Exploring the Most Iconic and Pricey Diamond Jewellery Pieces in History

Diamonds are forever, and they’ve been making a statement in the world of fashion and luxury for centuries. They’re not just a girl’s best friend, they’ve been the crowning glory of queens, kings, and celebrities alike. In this text, we’ll investigate into the rich history of diamond jewellery, highlighting some of the most iconic pieces that have ever been crafted.

From the breathtaking Hope Diamond to the stunning Cullinan Diamond, these aren’t your everyday bling. These are pieces that have not only dazzled onlookers but have also shaped the course of history. They’ve been the centre of intrigue, mystery, and sometimes even controversy.

The Hope Diamond – A Tale of Beauty and Curse

Steeped in legend and cloaked in mystery, the Hope Diamond has enticed and intrigued since its discovery in the 17th century. Believed to originate from India, it’s famed for its sublime blue colour and extraordinary size – weighing in at a staggering 45.52 carats.

The allure of the Hope Diamond extends beyond its physical beauty. Over the centuries, it’s garnered a reputation for being cursed. The tragic fates that befell its various owners – including Louis XIV, Marie Antoinette, and American heiress Evalyn Walsh McLean – have only fuelled these whispers. It’s said that misfortune, calamity, even death, shadow those who dare call it theirs.

With a rich history intertwined with royals and celebrities, the Hope Diamond isn’t just a gemstone. To many, it symbolises power, opulence and a dark allure that’s simply irresistible – echoing the broader narrative of diamonds in the realms of fashion and luxury. Today, it embellishes a necklace on display at the Smithsonian Institution, captivating audiences with its sensational tale.

The Cullinan Diamond – The Largest of Them All

Among the world’s most famous diamonds, the Cullinan Diamond holds a profound significance. Found in 1905 in South Africa’s Premier No. 2 mine, it is the largest rough gem-quality diamond ever discovered. It initially weighed an impressive 3,106.75 carats!

Learning about the Cullinan diamond’s story, one discovers how it underwent transformations to become part of history. After its discovery, it was named after Sir Thomas Cullinan, the owner of the mine. But, the challenge of tackling such a behemoth was evident. The process of cutting and shaping wasn’t a cakewalk, given its massive size. Antwerp-based diamond cutter Joseph Asscher took on the task, resulting in a total of nine major gems and 96 smaller stones.

Making its home in the British Royal Crown Jewels, the two largest stones cut from the original diamond are the pear-shaped Cullinan I, also known as the Star of Africa I, and the cushion-shaped Cullinan II. They weigh a staggering 530.2 and 317.4 carats, respectively. Keeping the greatness of these jewels in mind, take a glance at the markdown table below for a clear comparison:

NameWeight (carats)
Cullinan I530.2
Cullinan II317.4

Over the years, the enduring legacy of the Cullinan Diamond certainly illuminates the paths that some iconic diamonds have taken. Its journey from a South African mine to the glamorous heart of British royalty exemplifies the captivating allure of these glittering stones. Meanwhile, the dazzling saga of the world’s most iconic diamond jewellery pieces continues to be increasingly captivating.

The Taylor-Burton Diamond Necklace – A Love Story in Gems

There’s a certain charm to a diamond with a history, and the Taylor-Burton is no exception. Sparkling with an alluring grandeur, it’s a symbol of love as intense as the 69.42 carat pear-shaped diamond it features. This diamond, previously known as the “Cartier Diamond”, was bought and renamed after two iconic figures -Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor- whose love story was as captivating as the gem itself.

Burton purchased the diamond for his wife, Taylor, from Cartier in 1969. The transaction was so significant that the media lined the streets of New York as the diamond was transported. This remarkable event marked the Taylor-Burton diamond as an emblem of glamour, love and luxury.

But, their passionate love story was not without turbulence. Following their second divorce, Taylor sold the diamond and used the proceeds to support a charity close to her heart: building a hospital in Botswana, a juxtaposition to the glamour and publicity it once embodied. The subsequent whereabouts of the Taylor-Burton diamond remains a mystery, adding an element of intrigue and suspense to its history.

The legacy of the Taylor-Burton diamond isn’t simply about its prodigious size or magnificent shine. With each had turn, it tells a tale of a tumultuous ebb and flow of affection, mirroring the inherent allure and fascination we continue to have for these beautiful, timeless gemstones. It’s one of many exquisite examples that unmistakably imprints the journey of iconic diamonds in our collective memory.

