Similar to every single piece of Virani jewellery that has its their own unique
story to tell form the order placement stage to being fully certified, every
single conflict free diamond that is studded in your precious Virani jewellery
starts its journey at the very beginning as a rough stone at our in-house
diamond cutting and polishing facility that has the lineage of 50 years of
industry experience and expertise accumulated over three generations.
Compared to a rough diamond that take millions of years to form and come up to the surface of the earth, cutting
and polishing a rough diamond typically takes up to a few weeks to a few months.
Step 1: Rough Diamond Assortment
The very first step after procuring a parcel of conflict free rough diamonds is assortment. Each individual
diamond is carefully reviewed and sorted according to its shape, size, colour and clarity before it goes on to
the planning department. After assortment, every single diamond is placed in an individual packet with a unique
barcode which is scanned along every single process from rough to polish to keep track of the progress.
Step 2: Planning
Each diamond is then analysed using the state of the art technology that maps all the inclusion inside as well as
on the surface of the diamond. The goal here is to choose one or more highest valued polished diamonds by
keeping in mind the 4Cs of diamonds: Cut, Colour, Clarity and Carat Weight. During this stage, the cutting
planes, angles, heights, width and angles of every single facets are decided which would decide how the light
will perform inside a diamond.
Step 3: Blocking and Bruting
After a rough diamond is carefully planned, it is marked using an automated laser beam. The marked stones move on
to the laser sawing department where a high powered laser beam cuts a big rough diamond into desired smaller
From there the diamond is sent to a blocker where the diamond gets is basic outer shape. Blocking is done using
either a laser bruiting marine or mechanical auto blocking arms.
Step 4: Brillianteering
After the stone is blocked and gets its outer shape, it then goes to a brillianteer for final faceting. The
cutter sets in a dop and gently paces it on a rotating wheel made of diamond power since only a diamond can cut
and polish another diamond.
Facet after facet, the skilled polisher, brings the rough diamond to life.
Step 5: Certification
Once polished, every single facet of each individual diamond is carefully revived by both a highly accurate laser
scanner as well as by a trained gemmologist. Any diamond that doesn’t meet our strict quality control standards
is sent back for re-polishing. The diamonds are then sent out to some of the most respected diamond grading
laboratories worldwide such as GIA and IGI for certification before being studded in your precious Virani
It was only in the last century that a globally acceptable grading standard was
This standard is known as the "4Cs" system of grading diamonds and is based on "Colour", "Clarity", "Cut" and
"Carat Weight" of a diamond. Among these, the first two – Colour and Clarity are natural occurrences in diamonds
and we rarely have any control over these. The other two – Cut and Carat Weight are defined by the manner in
which a diamond is cut and polished.
Interesting Trivia: When we talk about the colour of a diamond, we actually refer to the lack of
colour in that
particular diamond. The purest diamonds that contain no other elements than carbon are colourless. The
colourless diamonds are the rarest. Most diamonds have some form of impurity elements other than carbon inside
of them which absorb certain wavelengths of light causing diamonds to appear yellow, blue or other wide spectrum
The whiter or more colourless the diamond, the higher is its value. As per the grading system and chart defined
by the Gemmological Institute of America, diamond colours range from D to Z – D being the purest, completely
colourless diamond. Colour inclusions in a diamond then increase in a sliding scale all the way down to Z.
- D (colorless) Highest quality color grade
- E-F (colorless) Only trained gemologist can detect minimal trace of color
- G-H (near colorless) Color is difficult to detect. Only noticeable when compared to colorless grades.
- I-J (near colorless) Color is slightly noticeable
- K-M (yellow tint) Color is noticeable
- N-Z (yellow tint) Color is clearly noticeable
Diamonds that fetch the highest value are generally graded D to F in colour. However, these are rare to find and
extremely costly to own. Then there are grades G to I, wherein diamonds are visually colourless to the naked and
untrained eye. As you go down the grade scale, say J to M, tinges and hints of yellow or brown colour start
creeping into the diamonds.
