The Most Famous Fancy-Cut Diamonds in the World All Entries
Diamonds are one of the world’s most beloved gemstones, and with good reason. The stone comes in a wide variety of colors, can be cut into nearly any shape, and has a brilliant sparkle that is unmatched. It’s a stone that symbolizes love, wealth, and power. Some of the world’s most famous diamonds are recognizable due to their fancy cuts.
The Moussaieff Red Diamond
The triangular cut of the 5.11-carat Moussaieff Red Diamond truly brings out the stone’s gorgeous red hue. The stone is the largest fancy red stone to ever be graded by the Gemological Institute of America. The stone was discovered in the 1990s by a Brazillian farmer. In the early 2000s, Shlomo Moussaieff, an Israel born jewelry dealer, purchased the stone.
The Blue Heart Diamond
Heart-shaped diamonds are a favorite Valentine’s Day gift for couples. The sweet shape is the perfect representative of how a person feels about their partner. Many jewelers also love the shape because of the way it brings out the sparkle in a diamond.
The Blue Heart Diamond was first discovered in 1908 by South African miners. In the rough, it weighed a hefty 100.5 carats. The deep blue-hued stone was purchased in 1909, and the next year, Parisian jeweler Atanik Eknayan cut the stone into its now famous shape. The stone was first set into a lily-of-the-valley ornament necklace. The Unzue family of Argentina purchased the stone and owned it for nearly 40 years, before selling it to Van Cleef & Arpels. The famed jeweler set the stone in a different pendant before selling it again to a private owner who donated it to the National Gem Collection.
The Hope Diamond
The Hope Diamond is quite possibly one of the world’s most famous gemstones. The deep-violet hued, walnut-shaped stone has made a huge impact on our culture, inspiring a tale of curses and one of film’s most famous necklaces--Titanic’s Heart of the Ocean.
In 1668, King Louis XIV purchased 15 large diamonds and a handful of smaller ones from Jean Baptiste Tavernier, a French merchant traveler. One of the most striking stones he purchased was a crudely cut, 112-carat blue violet-colored diamond. The court jeweler Sieur Pitau was asked to recut the stone and set it in a gold necklace that the king would wear during important ceremonies. The stone was passed on to King Louis XV, who had the stone reset by his own court jeweler in 1749.
After King Louis XVI and his wife Marie Antoinette attempted to flee France in 1791, the royal jewels, including the Hope Diamond, were turned over to the government. In September 1792, the stone was stolen and wasn’t heard from again until 1812. After being passed along from multiple owners--possibly including King George IV--it was purchased by Henry Phillip Hope, who owned it until his death.
The gem continued exchanging hands until Harry Winston Inc of New York City purchased it, along with the 15-carat Star of the South diamond, the 94.8-carat Star of the East diamond, and a couple other stones. Harry Winston allowed the Hope Diamond to be exhibited across the world until they donated it to the Smithsonian Institute in 1958, where it can still be seen today.
Because of the stone’s history and proximity to so many tragic tales of misfortune, there are some people who believe that the stone is cursed. Multiple newspapers, including a 1908 issue of the Washington Post, helped spread the story.