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Renowned Diamonds

Among the most famous of all large diamonds is the Hope Diamond. Currently on display at the Smithsonian, this steel blue diamond weighs in at a hefty 45.52-carats. There are many legends detailing the curse of ill fortune allegedly bestowed on the possessor of the Hope Diamond, perhaps contributing to the decision to donate this diamond to the Smithsonian in 1958. Originally the Hope was a rather flat, blocky 110-carat rough. As the largest green diamond in the world the Dresden Green stands out among the natural colored diamonds, weighing 40.

70-carats. This diamond is essentially priceless due to its size, historic nature, and natural green color with a slight blue overtone. Once owned by Louis XIII, the Conde Pink is a pear shaped pink diamond and weighs 9.01-carats. Discovered in either 1877 or 1878 in South Africa, the Tiffany Yellow diamond was a stunning canary-yellow octahedron weighing 287.

42 in rough (metric) carats. After cutting the gem was pared down to an extraordinary weight of 128.54-carats and was, until recently, the largest golden-yellow in the world. Now among the British Crown Jewels is the 105.60-carat Koh-I-Noor (Mountain of Light). This diamond is believed to have once been set in Shah Jehan's famous peacock throne as one of the peacocks' eyes and was first mentioned in 1304. Weighing a respectable 32.34-carats, the Agra is graded as a naturally colored Fancy Light Pink. In 1989 it was sold for about 6.6 million dollars.

It has since been modified to a cushion shape weighing about 28.15-carats. The Transvaal Blue is a stunning pear cut. At 25-carats, this blue diamond was found in the Premier Diamond Mine in Transvaal, South Africa. The Great Chrysanthemum was discovered in a South African diamond field, in the summer of 1963. This fancy brown diamond appeared to be a light honey color in its rough state at 198.28-carats. After cutting, however, it was found to be a rich golden brown, with overtones of sienna and burnt orange and weighed in at 104.15-carats. Cartier of New York purchased the pear-shaped 69.

42-carat Taylor-Burton Diamond at an auction in 1969 and christened it "Cartier." Richard Burton purchased it the next day for Elizabeth Taylor. He then renamed it the "Taylor-Burton". Elizabeth Taylor put the diamond up for sale in 1978, requiring prospective buyers to pay $2,500 each to view the diamond, in order to cover the costs of showing it. The diamond was finally sold in June of 1979 for nearly $3 million dollars.


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