Jewelry Trends

Revealed: Largest Diamond in the World and the Top 9 Gigantic Gems That Follow

Dustin Lemick

Author

If you’ve ever purchased a diamond engagement ring, you know just how expensive a diamond can be. Gem-quality, natural diamonds are a rare find. The larger the diamond, the rarer and more valuable it is. Right now, there are only 6,505 diamonds for sale worldwide that weigh over 5 carats. That’s less than 1% of all the diamonds for sale!
Now imagine how rare a diamond is that’s hundreds of carats. It’s a once-in-a-century find. These multimillion-dollar behemoths are so notable, they have their own unique names.
Here are the top 10 largest gem-quality diamonds ever found.

What You Will Learn

1. The Cullinan Diamond

The Cullinan Diamond

The largest diamond in history was discovered in the Premier Mine of South Africa in 1905. Named after the owner of the mine, Thomas Cullinan, the Cullinan Diamond was an incredible 3,106 carats — weighing nearly 1.4 pounds. The rough diamond was about 4 inches long, 2 inches wide, and 2.5 inches high.

Frederick Wells, the Premier Mine’s superintendent, found the crystal near the surface of the mining pit. He initially thought it was a lesser gem, believing that a diamond that size was impossible.

The Cullinan Diamond was given to Edward VII of England as a gift by the government of Transvaal. Famous diamond cutter Joseph Asscher cut the stone into ten important diamonds. Many of these diamonds are still on display in the Crown Jewel collection. The largest stone cut from the Cullinan is the 530.4-carat Great Star of Africa (Cullinan I Diamond), which is set in the Sovereign’s Scepter with Cross.

Our estimated net worth of the Cullinan I Diamond is $150,046,978. It would cost approximately $2,250,705 a year to insure it.

2. The Lesedi La Rona Diamond

La Rona Diamond

This diamond made world headlines in 2015 when it was discovered at the Karowe Mine in Botswana. The 1,109-carat stone is the largest gem-quality rough specimen found since the Cullinan Diamond.
Lesedi La Rona” is Tswana for “our light,” and the diamond received the name in a nationwide contest. It sold for $53 million in 2017 to Graff Diamonds.
After months of analyzing the diamond, Graff cut the stone into a 302.37-carat, emerald-shaped diamond, the largest emerald-shaped diamond in the world. An additional 66 smaller-cut diamonds were created with the remaining rough specimen. The diamond is of exceptional quality, graded Type IIA, and graded D color by the Gemological Institute of America.
Our estimated net worth of the Graff Lesedi La Rona is $85,538,659. It would cost approximately $1,283,080 a year to insure it.

3. The Excelsior Diamond

Excelsior

The 995-carat Excelsior Diamond was the largest diamond in the world when it was discovered in 1893 at the Jagersfontein Mine in South Africa. By chance, a worker spotted the stone in a shovel full of gravel.

Sadly, the diamond was stored in a safe without a buyer until 1903, when it was shipped to Amsterdam and cut into ten smaller pieces. One of those pieces became the Excelsior I, a stunning 69.68-carat, pear-shaped diamond. The Excelsior I sold in 1996 to Mouwad Jewelers, where it was set in a bracelet.

Our estimated net worth of the Excelsior I Diamond is $19,712,054. It would cost approximately $295,681 a year to insure it.

4. The Star of Sierra Leone

The Star of Sierra Leone

The 968.9-carat Star of Sierra Leone was found in its namesake country in 1972. It was purchased by Harry Winston for several million dollars and brought to New York. It was initially cut into a 143.2-carat emerald shape, but due to a flaw, it was later recut into 17 separate diamonds. One of those diamonds is a 53.96-carat, pear-shaped stone. Size diamonds from the original rough were set by Harry Winston into the Star of Sierra Leone Brooch.

Our estimated net worth of the Star of Sierra Leone is $15,264,960. It would cost approximately $228,974 a year to insure it.

5. Lesotho Legend

Lesotho LegendThe 910-carat Lesotho Legend was discovered in 2018 at the Lestseng Mine in Lesotho. It is the fifth-largest, gem-quality diamond ever found. The rough diamond sold for $40 million in 2018 to Van Cleef & Arpels, who cut the diamond into 67 diamonds totaling 441.75 carats. The largest of those diamonds is a 79.35-carat, oval-cut diamond now set in the Atours Mystérieux necklace.