Hard Fact: Grading a diamond’s colour is very difficult using naked eye. Most labs have a set of
“master stones” that define the highest and lowest limits of acceptable colour or lack of it within a stone. A
trained gemmologist keeps placing the diamond to be graded right next to different master stones and compares
their shades until the diamond’s shade matches the colour of one of the master stones. The diamond gets the
colour grade of its closest matching master stone.
Similar to its Colour, the Clarity of a diamond is also a significant factor affecting its value. To understand a
diamond’s clarity, let us first understand what exactly we mean when we refer to the term "Clarity". Natural
diamonds are formed when carbon molecules undergo extreme temperature and pressure hundreds of kilometres
underneath the surface of the earth. The chances of forming a perfect crystal under natural uncontrolled
environment, which requires stable growth condition for a long period of time, are extremely rare. Therefore,
flawless diamonds are very rare to form and very expensive to buy. Majority of the diamonds carry one or more
flaws in the form of other elements or even carbon impurities present in the crystal structure.
- Inclusions – Any flaw that is found underneath the surface of the diamond
- Blemishes – Any irregularities or scratches present on the surface of the diamond
Inclusions are always natural – air bubbles, cracks, other materials, microscopic dust particles, and the like.
Blemishes, on the other hand, can be natural or man-made. Blemishes might be a scratch on the surface, a minor
chip, or anything else that mars the surface. Just like the diamond colour, the lesser or insignificant the
inclusion, the higher the price of the diamond.
Interesting Trivia: The world’s largest gem-quality cut diamond is a D colour, internally flawless
diamond – the Cullinan I or the Great Star of Africa diamond, which now adorns the Royal Scepter in the Crown
Jewels of the British Empire.
The diamond clarity is defined based on the number, size, colour, location, orientation and ultimately the
visibility of inclusions present in the diamond.
- Flawless or FL: The rarest of rare diamonds, these super shiners are absolutely, heavenly
perfect. There is not
a single flaw on the stone, inside or outside.
- Internally Flawless or IF: Rare, but not as rare as flawless pieces, these beauties are completely flaw-free on the inside. These might have extremely minuscule surface blemishes. However, their rarity ensures that demand and price for these shiners always stay at a peak.
- Very Very Slightly Included or VVS1 and VVS2: Another highly in demand but not so easy
to find gem-quality stones, VVS1 and VVS2 graded diamonds have extremely minuscule inclusions on the inside.
Even under standard 10x magnification, only trained gemmologists would be able to detect these inclusions. Quite
steeply priced stones, but nowhere in comparison to the first two.
- Very Slightly Included or VS1 and VS2: Perhaps the most regularly demanded diamonds; VS1
and VS2 grade stones find maximum use in high quality fine jewellery. Diamonds in these grades fetch good prices
as they only have very minute inclusions that are quite hard to detect under standard magnification.
- Slightly Included or SI1 and SI2: The inclusions in this particular grade of diamonds are
and may be visible to the naked eye. A vast majority of the diamonds mined would fall into this range and
therefore these stones are available at highly competitive price ranges.
- Included or I1, I2 and I3: The lowest rung in the diamond clarity grading ladder, I1, I2
and I3 diamonds have
flaws that are clearly visible even to untrained, laymen eyes. These diamonds are normally used only in the
lowest grade jewellery; some of them are also used for industrial purposes.
Hard Fact: 10 X magnifications is the standard magnification used for grading a diamond's clarity.
If inclusions or blemishes present in a diamond cannot be identified under 10 X magnification by a trained
gemmologist, they do not count towards deciding the clarity grade of a diamond.
There are two main elements that are taken into consideration when it comes to grading the Cut of a diamond. The
first one refers to its outer shape and the second one refers to how well the diamond is cut into that
Interesting Trivia: Most people, outside the diamond industry, believe that the Cut of a diamond
refers to the
shape of a diamond. However, a trained gemologist refers to specific cutting parameters that bring a particular
shape to life with highest fire, brilliance and scintillation.
Based on classifications and nomenclatures followed by the diamond industry around the world, the Cut of a
diamond is divided into five categories.
