From engagement rings to regalia- diamonds are far more than a girl’s best friend. These precious stones symbolize beauty, prosperity, and eternity for centuries- but some are more impressive than others.
Throughout history, several diamond discoveries have rocked the industry. Here is an introduction to the world’s largest diamonds and their stories.
What Is the Largest Diamond in the World?
When it comes to the largest diamonds in the world, there is more than one winner. Depending on who you ask, you will get a different answer. In this guide, we have covered all the bases and shared the three contenders for the world’s biggest diamond.
Largest Rough Diamond by Size: The Cullinan Diamond
The Cullinan Diamond is arguably the most famous in the world- and is the one most people regard as the largest in history. It was discovered in the Premier Mine in South Africa by Sir Thomas Cullinan in 1905 and remains, to this day, the largest clear diamond ever found.
In its original uncut state, the clear diamond weighed well over a pound and was a little under four inches long. It was so big that officials at the mine did not believe it was real!
Gifted to King Edward VII, the 3106.75 carat was cut by the Asscher Diamond Company into a whopping 105 pieces- nine large and 96 small stones.
The largest of the stones is Cullinan I, the Star of Africa. It is 530.4 carats and weighs 106.08 grams. Cullinan II is the second most important stone cut from the rough diamond- at 317.4 carats and 63.48 grams.
Largest Rough Diamond by Carat Weight: The Sergio Diamond
Believe it or not, there has technically been a larger diamond found than the Cullinan. In 1893, an extremely rare black carbonado diamond was found in Bahia, Brazil, rumored to have come from outer space.
Although smaller in size and physical weight than the Cullinan (633.4 grams), the Sergio diamond has a higher carat weight. In its rough diamond state, it had an incredible total carat weight of 3167.
Most people do not consider it the biggest diamond ever found due to size, but there is a case to be made- given that carat weight is one of the key defining features of a diamond.
It was found above ground- like most carbonado diamonds- by Sergio Borger de Carvalho before being sold to Joalheria Kahn and Co. in Paris. The Sergio diamond continued its journey after being sold again to I. K. Gulland of London to be broken up into small pieces and turned into industrial diamond drill bits.
Largest Cut Diamond: The Golden Jubilee Diamond
The diamonds mentioned above may have been the world’s largest upon discovery but have since been cut down to make smaller pieces. With that in mind, a third diamond is claiming the title of the biggest diamond in the world.
The largest cut and finished diamond in the world today is the Golden Jubilee. As a rough diamond, discovered in 1985 in South Africa, it weighed 755.5 carats- nowhere near as much as the previous contenders.
However, it weighs 545.67 carats today after being cut and fashioned into a polished, cushion-shaped diamond. That makes it the single largest diamond stone in the world right now- with 15.27 carats more than Cullinan I.
As the name suggests, it is golden brown- making it significantly less valuable than the brilliantly clear Cullinan stones, despite its higher carat rating.
Since 1997, it has been the property of the King of Thailand- and makes its home as part of the country’s royal jewels.
Other Notable Large Diamonds
There are several famous diamonds in the world that- although not as big as the three already mentioned- are stunningly impressive in size and carat weight. Here are four more large stones worth knowing about.
Woyie River Diamond
The Woyie River Diamond is the world’s largest alluvial diamond- and the third-largest in Africa. Found in the Woyie River in 1945 in Sierra Leone, the 770-carat diamond had a flat face of over 11 centimeters squared- which suggests it was once part of a larger diamond but broke off at some point along its journey.
It has since been cut into 30 much smaller diamonds- the largest being the 31.34-carat Victory Diamond, which sold for $4.3 million in 2015.
Two particularly fascinating things make the Incomparable Diamond famous: its once record-breaking valuation and the story of the diamond’s discovery.
The 890-carat rough diamond was found in a pile of rubble by a young girl playing in the Democratic Republic of Congo in 1989. It became the second-largest rough diamond ever found in Africa (after the Cullinan Diamond).
It took several years for the incredible stone to be analyzed and cut- but the result was worth the weight. After much consideration, the decision was made to make the stone smaller- leaving an impeccably flawless 407.78-carat diamond that made it into the Guinness Book of World Records (at the time) with its value estimation of $55 million.
Before the Cullinan, the Excelsior Diamond was the world’s largest. It was also found in South Africa several years before 1897 and in a different mine. The Excelsior Diamond was originally one 995.2-carat stone- but has since been cut into ten smaller stones.
Millennium Star Diamond
With an estimated worth of more than $40 million, the Millennium Star Diamond was a major diamond discovery in 1990. Another African find was purchased by De Beers and cut into several highly-valuable diamonds by the Steinmetz Group.
Very few diamonds are considered priceless, but one shines above the rest. A list of famous diamonds would not be complete without the Koh-i-Noor. More notorious than famous, the Indian-found beauty was discovered as far back as the 13th Century (or earlier, an exact date is unknown) and has since been controversial.
It passed hands several times with much violence, and some believe it was eventually stolen from India by the British Empire. The rough diamond originally weighed 793 carats- but has since been cut (on the demands of Prince Albert in 1852) into a 186-carat oval.
Today, the Koh-i-Noor diamond sits at the front of the British Imperial Crown- and was awarded priceless status for its brilliance, perfection, and status.
Several incredible stones could be considered the world’s biggest diamond. Going purely off of carat weight, the Sergio takes the top spot.
The largest rough diamond- as we know and love them- ever found is undoubtedly the Cullinan Diamond. Even once cut, it still accounts for the second largest individual stone in the world- and several of the lesser stones are also very impressive.
If you wonder what the single largest diamond today is, the Golden Jubilee takes the crown.
All these diamonds are equally impressive in their rights- with rich histories, fascinating backstories, and something for gem lovers to marvel at.