10 of the Most Expensive Diamonds in Existence

Diamonds are beautiful, precious stones that make some of the world’s most elegant jewelry. As many diamond lovers know, these lovely stones often come with a not-so-pretty price tag. But, what makes certain diamonds more valuable than others? How much do we know about the most expensive diamonds in the world?


Why Are Some Diamonds More Expensive Than Others?

One factor in the price of a diamond is its natural color. “Natural color” means the hue of the stone as it occurred during the diamond’s development. While many diamonds form with either no color at all (the white/clear stones), or with a slight yellowish tint, a rare few come in contact with various gases or materials during their development that give them various shades of pink and blue. While any diamond can be artificially colored, these naturally colored stones are rare, especially the darker pink and red shades, and are more valuable than the white or yellow diamonds.

The clarity of a diamond has a large impact on its value, as well. Jewelers and gemstone cutters have a unique system by which they measure the number of nicks and other blemishes in each stone. The more of these “inclusions” a diamond has, the more it decreases in value.

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Diamond cut and facet number also affect its price tag. Certain cuts, although smaller than others, leave more of the rough diamond, and therefore, much of its value, intact. However, if a jeweler or gemstone craftier chisels extra facets in the stone to remove or hide any cutting mistakes or inclusions, the cost decreases.


Names and Prices of 10 of the World’s Most Expensive Diamonds

To give you an idea of how much a diamond’s valuable qualities can make it worth, here’s a list of 10 diamonds considered to be among the most expensive in the world.

The Graff Vivid Pink Diamond

The Graff Vivid Pink Diamond.

This diamond brought in a cool $46 million to the auction at which it was sold. The buyer, diamond dealer Laurence Graff, gave the beautiful stone its name.

What makes it so valuable: Aside from earning the title of “one of the greatest diamonds ever discovered,” and having famed jeweler, Harry Winston, on its list of previous owners, it boasts a naturally pink hue that renders it so unusually valuable.

The De Beers Centenary Diamond

The De Beers Centenary Diamond

Although the current owner of this diamond is unknown, the price tag is estimated to read somewhere in the ballpark of $90 million. The diamond was christened with its “Centenary” name during the centennial De Beers ceremony at which it was first presented, in all its rough glory.

What makes it so valuable: This diamond has a little bit of everything special. Its complete, 100% lack of blemishes and scratches, crystal clear colorless sparkle, and weight of almost 274 carats make the perfect recipe for one of the world’s most expensive diamonds.

The Hope Diamond

The Hope Diamond

This diamond is perhaps one of the most famous stones worldwide, as well as one of the most expensive. If this diamond hit the market today, its appraised value is around $200 million, or more! The Smithsonian Institution must be relieved that they already own the gem!

What makes it so valuable: The diamond’s rich, royal history speaks for itself. With King Louis XVI still the most notable owner of the diamond to date, it remains one of the priciest pieces in French history.

The Orange

The Orange

The name is simple, but it speaks for itself. The flame colored diamond is as big as a slice from a large orange, and it weighs in at almost 15 carats. Although the identity of the buyer was never released, he spent $35 million on the prize.

What makes it so valuable: Orange diamonds, known as “fire diamonds,” occur rarely enough by themselves to make them extremely valuable. However, the intense clarity of this orange stone, coupled with its size, made it well worth the small fortune the mysterious buyer paid.

The Sancy Diamond

The Sancy Diamond

This is a stone so valuable, no one has even dared offend its elegance by giving it a price tag. Sancy is so precious, it is considered truly priceless! The Louvre in France is the proud owner of this breathtaking gem.

What makes it so valuable: Aside from spending much of its existence in the possession of kings, queens, and medieval society’s elite, it’s over 55 carats in size, and tinted a natural yellow so fair, it has yet to be officially labeled and recorded.

The Wittelsbach Graff Diamond

The Wittelsbach Graff Diamond

Another of the Graff diamonds, bought by Sir Graff himself at an auction for just under $25 million. Many thought him quite mad when he altered the stone’s color to a dark, royal blue hue.

What makes it so valuable: Before Graff polished away the original color, this diamond possessed one of the rarest colors in the world: gray.

The Oppenheimer Blue Diamond

The Oppenheimer Blue Diamond

This diamond, named after its previous owner, Sir Phillip Oppenheimer, stunned auction goers, when it sold for an incredible $57 million in 2016. This buyer, like the owner of The Orange diamond, remains anonymous.

What makes it so valuable: The Oppenheimer diamond is not only big and beautiful, it is considered the biggest, most lovely Vivid Blue diamond to ever grace serious buyers’ eyes.

Steinmetz Pink Diamond

The Steinmetz Pink Diamond

As one of the most stunning pink diamonds in the world, this diamond’s, now more commonly referred to as “The Pink Star,” had a list price of over $70 million. The lavish buyer was allegedly Chow Tai Fook Enterprises in Hong Kong.

What makes it so valuable: Its color and size rank it among the top 3 in its pink diamond class. However, it is the single largest diamond to be classified as a Vivid Pink stone.

The Moussaieff Red Diamond

The Moussaieff Red Diamond.

The Red Shield Diamond, as it’s called, glistens a deep red, almost the color of blood. Moussaieff Jewelers, from whence the diamond gets its name, estimate the gem’s value at around $20 million.

What makes it so valuable: Naturally red diamonds are the rarest diamonds known to man. The size of such a fantastic red diamond, brilliant enough to earn the color grade, “Fancy,” puts it in a tight race for the single rarest gem on earth.

Taylor-Burton Diamond

The Taylor-Burton Diamond

This classic white, pear-shaped gem is the infamous engagement ring worn by Elizabeth Taylor herself when she was betrothed to Richard Burton.

What makes it so valuable: Although it never had an official estimated value, it would never match what the ring was worth! Taylor sold the ring, and donated all the proceeds to fund hospital construction in Africa.

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