- Excellent Cut: The design of this cut is such that it ensures every shard of light
entering the diamond is
reflected multiple times and in all directions, thereby literally setting the stone afire from within. Achieving
the Excellent Cut requires exceptional expertise and craftsmanship. Excellent cut diamonds show equal dark and
light shades, creating an impression of play of shadows and light.
- Very Good Cut: Very Good Cut diamonds have slightly more flexible cutting parameters than
Excellent Cut. When
skilled craftsmen attempt to retain higher carat weight by slightly compromising on the light performance, the
Cut becomes Very Good. Diamonds with Very Good Cut still show good deal of sparkle, brilliance and fire, but
their price per carat is much lower than that of an Excellent Cut diamond.
- Good Cut: Just like the Very Good Cut, Good Cut diamonds are created by sacrificing
quality of the cut over
carat weight of a diamond. Most of the size proportions of diamonds in this cut are quite broader than those of
the Excellent or Very Good Cut as the target is to get maximum stone size rather than focusing on the light
performance. Such diamonds are ideal for the more budget conscious buyers who want to have a pretty stone that
is larger in size.
- Fair Cut: A cut that is almost at the bottom of the grading spectrum in terms of quality
and preference. The
only aim of those working with this cut is to get the maximum possible carat weight out of the rough diamond.
There is very little consideration given to the color or clarity of the stone. The value of Fair Cut diamonds is
based largely on their carat weight.
- Poor Cut: The lowest of cuts in diamonds. These diamonds perform very poorly when it comes to the light
performance inside the diamond based on internal reflection and refraction. They are just stones that have been
processed to look big. As the cut is not optimized, there can be multiple inner impurities as well as outer
surface defects. For those only looking to own a gem that is called a diamond without any other specific
considerations, these are the diamonds to buy.
A rough diamond goes through a series of planning and preparation stages prior to being cut and polished.
Determining the shape or the Cut of a diamond depends on many factors. Some diamond cutters may choose to retain
maximum weight and cut a diamond based on the geometric shape of a natural rough diamond. Some may desire a
number of smaller diamonds with high clarity diamonds instead of a single big diamond containing many dark
impurities inside. However, most diamond cutters choose a Diamond Cut that would balance both the weight
retention and clarity characteristic and most importantly yield highest value.
The Cut of a diamond describes two features of a polished diamond. The first one refers to its outer shape and
cutting parameters used to cut the diamond. And the second one refers to how smoothly and symmetrically the
outer surface of the diamond is polished. Both the features are equally important to bring the rough diamond to
life and to yield a polished diamond with highest brilliance, fire and scintillation.
Interesting Trivia: While there exist 10 different major shapes into which diamonds are cut and
number of diamonds cut into round brilliant shape is more than double of all the other shapes put together.
Nearly 75% of all diamonds produced are Round Brilliant cuts.
Diamonds can be cut into infinite number of shapes and sizes. Here is a brief list of ten of the most popular
- Round Brilliant Cut: The most widely sold and demanded shape, the Round Brilliant cut is
also one of the
oldest known cuts. It is the only shape that is considered as a standard shape for diamonds – all other cuts
commonly described as “fancy” cuts. Typically, big round brilliant cut diamonds are considered ideal for
- Princess Cut: The runners up in popularity category after Round Brilliant, the Princess cut is as square
shaped cut. It creates an extremely beautiful array of light performance whether it’s set in rings, earrings
or necklaces. A perfectly crafted Princess Cut diamond is bound to make heads turn.
- Oval Cut: A modified form of the Round Brilliant cut, the oval cut almost matches it’s more in-demand
sibling in terms of showing off the best features of the diamond. Additionally, most Oval cut diamonds, even
if of the same carat weight, would seem larger than Round Brilliant cut stones.
- Marquise Cut: Yet another modification on the Round Brilliant cut, the Marquise cut is shaped like the ball
used to play American Football. If diamonds of the same carat weight in different shapes are compared,
Marquise cut diamonds would measure the highest in surface area. Those who like big diamonds in their
jewellery would definitely enjoy this particular cut.
- Pear Cut: “Tear Drop” is another name for this cut, as it closely resembles a falling tear drop. It was
created by bringing the Round Brilliant and Marquise cuts together. This shape also has the distinction of
being host to the largest known cut and polished diamond in the world – the
Cullinan I diamond.
