Legendary Diamonds Throughout the World

Women the world over--and yes, some men, too--get excited by thoughts of rare or expensive diamonds. Rare, expensive diamonds conjure up images of romance, as well as images of the exciting lifestyle which requires money to be financed into existence. And now, with the diamond mines of South Africa opened, diamonds of 150 carat weight or more are not nearly as rare as they used to be, which leaves open more exciting possibilities for finding incredible specimens of the world's most coveted gemstone.

What are some of the most expensive or famous diamonds in the world? Let's take a look at these wonders of the world.

*The Amsterdam Diamond comes from Africa and is reported to be utterly black. This rare type of black diamond weighs 33.74 carats, having been cut from a rough of 55.85-carats. The cut diamond has 145 facets and was first shown to the world in 1973 in Amsterdam. In November of 2001, Christie's auctioned it off for a world-record single diamond price of $352,000.

*The Black Orlov diamond is another world famous black diamond, although this one is actually an extremely dark shade of gun-metal gray. The diamond takes its named from the Russian Princess Nadia Vyegin-Orlov, its owner for a period during the middle-1700s. The cushion-cut diamond weighs 67.50 carats, and was supposedly cut from a 195 carat weight rough crystal. It's said that it belonged to a nineteenth-century shrine close by Pondicherry, India.

*The Archduke Joseph Diamond is named for one of its owners, the Archduke Joseph August (1872-1962) who was a Hapsburg prince of the Hungarian line, being descended from the Emperor Leopold II and the grandson of Empress Maria Theresa, owner of the legendary Florentine Diamond, which was an heirloom of the dynastic Hapsburgs for years and years. The cut diamond weights 76.45 carats. It is a D-clarity, colorless diamond.

*The Ashberg Diamond is another famous Russian diamond. Weighing 102.48 carats, the amber-colored, cushion-cut diamond used to be counted among the Russian Crown Jewels, although as it most definitely appears to be a classic South African diamond it's believed that this was a late addition to the Russian Crown's collection. In 1934, the Russian Trade Delegation agreed to let one Mr. Ashberg, a prominent Stockholm banker, buy the diamond. Christie's in Geneva attempted to auction the diamond in 1981 but its reserve price was never met and so it was withdrawn.

*The De Beers diamond weighs 234.65 carats, making it the seventh largest faceted diamond on the planet. De Beers Consolidated Mines Limited formed in March 1888, and it didn't take the new company long to unearth a gigantic light yellow octahedral crystal weighing 428.50 old carats (these were the non-metric carats used until 1913). The uncut gem was 47.6 mm through its longest axis while being 38.1 mm square. The De Beers diamond was thee largest discovered at the four Kimberly mines during this time period, outside of the Great White (also called Victoria or Jacob) diamond which may not have come from the Kimberly mines anyway. Find out more about de beers engagement rings.

*The Golden Jubilee diamond is the largest faceted diamond on the planet and weighs 545.67 carats. Gabi Tolkowsky, the designer of the 273.85-carat Centenary Diamond (the largest D-Flawless diamond on the planet), designed the Golden Jubilee, which was presented in 1997 to the King of Thailand in 1997 to celebrate his 50th year of rulership.

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