From the Cullinan Diamond to the Taylor-Burton, these precious stones continue to amaze, embodying stories of discovery, transformation, glamour and love. Each of these pieces narrates a tale in the enduring legacy and the captivating journey of diamonds…

The Koh-i-Noor Diamond – A Symbol of Power and Authority

Unveiling yet another entrancing tale in the area of iconic diamond jewellery, the Koh-i-Noor Diamond holds a captivating story of power and authority. Weighing an impressive 105.6 carats, it’s one of the largest cut diamonds in the world. Possession of this diamond has always been associated with power, with its ownership changing hands through various periods of history.

Originally discovered in India, the Koh-i-Noor was passed through dynasties, each ruler entranced by its mesmerising beauty and significance. Notably, it was seized by the East India Company and presented to Queen Victoria during the British colonization of India, sparking controversy that continues to this day. The presence of the Koh-i-Noor in the British Crown Jewels ended up becoming more than just an icon of wealth; it’s seen as a symbol of British colonial history.

The Koh-i-Noor’s journey doesn’t stop there. Transformed by renowned diamond cutter Levi Yitzchak Zweisser, the diamond’s weight was reduced to its current size to enhance its brilliance. Even though the loss in size, its enhanced sparkle only added to the allure, with its fascinating journey cultivating an aura of intrigue.

As the narrative of the Koh-i-Noor unfolds, it mirrors similar themes that run through the chronicles of the Taylor-Burton and Cullinan diamonds. In the end, each story shares a common thread – every diamond holds a tale of prestige, glamour, and intrigue that captivates the world, forever securing their place within the annals of history.

The Pink Star Diamond – Setting Record Prices at Auctions

Introducing the Pink Star Diamond, a gem with an allure that’s created ripples in auction houses. Its mind-boggling price tag has set it apart from its peers, firmly establishing it as one of the most historic diamond pieces.

Discovered by De Beers in Africa in 1999, it weighed an awe-inspiring 132.5 carats in its raw form. It underwent a staggering two years of cutting and polishing, resulting in an irresistibly beautiful 59.6 carat, flawless, vivid pink diamond.

It’s the grandeur and rarity of the Pink Star that led to unprecedented bidding wars across auctions globally. In 2013, it fetched a hefty USD 83 million at Sotheby’s auction in Geneva, but regrettably, the buyer defaulted. Nevertheless, it wasn’t the end of the road for this exquisite gem.

In 2017, the Pink Star created auction history once more, selling for a record price of USD 71.2 million in Hong Kong, the highest price ever accomplished by any gemstone at auction. Chow Tai Fook Enterprise, a Hong Kong-based jewellery retailer, walked away with the Pink Star, adding it to their glorious collection. The sale crowned the Pink Star as the most expensive diamond, underlining its charm and prestige.

YearPrice (USD million)Buyers
201383 (defaulted)Anonymous
201771.2Chow Tai Fook Enterprise

Even though setting record prices, the Pink Star continues to dance its captivating waltz across the global auction stage, attracting the eye and wallet of the discerning elite.


The Pink Star Diamond’s journey from a raw gem to a polished masterpiece is a testament to its allure and rarity. Its record-breaking sale in 2017 to Chow Tai Fook Enterprise has not only solidified its status as the most expensive diamond ever sold at auction but also ensured its continued prominence on the global stage. The Pink Star’s captivating story has undeniably left an indelible mark in the annals of diamond history. It serves as an enduring symbol of the timeless allure, beauty and value of diamond jewellery. This iconic piece is a shining example of the extraordinary lengths to which individuals and institutions will go to possess such rare and exquisite treasures. Truly, the Pink Star Diamond is a sparkling gem in the crown of history’s most iconic diamond jewellery pieces.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Pink Star Diamond?

The Pink Star Diamond is a flawless, vivid pink 59.6 carat diamond that was discovered by De Beers in Africa. It is known for its record-breaking prices in auction houses.

Who purchased the Pink Star Diamond?

In 2017, the Pink Star Diamond was bought by Chow Tai Fook Enterprise in Hong Kong. The purchase price was a record USD 71.2 million, making it the most expensive diamond ever sold at auction.

In which year was the Pink Star Diamond discovered?

De Beers in Africa discovered the Pink Star Diamond. However, the article doesn’t specify the exact year of discovery.

Why is the Pink Star Diamond famous?

The Pink Star Diamond is famed for its unique allure and rarity. It has captivated elite buyers worldwide and reached record prices at auctions, solidifying its stature as one of the most sought-after diamonds.

Has the Pink Star Diamond ever been defaulted on sale?

Yes, a buyer defaulted after a USD 83 million sale in 2013. But, the diamond sold successfully at a later auction in 2017.

Who undertook the cutting and polishing process of the Pink Star Diamond?

The cutting and polishing process of the Pink Star Diamond were extensively carried out by De Beers, transforming it into a flawless masterpiece.