- Cushion Cut: This two centuries old cut was perhaps the most popular and in demand cut before the Round
Brilliant Cut caught the fancy of admirers. It is also a square cut just like the Princess cut, but with
rounded edges. Some of the best known diamonds in history –
the Hope Diamond and
the Regent Diamond have been designed in the Cushion cut.
- Emerald Cut: Steps on the pavilion coupled with an extra-large table defines the rectangular Emerald cut.
Unlike most other cuts, the Emerald cut is not designed to highlight the inner fire of the stone. Rather, it
focuses on producing a series-of-mirror effect, which makes the diamond look like a chamber stretching to
infinity on the inside.
- Asscher Cut: Created by two of the most gifted diamond craftsmen of all time from Holland – the Asscher
Brothers – has been named after them. The Asscher cut is the precursor to the Emerald cut in that it is a
square shaped, step sided cut with a smaller table and a higher crown.
- Radiant Cut: A crossover between the Princess and the Cushion cuts, the Radiant cut is a special one with
its facets aligned similar to the brilliant cut. This unique combination gives the Radiant Cut diamond its
excellent fire and sparkle.
- Heart Cut: The most romantic of all the diamond cuts, the Heart cut is naturally the preferred cut for lovers. It finds maximum use in solitaire rings and pendants. The Heart Cut is one of the most difficult cuts due to meticulous attention to detail required to cut and polish its cleft. It is also slightly more expensive compared to the rest of the fancy cuts with similar carat weight due to significant weight loss during the cutting and polishing process.
Hard Fact: The level of planning, working and re-working required to achieve a perfect cut is so complicated
that often, it takes years to fully and satisfactorily process a large diamond. For example, it took almost
four and half years for the
Cullinan I diamond to reach its final and current shape and size.
Most people link the Carat Weight to the size of the diamond. However, Carat is a unit of measurement of weight
used to weigh a diamond. The actual size of the diamond is always measured in mm.
To understand carat weight properly, let us look at how it compares to normally units of weight.
1 Carat = 0.200 grams or 200 milligrams (yes, it’s that light).
It takes extremely high temperature and pressure for a diamond to be formed from carbon molecules. In fact, the
chances of a diamond being formed and successfully making it to the surface of the earth are much lower than
winning a lottery. Hundreds of kilometers underneath the surface of the earth, it is very unlikely that these
extreme conditions remain stable and favorable for a long period of time for the growth of a large diamond.
Therefore, it is very rare to find a large sized rough diamond.
No doubt, only a few monster-sized rough diamonds have been mined through history – the most famous being the
3104 carat Cullinan diamond. However, majority of the diamonds mined today are quite small in size. Here’s an
interesting statistic – it requires close to one million diamonds to be mined before a one carat stone happens
to be found.
Interesting Trivia: The word “Carat” comes from the ancient practice of using “Carob” seeds for
The fact that these identical seeds were perfect in size and weight compared to one another made them ideal as a
unit of measurement.
Due to this shortage of bigger diamonds, carat weight has always played a significant role in determining the
price and the value of diamonds. The bigger the diamond, the rarer it is to be found. And hence the bigger the
stone, the more expensive it is per carat. The price of a diamond per carat weight increases exponentially with
size. For example, while a one-carat stone can fetch anywhere from $6,000 to $15,000, a sparkler of 3-4 carats
could demand a price of more than $18,000 per carat depending on its color and clarity.
It is also interesting to note that as the carat weight of a diamond increases, the relative size does not
increase in the same proportion. For example, the diameter of a one carat diamond is approximately 6.4 mm.
However, the diameter of a two carat diamond is only 8.1 mm.
Hard Fact: Gold and diamonds, the two major components in precious jewellery, use Karat and Carat,
respectively, as a unit of a measurement. Carat with a “C” applies to diamonds and it indicates the weight of
the diamond. Karat, with a “K”, on the other hand, refers to the purity or fineness of gold.
