Most diamonds that are found are quite small, so small, in fact, that they are rarely more than one carat (0.2 grams).
But this does not mean that all diamonds are small. A rare once in a while a very big diamond will be discovered. These diamonds can weigh up to several hundred carat.
Because most diamonds that are found are small, the price increases explosively as the size of the diamond increases. Looking at ordinary diamonds which you can buy as jewelry, a small diamond weighing 0.05 carat typically costs below $100 while a diamond weighing exactly one carat typically costs just over $10.000.
So, even if a one carat diamond is only 20 times larger than a diamond weighing 0.05 carat, it costs more than 100 times as much. And although there are significant differences in weight between the two diamonds, there is only 4.5 mm difference in the two diamonds diameter (2.5 mm vs. 7 mm).
When a diamond weighing just one carat costs over $10.000, it is clear that the prices will be quite astronomical for the really big diamonds weighing several hundred carat. It is rare that exceptionally big diamonds will be put up for sale, but when they do so, prices can be in the hundreds million $!
The world’s second largest diamond, the Cullinan I, for example, was appraised at 400 million $!
Top 10 Biggest Diamonds
Let’s try to take a look at the top 10 biggest and most famous diamonds ever.
In the graphic presented below, you can compare the size of the 10 largest diamonds to the size of more common diamonds.
The more common diamonds range from 1-20 carat – and although a one carat diamond seems small, it is actually on the heavy end for the diamonds you usually find used in jewelry.
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Where Really Big Diamonds End Up
The really big diamonds cost extraordinary amounts of money, so it is hardly surprising that many of them have ended up as crown jewels around the world. The world’s largest diamond, the Golden Jubilee, is for example part of the Thai crown jewels and the Cullinan I (the world’s second largest diamond) is part of the British crown jewels.
The Enormous Cullinan Diamond
The Cullinan I weighs in at 530.20 carat and is certainly impressive. But even more impressive is the fact that it was actually part of a much larger diamond when it was found. A diamond that weighed 3,106.75 carat and was so large that it could be cut into all nine of the following diamonds:
- Cullinan I, 530.20 carat (no. 2 on the top 10)
- Cullinan II, 317.40 carat (no. 4 on the top 10)
- Cullinan III, 94.4 carat
- Cullinan IV, 63.6 carat
- Cullinan V, 18.8 carat
- Cullinan VI, 11.5 carat
- Cullinan VII, 8.8 carat
- Cullinan VIII, 6.8 carat
- Cullinan IX, 4.3 carat
It’s not every day you find such a large diamond. In fact, the original Cullinan diamond was the largest rough diamond ever discovered, so there was some controversy regarding the decision to break it into smaller pieces in 1908. In fact, rumor has it that Joseph Asscher fainted after cutting the stone into smaller pieces.
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