Cullinan Diamond cut into smaller faceted gems. The result was a collection of nine prime diamonds and hundreds of smaller ones.
The Cullinan diamonds were named the Cullinan I through IX based on size. The Cullinan I and the Cullinan II diamond were sent back to King Edward VII and later became part of the crown jewels.
The Largest Rough Diamond in the World
A rough diamond is a diamond in its natural state. It is the rough gemstone mined from the ground before it is cut and polished into a diamond worthy of jewelry.
Most people don’t ever see rough diamonds, but they look like jagged clear rocks. Rough diamonds must clear an evaluation before being processed into a gemstone for jewelry.
The rough Cullinan diamond weighed 3106 carats, approximately 621 grams, making it the largest rough diamond discovered in the world.
The Largest Colorless Diamond
The Cullinan I weighs 530.2 carats and is currently the largest clear-cut diamond in the world.
It held the title of the largest cut diamond in the world from 1908 until the discovery of the Golden Jubilee diamond. It still is the largest colorless diamond.
The Golden Jubilee
Mined at the Premier Mine in 1985, the Golden Jubilee originally weighed 755.5 carats as a rough diamond.
Pope John Paul II blessed the enormous stone. It currently belongs to the King of Thailand and the Royal Family.
The Largest Cut Diamond
The Golden Jubilee is the largest cut diamond at 545.67 carats, outweighing the Cullinan I by 15 carats.
The Golden Jubilee diamond is brown, leaving the Cullinan I the largest clear-cut diamond. Colored diamonds are rare, so the Golden Jubilee is even more special.
The Largest Faceted Diamond
The Golden Jubilee diamond is the world’s largest faceted diamond and is one of the largest gem-quality diamonds ever discovered.
As a faceted diamond, it has a flat top and polished facets along the side that come to a point at the bottom. This cut emphasizes the diamond’s brilliance and beauty.
Weighing 105.6 carats, the Koh-i-Noor tops the list as one of the highest-priced diamonds in the world and is possibly the most controversial.
It is currently a part of the British Crown Jewels. However, many countries have a claim to the Koh-i-Noor like India, Pakistan, Iran, and Afghanistan.
The Koh-i-Noor’s history is filled with theft and curses, but it is still internationally renowned and famous for its beauty.
The Millennium Star Diamond
The Millennium Star diamond is the second-largest colorless diamond behind the Cullinan I. It weighs 203 carats and is a stunning pear-shaped diamond.
In 2000, a robber attempted to steal the Millennium Star diamond at the Millennium Dome in London.
The Incomparable Diamond
A young girl found the Incomparable diamond around a mine in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The yellow-brown stone was cut and polished into the Incomparable Diamond, a triangular drop gem weighing 407.48 carats.
It now sits in a necklace that received the Guinness World Record for most valuable necklace in 2013.
The Lesedi La Rona
The Lesedi La Rona is the fourth-largest gem-quality diamond in the world.
As a rough diamond, it weighed 1109 carats but was later cut into a 302-carat emerald diamond. It is the largest diamond to have a square emerald cut.
Its name means “Our Light” in Tswana, the language of Botswana, the land of its discovery.
As one of the world’s largest cut diamond, The Enigma weighs 555.55 carats.
While the Cullinan I also shares this title, the Enigma is a black diamond over a billion years old. Black diamonds, or carbonados, are rare but less valuable than colorless diamonds.
In February of 2022, the Enigma was sold for 4.3 million dollars to a buyer who used cryptocurrency to purchase.
Diamonds for Jewelry
If you’re in the market for diamond jewelry, you may feel a little overwhelmed with all of these large diamonds. But there’s no need to worry.
You can easily find affordable diamonds for engagement rings and other jewelry to wear every day. Not everyone is in the market for the biggest diamonds.