A diamond’s certificate, also known, as a diamond grading report, is a review of the stone’s characteristics. An
expert gemologist that describes key qualities of the diamond, which include clarity, cut, and colour and carat
weight, prepares the document.
- GIA - Gemological Institute of America
- AGS - American Gem Society Laboratories
- EGL - European Gemological Laboratories
- IGI - International Gemological Institute
Different Aspects of Diamonds
It takes both art and innovation to bring a rough diamond to life and make it shine with the best fire,
brilliance and scintillation.
Interesting Trivia: A Round Brilliant Cut diamond has 57 facets. If the culet of a diamond is also
the diamond would have 58 facets. Anything more or less means the diamond is not cut ideally.
- Table: The table is the flat plane that sits on top of every Round Brilliant cut diamond. It is also the
biggest single facet of the finished diamond. When defined and cut precisely, it helps bring out the most
beautiful aspects of the diamond.
- Crown: As the name suggests, it is the top part of the diamond. It starts from the outer edge of the table
and ends at the upper end of the girdle. There are several facets cut into the crown, each perfectly
balanced and identical to its neighbors.
- Crown Angle: The angle formed by facets on the crown of the diamond with the imaginary plane of the girdle.
The crown angle and the size of the table determine the amount of light that enters, reflects and refracts
inside a diamond which directly affects the fire and brilliance of a polished diamond.
- The Girdle: The outer edge or diameter of the diamond. It is the girdle that separates the top part of the
diamond from the bottom. Since the girdle represent the highest diameter of a diamond, a slight variation in
girdle thickness can greatly affect the carat weight of a diamond. Typically, all solitaires have faceted
girdle while smaller diamonds may sometime have unpolished girdle.
- Pavilion: This is the bottom part of the diamond – starting from the bottom edge of the girdle and reaching
down to the very tip of the polished diamond. The pavilion angle can greatly affect the light performance of
a diamond. If the pavilion is too deep or too shallow the diamond may look grayish.
- Culet: It is a special minuscule facet added at the bottom of the pavilion to keep the tip of the diamond
from getting damaged. In an Ideal cut diamond, the culet would be almost non-existent and undetectable by
the naked, untrained eye.
- Total Depth: In the simplest of terms, this is the height of the diamond as measured from the table to the
The above aspects give a diamond its shape and its allure. In addition to these, there are certain other
important aspects that also need to be taken into consideration.
- Symmetry: A diamond that is cut with perfect symmetry would yield the best light performance, brilliance
and fire. It takes a highly skilled craftsman to cut and polish a perfectly symmetrical diamond as all
the relevant facets must be identical and fully aligned.
- Polish: The smoothness of the diamond facets, small flat panels that are etched all over the surface
of the diamond, greatly affects the amount of that enters inside a diamond. When a diamond is cut with
perfect symmetry and polish, all the facets bring out the best fire, brilliance and scintillation.
It takes ultra-high pressure, approximately 50 Kilo bars, and extreme temperature, in excess of 1000 degrees
Celsius, to form a diamond. Such pressures and temperatures are only possible deep in the earth’s crust –
somewhere between 140 and 190 kilometers. There would have to be some form of carbon available deep down there,
but that would not necessarily be coal.
Interesting Trivia: Diamonds were formed deep in the earth’s crust somewhere between 600 million to
3.3 billion years ago. That’s means the youngest diamonds we hold in our hands today were formed way before the
dinosaurs ruled the earth.
Actually, coal is rarely ever present that deep below the surface. Coal is usually found at just about 3.2
kilometers underneath the surface. Moreover, coal is formed from plant / vegetation sediments at much lower
pressure and temperatures.
Luckily, that would not be required as the diamonds normally get pushed closer to the surface due to a special
kind of volcanic eruptions or earthquakes. Now don’t go about thinking that every time there is a volcanic
eruption, there will be diamonds spewed out of the earth for the picking. To the contrary, there is no recorded
recent volcanic eruption that has brought diamonds to the surface.
That’s because the diamond bearing crust (or mantle as it is correctly known) is much deeper than most currently
active volcanic tubes. In other words, diamond bearing regions of the earth came to have those diamonds hundreds
of thousands of years ago when there were massive and deep crust volcanic activities thereabouts.
