Home » Diamond » Spectacular Diamonds

Spectacular Diamonds

Diamonds that are exceptional because of their size, color, clarity, crystal form or other property.

Author: , Ph.D., GIA Graduate Gemologist

910 carat Letseng diamond

The Letšeng 910 Carat is an uncut, D-color, Type IIa diamond found at the Letšeng Mine in Lesotho and announced in 2018. It is believed to be the fifth largest rough diamond ever recovered in the world. The Letšeng Mine is famous for producing large diamonds of exceptional color. It is the highest dollar-per-carat kimberlite diamond mine in the world. Photograph by Gem Diamonds.

What Makes a Diamond Spectacular?

Every year diamond mining companies find a number of spectacular diamonds. Some of these diamonds are spectacular because of their large size - often weighing hundreds of carats. Such large diamonds might sell for tens of millions of dollars. Others are spectacular because of their color. A red diamond weighing just two carats can sell at an eight-digit price tag. Some are spectacular because of their exceptional quality. The rarity of these stones is what causes them to have such a high value.

Some mining companies make most of their profits from discovering a small number of spectacular diamonds. They find lots of small diamonds too, but a few carats of red or a few carats of violet or a 500-carat diamond can significantly move the price of the company’s stock. These diamonds also attract an enormous amounts of attention. Such is the work and the business of diamond mining.

The Argyle Violet

The Argyle VioletTM is a 2.83-carat polished oval cut from a 9.17-carat rough diamond. It has a color grade of "fancy deep grayish bluish violet." It is the largest violet diamond ever produced from Rio Tinto’s famous Argyle mine. It was presented in the 2016 Argyle Pink Diamonds Tender. Rio Tinto reports that for every 25 million carats of rough diamonds produced at the Argyle mine, a single polished blue or violet Tender stone is produced. And in the 30 years of the Tender, just 12 carats of polished violet diamonds have been offered. Photograph by Rio Tinto.

Argyle Everglow red diamond

The Argyle EverglowTM is a 2.11-carat polished radiant cut diamond found at Rio Tinto’s famous Argyle mine. It was presented in the 2017 Argyle Pink Diamonds Tender as the largest fancy red diamond ever presented in the 33-year history of the annual Tender. It was assessed by the Gemological Institute of America as a Fancy Red VS2 diamond. Red diamonds are extremely rare, and less than 20 carats of fancy red diamonds have been included in the Tender’s 33-year history. Photograph by Rio Tinto.

the Strawn-Wagner diamond

Strawn-Wagner Diamond: The Strawn-Wagner Diamond was found at the Crater of Diamonds State Park as a 3.09-carat rough diamond by Shirley Strawn in 1990. She had it faceted into a 1.09-carat brilliant-cut gem. It was the first diamond to receive a perfect grade of 0/0/0 by the American Gem Society. Photo Courtesy of Crater of Diamonds State Park - the only producing diamond mine in the United States and the only diamond mine in the world where you can be the miner.

The Argyle Semper Suite pink diamonds

The Argyle Semper Suite is a matched set of three fancy intense pink heart-shaped polished diamonds, cut from rough produced at Rio Tinto's famous Argyle mine. From left to right they weigh 0.60 carat, 1.31 carat and 0.58 carat. They were presented in the 2011 Argyle Pink Diamonds Tender. Photograph by Rio Tinto.

rough blue diamond

Rough blue diamond: In February 2014, Petra Diamonds sold one of the world’s most important blue diamonds. Their uncut 29.62-carat blue diamond, recovered from the Cullinan mine in South Africa, sold for $25,555,555 USD (a price of $862,789 USD per carat). The Cullinan mine is the source of some of the world’s most famous diamonds, the most important source of blue diamonds, and the mine where the two main diamonds in the British Crown Jewels were produced. Photograph by Petra Diamonds.

yellow diamond crystal

Yellow diamond crystal: In December 2017, Alrosa announced the recovery of a 98.63-carat yellow-tinged octahedral diamond crystal from the Jubilee (Yubileynaya) Pipe, Sakha Republic, Russia. The crystal measures approximately 29 x 28 x 27 millimeters and contains inclusions of olivine, graphite, and sulfide minerals. During calendar year 2017, Alrosa recovered more than 20 large rough diamonds with a weight of over 50 carats from the Jubilee Pipe. This diamond crystal is extremely interesting. Its surface is covered with growth lines and trigons. Click to enlarge. Photographs by Alrosa.

Diamond from Finland

Diamond from Finland: This diamond crystal measures just 0.8 millimeters across. Why is it on this page full of spectacular diamonds? It is shown here because it represents a find that might become the first diamond mine in Europe outside of Russia - that is what’s spectacular. The diamond was found in a till exploration sample collected in the Finnish sector of the Karelian Craton by Karelian Diamond Resources. It represents the hope that a profitable diamond mine might be developed near the location where it was found. Exciting times for Finland and for the finders. We hope they find a major diamond deposit! Photograph by Karelian Diamond Resources.

Williamson pink diamond

The Williamson is an uncut 32.33-carat exceptional pink diamond recovered at the Williamson Mine in Tanzania by Petra Diamonds. They announced in March 2016 that the diamond had been sold for $15.0 million USD (a price of $463,965 USD per carat). Petra is also entitled to receive 10% of the value uplift of the polished products. The diamond was purchased by M.A. Anavi Diamond Group, a leading diamond manufacturer, who specializes in large and unique colored diamonds. Photograph by Petra Diamonds.

Star of Josephine

The Star of Josephine is a 7.03-carat internally flawless, fancy vivid blue diamond. It was cut from a 26.6-carat rough diamond recovered from the Cullinan Mine by Petra Diamonds. It was purchased for $9.48 million and named by Joseph Lau Luen-Hung, a Hong Kong property investor. It was a gift for his daughter, Josephine. At the time of its purchase in 2009, it was the highest per-carat price ever paid for a gemstone at public auction. It was also the world record price for any blue diamond at auction.

More Diamonds
  Spectacular Diamonds
  Diamonds Do Not Form From Coal
  Interesting Facts About Diamonds
  Blood Diamonds
  US Diamond Mines
  You Can Be A Diamond Miner!

geology store

More From Geology.com:

Sand is a diverse material. This gallery includes photos of sand from around the world.
Tallest Mountain
Tallest Mountain - Everest has rivals in tallness, altitude and distance to the center of Earth.
Peridotite is a chromite host rock, a source of diamonds and a possible carbon dioxide sink.
Emerald is the most popular green gemstone in the United States and most of the world.
geology news
Geology.com News contains news about geology and earth science from around the world.
Plate Tectonics
Plate Tectonics - Articles and maps about plate tectonics and the interior of Earth.
uses of talc
Talc is a soft mineral used in cosmetics, paper, paint, ceramics and many other products.
Hand Lens
Hand Lens: A 10-power folding magnifier in a metal case. A frequently used lab and field tool.