Diamonds have captivated people for centuries serving as a representation of enduring love, wealth and beauty. Maybe you’ve seen extravagant diamonds on celebrity engagement rings or in a museum exhibit and are curious about the largest diamond in the world. The answer is a little tricky as diamonds are judged and graded by many factors including their size and weight, but we’ve put together a list of some of the largest diamonds in the world.
What’s the Largest Rough Diamond in the World?
It’s important to understand that diamonds aren’t categorized by their physical size but rather by their weight. Carat weight is the scale used, which is why you’ll hear of one-carat or two-carat diamonds. Carat weight doesn’t describe the visible size, and a heavier carat weight is not necessarily more sizable than a diamond of a lesser carat weight. Most diamonds in rings and jewelry will be between 0.5 carats and 2 carats while in contrast, some of the largest diamonds in the world surpass a thousand carats. Some large diamonds aren’t gem quality and therefore aren’t worth much, and others may be the largest of their specific color grade or shape.
A rough diamond refers to the gemstone in its natural state mined from the ground before it is cut and polished into a diamond worthy of jewelry or collection. Most people don’t ever see raw diamonds, they are dull, oily looking and come in many colors. Rough diamonds must clear an evaluation before being processed into a gemstone for jewelry and some are cut down into multiple pieces from the original raw stone.
The largest rough diamond by size is The Cullinan Diamond. The rough Cullinan weighed 3,106 carats. It was discovered in the Premier Mine in South Africa by Sir Thomas Cullinan in 1905 and remains the largest clear diamond ever found. Gifted to King Edward VII, the stone was cut by the Asscher Diamond Company into a whopping 105 pieces, nine large (named Cullinan I through IX based on size) and 96 smaller stones. The largest of the stones are the Cullinan I, the Star of Africa at 530.4 carats and the Cullinan II at 317.4 carats both of which became part of the crown jewels.
The largest rough diamond by carat weight is The Sergio Diamond. In 1893, an extremely rare black carbonado diamond was found in Bahia, Brazil. It was found above ground like most carbonado diamonds by Sergio Borger de Carvalho before being sold and eventually broken up into small pieces and turned into industrial diamond drill bits. Although smaller in size and physical weight than the Cullinan, the Sergio had a higher weight of 3,167 carats.
What’s the Largest Cut Diamond in the World?
Diamonds are cut into shapes with numerous facets, each acting like a mirror reflecting light from one part of the diamond to another. The more facets a stone has been cut with, the more brilliant and sparkly it will be. Common diamond cuts are brilliant, step and rose. Cut is also a measurement of quality and diamonds are given grades ranging from poor to excellent. The shape of a diamond refers to its geometric characteristics and general silhouette when viewed face up. Diamonds come in a variety of shapes, the most popular being round.
The largest cut diamond is The Golden Jubilee Diamond. As a rough diamond discovered in 1985 in South Africa, it weighed 755.5 carats, then 545.67 carats after being cut and fashioned into a polished, cushion-shaped diamond. It’s the single largest diamond in the world right now. As the name suggests, it’s golden brown which makes it significantly less valuable than the clear Cullinan stones, despite its higher carat rating. Since 1997 it’s been the property of the King of Thailand and makes its home as part of the country’s royal jewels.
The largest colorless diamond is The Cullinan Diamond. Also known as The Great Star of Africa Diamond, it held the title of the largest cut diamond in the world until the discovery of the Golden Jubilee. 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.
The Largest Diamonds in the World Include:
- Cullinan: 3,106 carats discovered in 1905
- Louis Vuitton Sewelô: 1,758 carats discovered in 2019
- Unnamed from Karowe, Botswana: 1,175 carats discovered in 2021
- Graff Lesedi La Rona: 1,109 carats discovered om 2015
- Unnamed from Jwaneng, Botswana: 1,098 carats discovered in 2021
- Unnamed from Karowe, Botswana: 1,080 carats discovered in 2023
- Unnamed from Karowe, Botswana: 998 carats discovered in 2020
- Excelsior: 995 carats discovered in 1893
- Star of Sierra Leone: 969 carats discovered in 1972
- Lesotho Legend: 910 carats discovered in 2018
- Incomparable: 890 carats discovered in 1989
- Constellation I: 813 carats discovered in 2015
- Koh-i-Noor: 793 carats, discovered in the 13th century
- Great Mogul: 787 carats discovered in the 17th century
- Millennium Star: 777 carats discovered in 1990
- Woyie River: 770 carats discovered in 1945
- Golden Jubilee: 755 carats, discovered in 1985
- Peace: 709 carats discovered in 2017
- Lesotho Promise: 603 carats discovered in 2006
- Wynn: 581 carats discovered in 2002
- Diavik: 552 carats discovered in 2018
- Letšeng Star: 550 carats discovered in 2011
- Unnamed from Karowe, Botswana: 549 carats discovered in 2020
- Cullinan Heritage: 507 carats discovered in 2009
- Letšeng Legacy: 493 carats discovered in 2007