History of Diamonds
A long, long time ago, in a far forgotten land, a man stumbled upon a white stone that shone surprisingly and
seemed to have a life and light of its own. Such was the beauty of the stone that the man fell instantly in love
with it. It was love at first sight.
Thus began the love story of a man with diamonds. That love story started around 3000 years ago. The far
forgotten land was some place in the Southern part of India (as per popular belief). And the man who found the
first diamond… Well, no one really knows who found the first diamond. What is definitely known though is that
since then men have done the most amazing and romantic things with these sparkling stones to celebrate their
Interesting Trivia: For nearly 500 years, diamonds were known only in India. The rest of the world
had no idea
that such an exquisite stone existed!
So who introduced diamonds to the rest of the world?
Some historical facts point the finger toward Alexander the Great of Macedonia. It is believed that he first took
diamonds back to Europe with him when he returned to Greece after his conquest of India. That would mean
diamonds travelled from India to Europe sometime around 327 BC. That’s even before Christ was born!
Maybe the ancient Indians knew about the value of diamonds and used them in jewellery… or maybe they did not.
There’s no record. But what is historically known is that in the second century AD, a Hungarian queen had
diamonds set on her new crown. Much later, in 1477 AD, the Archduke Maximilian of Austria, presented an engagement ring to his soon to be queen – Mary of Burgundy. The ring was set with
diamonds and it started a
trend of getting engaged with a diamond ring which continues till date.
Going back to the 13th century, cutting and polishing of natural diamonds was still an unknown process. No one
knew how to cut diamonds until the late 13th century. It was only in 1375 that the Point Cut was created. Up
until then, only the best naturally formed diamonds were used for jewellery or
decorative purposes. The rest
Fact: Until the 14th century, only best naturally formed diamonds were used for jewellery or decorative purposes;
the rest were discarded since no one knew how to cut and polish the stones.
Increasingly thereafter, various new cuts were developed. The demand of diamonds as objects of desire and their
use in jewellery grew substantially.
In the 18th century, India ran out of diamonds, but new supplies were discovered in Brazil. About a century and a
half later, South Africa took over as the diamond producing capital of the world. It was South Africa that gave
birth to the world’s largest diamond producing organization – the De Beers Corporation. As newer diamond
deposits were discovered in various countries around the world, the reach of diamonds increased. What was once
an object of desire and flaunted by only the rich and elite, started reaching the masses.
In the last couple of centuries, these stunningly brilliant stones have gone through many upheavals and changes,
but their allure and attraction has remained unchanged.
Diamond Capitals of the World
If we pick up the map of the world and mark out the countries that contribute significantly to the global gems
and jewellery trade, it would give us a very interesting mosaic. The four major
continents – Asia, Africa, North
America and Europe – play a unique role in different segments of the diamond pipeline.
The modern US$100 Billion gems and jewellery can be divided into four
- Diamond Exploration and Mining: There are four major mining companies namely, ALROSA, De Beers, Rio Tinto
and BHP Billiton that control the majority of the rough diamonds mined across the globe. There are a few
other smaller players such as Petra, Dominion Diamond Corp etc. that have recently entered the rough diamond
Once mined, the rough diamonds enter the global diamond pipeline after passing “Kimberly Process
Certification” process which assures that the rough diamonds are conflict free. Today, over 99% of all the
rough diamonds mined across the globe go through Kimberly Process Certification process and are
conflict-free. Mining companies sell rough diamonds to a few selected companies though long term contracts.
Alternatively, some mining companies also sell their rough diamonds through monthly auctions and
In the 16th and 17th century diamonds were mined mainly from India and Brazil. However after 18th century
Africa became one of the biggest contributors of the rough diamonds. Today, rough diamonds are mainly mined
from Botswana, South Africa, Angola, Namibia, Australia, Russia, Canada and the Democratic Republic of
- Rough Diamond Trading: While Africa is the highest contributor of rough diamonds, Europe dominates the rough
diamond trade. Close to 80% of all rough diamonds produced anywhere in the world are traded and distributed
for processing through Antwerp, Belgium. Antwerp is also a major trading center that facilitates nearly 50%
of all polished diamonds.
