Running to the grocery store wearing a diamond worth tens of millions of dollars is probably nerve-wracking. Yet it’s an extremely rare problem to have, especially since most of the world’s most expensive diamonds are on display in museums. If you get a chance to admire these record-setting gems in person, though, don’t forget to wear your sunglasses: they’re pretty blinding.
The Hope Diamond
Some sources say the Hope diamond is worth upward of $300 million; the Smithsonian, which has housed the gem for 50 years, says it’s priceless. The 45.52-carat blue diamond has a long and storied history that adds to its mystique. A 1908 newspaper article partly sparked interest in the diamond by declaring the gem cursed, as demonstrated by the tragedies of many of its owners.
The Cullinan Diamonds
A single diamond weighing more than one pound in an uncommon find. That’s why it was a surprise when a mine superintendent in South Africa discovered a massive gem in 1905. The diamond was cut into hundreds of stones of varying sizes, but the largest earned the name Cullinan I after the mine’s owner. Still, the largest diamond in the world, the Cullinan I (along with two slightly smaller versions cut from the same original gem) resides in the Tower of London. It’s worth is valued at more than $400 million.
Perhaps the world’s most controversial diamond, the Koh-i-Noor is also perhaps the most highly valued. The stone’s history is unclear, but some historians think ancient people discovered it more than 5,000 years ago. People have fought over it ever since. Today, it resides in the Tower of London along with Britain’s crown jewels, but some say India is the rightful owner of the priceless jewel. Its value is said to be too great to be estimated.
The Pink Star Diamond
Although some of the world’s most prized diamonds don’t come with price tags, one recently made headlines for its record-breaking sale. The Pink Star diamond, a 59.6-carat stone, sold for $71.2 million at a Hong Kong auction in April 2017. The massive pink stone was the most valuable gem ever sold at auction.
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