While all diamonds are mined from mother earth, not all diamonds are created equal. The most expensive however come from the African continent. Over the years, African diamonds have both mesmerized gemologists and continued to shatter price records. Below are 5 of the most precious stones extracted in Africa;
1. The Cullinan
This is the world’s largest diamond at 3,106.75 carats, excavated from the Cullinan mines of South Africa. Its estimated value is a whooping US$2 billion. The Gem was named after its initial owner Thomas Cullinan. The diamond was purchased by the then Prime Minister of Transvaal (modern-day South Africa), who in turn presented it to the King of England, King Edward VII in 1905.
The diamond is currently owned by Charles III, who inherited it from his mother, Queen Elizabeth II. The raw diamond was cut into nine major stones, the biggest of which is the 530.2ct Cullinan I, popularly referred to as the Star of Africa. The Star of Africa now adorns the royal scepter of the British Crown. The second largest piece the Cullinan 2 also adorns another British treasure, the Imperial State Crown.
2. Centenary Diamond
This precious stone was discovered in the Premier Mine of South Africa, using their X-ray imaging system. The diamond was discovered on the 17th of July 1986. In May of 1988, the diamond was presented in the Centennial Celebration of the De Beers Consolidated Mines. It was insured for $100 million in 1991. It weighs 273.85-carats, third in size only to the Cullinan I and II. The diamond’s current whereabouts or owners are currently unknown, although some believe it is still with De beers, while others believe it was sold.
3. The Williamson Pink Star/The Steinmetz Pink Star
This is another diamond that was mined by De Beers company in South Africa, in 1999. It spots a brilliant vivid pink color and weighs 59.60 carats. Because of how rare the diamond seemed it took Steinmetz Diamonds 20 months to cut the gem. The Pink star was unveiled in Monaco, at an event in 2003. The diamond was auctioned by Sotheby’s Geneva on 13 November 2013 and was sold in 2017 to Chow Tai Fook Enterprises, in Hong Kong for $71.2 million.
4. Oppenheimer Blue
Blue diamonds are arguably the rarest diamonds on the planet, and this blue diamond is the most valuable of them all. It was sold for $57.5 million, making it the most expensive diamond ever sold at an auction until 2017, when it was surpassed by the Steinmetz Pink. It was owned by mining magnate Philip Oppenheimer, before being sold to an unknown buyer. The stone was found in South Africa during the 20th century.
5. The De Beers Cullinan Blue diamond
This blue diamond stands as one of the most expensive blue diamonds ever sold. The 15.10-carat precious stone sold for $57 million. It was discovered by Petra Diamonds in April 2021 at its Cullinan mine in South Africa. De Beers Blue is the largest vivid blue diamond ever to appear at auction. It was sold at a standalone auction held at Sotheby’s Pacific Place gallery in Hong Kong.
Sources: Business Insider Africa, WP Diamonds, Prestige online