Our estimated net worth of the Lesotho Legend pear-shaped diamond is $22,447,639. It would cost approximately $336,715 a year to insure it.

6. The Incomparable Diamond

The incomportable diamond

The Incomparable Diamond is quite possibly our favorite name on this list. In 1984, a young girl found this 890-carat, fancy deep brownish-yellow diamond in the tailings of the MIBA Mine in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The diamond was cut into a unique triangular shape weighing 407.38 carats. In 2013, Mouwad Jewelers set it into a 367-carat diamond necklace listed by Guinness World Records as the world’s most expensive necklace at $55 million.

Our estimated net worth of The Incomparable Diamond is $6,926,274. It would cost approximately $103,894 a year to insure it.

7. The Constellation Diamond

The constellation diamond

This 813-carat monster was found in 2015 by Lucara Diamond Company at the Karowe Mine, the same year and mine where the Lesedi La Rona was found. It was purchased by de Grisogono for a staggering $63 million. This diamond also has exceptional color and clarity. The diamond has not been cut into any polished stones yet.

Our estimated net worth of The Constellation Diamond is $63 million. It would cost approximately $945,000 a year to insure it.

8. The Millennium Star Diamond

The Millennium Star Diamond

This 777-carat (a lucky number!) diamond was found in 1990 in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It came from no particular mine, but was found in alluvial deposits. It was purchased by DeBeers at an undisclosed price. The rough was cut down to a 203.04-carat, pear-shaped diamond. It’s the world’s second-largest, D color, internally flawless diamond. While on display in 2000, there was a foiled attempt to steal the diamond.

Our estimated net worth of The Millennium Star Diamond is $57,438,798. It would cost approximately $861,582 a year to insure it.

9. The Woyie River Diamond

The Woyie River Diamond

This 770-carat stone is named after a river near Koidu, in Sierra Leone, where it was discovered in 1945 by the Sierra Leone Selection Trust Limited. Back then, it was the largest alluvial diamond ever found. The rough diamond had a smooth, cleaved face, indicating that, at one time, it was larger, but broke apart in its journey down the river.

In 1953, the rough was cut into 30 diamonds by the firm Briefel and Lemer. The largest gem cut from the original was a D color, VVS2 clarity, 31.34-carat diamond named The Victory Diamond, after the Allied victory in WWII. The Victory Diamond sold for $4.3 million at Christie’s in 2015.

Our estimated net worth of The Victory Diamond is $8,865,898. It would cost approximately $132,988 a year to insure it.

10. The Golden Jubilee

The Golden Jubilee

This fancy color diamond was 755.5 carats when it was discovered in South Africa in 1985. It was cut with exceptional yield into a 545.67-carat, cushion-shaped, yellowish-brown diamond. It is the largest polished diamond in the world.

In 1997, the diamond was gifted to the King of Thailand. Since brown diamonds are less valuable than white diamonds, the diamond’s value is considerably lower than other diamonds on this list.

Our estimated net worth of The Golden Jubilee is $4,566,166. It would cost approximately $68,492 a year to insure it.

Unnamed Honorable Mentions

The 21st century has been a watershed moment for the discovery of big diamonds. In the past ten years, multiple big diamonds have been uncovered around the world. Some of these diamonds don’t have a name quite yet.

  • The 1,758-carat Sewelô diamond, found in 2019
  • A 1,174-carat diamond from Karowe, Botswana, found in 2021
  • A 1,098.3-carat diamond from Jwaneng, Botswana, found in 2021
  • A 998-carat diamond from Karowe, Botswana, found in 2020
  • A 1,080-carat diamond from Karowe, Botswana, found in 2023

Also Check:

How to Identify a Raw Diamond | BriteCo Jewelry Insurance
Heart Cut Diamonds: Love in Every Facet
Hexagon Cut Diamond | BriteCo Jewelry Insurance

Birthstone Guide:

Curious About Your Birthstone? Discover All The Details In Our FREE Guide!

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Dustin Lemick

Author

Dustin Lemick is the Founder and CEO of BriteCo and a third-generation jeweler with over thirteen years of retail jewelry experience. He holds a Graduate Gemologist degree from the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) and has in-depth knowledge and expertise in appraisal systems, diamond and gemstone markets, retail pricing models, insurance replacement models, and jewelry quotation pricing systems.

Contact

805 Greenwood Street
Evanston, IL 60201

[email protected]

BriteCo Inc. is a licensed insurance agency in all fifty states and the District of Columbia.