Interesting Trivia: Prior to Antwerp, it was Amsterdam that ruled the diamond trade in Europe.
of doing business, friendlier laws, and better government support helped Antwerp grow quickly to become the
world’s largest rough diamond trading center.
The Diamond Exchange District of Israel known as Ramat Gan is also a well-known center for diamond trading as
well as diamond cutting and polishing. Last but not the least, Dubai, is also quickly becoming an important
global rough diamond trading hub.
- Diamond Cutting and Polishing: While Africa and Europe control the mining and rough diamond trade,
respectively, Asia dominates the diamond cutting and polishing segment of the diamond pipeline. Surat,
Gujarat, India is one of the biggest diamond cutting centers in the world. Nearly 1.5 million people are
associated with the gem and jewellery in India. While Surat is the diamond cutting and polishing hub,
Mumbai, the finance capital of India facilitates both rough and polished diamond trade. China, Thailand and
Vietnam are also emerging as alternative diamond cutting and polishing centers. Cutting centers located in
Israel, Antwerp and USA mainly focus on cutting and polishing large high quality stones.
Interesting Trivia: India is perhaps the only country that has had a continuous and unaltered
impact on the diamond industry. The earliest diamonds were mined in India and today over 90% the diamonds
are cut and polished in India.
- Polished Diamond Trading and jewellery Retail: Once polished, most of the shiny diamonds make their way out
of Asia – to the largest polished diamond market in the world – USA. With a very high disposable
income, USA is the biggest consumer of polished diamond and diamond jewellery. Hong Kong is also another major hub for polished diamond trade, jewellery manufacturing as well as jewellery retail.
Millions, perhaps billions of diamonds have been mined, cut and polished in the last 30 centuries that we have
known about them. However, there have been a few diamonds that have risen far above the rest. Their size, color
and brilliance have made them the objects of desires for everyone from the lowliest workers to the biggest kings
at one time or the other.
Interesting Trivia: Diamonds are valued based on their carat, clarity, cut and color. Even among
these, color and clarity demand great value – so a colorless and flawless diamond in lesser carats would fetch
much higher value than a larger stone of say lower color and clarity.
These magnificent stones have been the objects of wonder, of desire, of jealousy and of course, something to be
possessed with a passion.
- Cullinan I or the Great Star of Africa: It was cut from the Cullinan diamond, which is widely believed to be
the largest gemstone diamond ever to be found (it dipped the scales at 3,106 carats when found in Transvaal,
South Africa in 1905). It carries the name of the mine owner Sir Thomas Cullinan and was gifted to the then
monarch of England King Edward VII in 1907. Asscher of Amsterdam was commissioned to cut and polish this
huge stone. The rough stone yielded nine large and ninety six smaller polished diamonds. Among these, the
Cullinan I or Great Star of Africa (530 carats) is the largest colorless and flawless diamond presently
known. It forms a part of the British Crown Jewels.
- The Golden Jubilee: A yellowish brown colored beauty discovered in South Africa in 1985, the Golden Jubilee
is officially the largest cut diamond in the world at 545.67 carats. It was blessed by Pope John Paul II.
Though the largest known cut and polished diamond, it fails to match the Cullinan I diamond in value on
account of it’s yellow-brown coloring. It has still found a place of pride in the collection of the Thai
- The Incomparable: This truly incomparable diamond was presented to the world in 1980 by the Democratic
Republic of Congo. An awe-inspiring 890 carats in its rough state, this diamond took nearly four years to
reach its final cut size of 407.48 carats. It is the most unique cut of all the largest diamonds in the
world – a triangular shape. Just like the Golden Jubilee, the Incomparable is also a yellowish brown colored
diamond that is internally flawless.
- The Cullinan II or Lesser Star of Africa: The smaller sibling of the Cullinan I, this 317.40 carat diamond
was cut from the same massive stone that yielded the Great Star of Africa. Polished into a cushion shape,
the Cullinan II followed the Cullinan I into the Crown Jewels and forms the center piece of Britain’s
- The Spirit of de Grisogono: Amongst the rarest of rare diamonds, the Spirit of de Grisogono is the the black
beauty found in west Central Africa. Originally weighing 587 carats in its rough form, the world’s largest
black diamond was cut and polished down to 312.24 carats in the Mogul cut style. Though an exceptional and
rare diamond, the Spirit of de Grisogono has managed to disappear from public eye and its current location
and ownership are unknown.
- The Centenary Diamond: A diamond carrying an insurance policy of $100 million, and with its present location
and ownership a secret, the Centenary is one of the most revered diamonds the world has ever known. Mined at
599 carats from the Premier Mine in 1986, it was cut and polished to a finished 273.85 carats. It is a
splendid D color diamond. The most unique feature of the Centenary is its 247 facets, the highest number for
any known diamond polished up to that time.
Hard Fact: There are many large stones that have been exceptional and that have unfortunately disappeared
from the public domain. In most cases, this has happened on account of theft.
- The Jubilee: Named in commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the coronation of Queen Victoria of England,
the Jubilee is an E colored diamond with outstanding clarity. Mined at 650.80 carat from the Jagersfontein
Mine in South Africa in 1895 this magnificent stone was cut into cushion shape yielding a polished diamond
of 245.35 carats. Its present valuation is unknown.
Interesting Trivia: The diamond industry employs more than 10 million people worldwide and boasts of roughly
$100 billion in annual revenue. If we put together the 50 biggest diamonds in the world their value would
easily exceed the current annual revenue amount.
- The De Beers: Another diamond mined back in 1888 by De Beers from its Kimberley mines, the De Beers was
named after the company. Believed to have been cut and polished in Amsterdam, it was put on display in
Paris. His Highness Bhupinder Singh, the Maharaja of Patiala acquired it and commissioned Cartier to set it
into an exclusive ceremonial necklace in 1928. With 2930 diamonds, the stunning necklace was aptly dubbed
the Patiala Necklace. The necklace and the diamond have both gone missing since then.
- The Red Cross: One of the most unique diamonds every produced, the Red Cross features a prominent Maltese
Cross in its top facet. Just like The De Beers stone, it was also mined from the Kimberley mines by De Beers
in 1901. It weighed 375 carats in its rough form, which was reduced to 205.07 carats after it was finished.
The finished Red Cross is a beautiful canary yellow diamond, cut into a cushion shape. When Christie
organized an art sale in London in 1918, the owners donated the diamond for the benefit of the British Red
Cross Society and the Order of St. John.
- The Millennium Star: A perfectly flawless diamond (internally and externally), the Millennium Star was found
in the Democratic Republic of Congo in 1990. Unlike other most famous diamonds, the Millennium Star was
found in alluvial deposits and was a huge 777 carats in its rough state. De Beers purchased the stone and
polished it as one of the most perfect diamonds ever produced. It was only unveiled by De Beers in 1999 as
part of its Millennium Collection. The actual value of the diamond has never been revealed by the company,
but it is believed to be several hundred million dollars. The Millennium Star is a perfect pear shaped stone
weighing 203.04 carats.
- The Darya-E-Noor: One of the several diamonds in the Royal Crown Jewels of Iran, the Darya-E-Noor (which
means Ocean of Light) is one of the rarest diamonds ever found. It is pale pink in color and weighs 182
carats. It was originally found in India and became part of the treasury of the Mughals. When Sultan Nader
Shah of Iran invaded India, he took the treasury, including the Darya-E-Noor with him as part of the spoils
of war. This pink beauty has been in Iran ever since.
- The Koh-I-Noor: Best translated to mean “Mountain of Light”, this mystery shrouded diamond is from the
Indian sub-continent. Over its history, it has been owned by the Mughals, the Sikhs, the Afghans and many
other rulers as spoils of war. It is perhaps the best known and most fought over diamond ever. It is a
flawless and colorless 105 carats diamond that is now part of the Crown Jewels of England.
There are of course dozens of other diamonds that would easily fit into this list, but these particular
twelve stones mentioned here are some of the biggest, most desirable diamonds ever known to mankind.