Five of the most famous chocolate diamonds
Chocolate diamonds are the result of unique pressures and influences as a diamond forms. The influence of nickel and a slightly different manner of formation can change a diamond from clear to chocolate or cognac in colour. Chocolate diamonds have a place in history, too. There are many notable examples, each with its own unique story.
Earth Star Diamond
Found in the Jagersfontein Mine in South Africa, the Earth Star Diamond was unearthed in 1967. The original gem weighed 248.9 carats, or nearly 50 grams. The Earth Star Diamond that was cut from it was 111.59 carats, or just over 22 grams. It’s known for a particular exemplary brilliance and its deep brown colour.
Star of the South
The ‘Estrela do Sul’ was found in Brazil and helped to put the nation‘s diamond mining industry into the spotlight. It was found in 1853 by a slave who had been brought from Africa. She was given her freedom and a pension in exchange for the original gem. The Star of the South was cut as a 128.48-carat (25.696-gram) cushion-shaped gem, and it has a unique colour grade of Fancy Light Pinkish-Brown.
The Lesotho Brown was discovered in Letseng Mine in Lesotho in 1967. It was cut into 18 polished diamonds, including a 71.73-carat diamond known as Lesotho I. The Lesotho III once belonged to Jackie Kennedy. The Lesotho cuts boast pale brown colouration and the history of each separate cut gem is unique.
An African diamond discovered by a young woman in the Congo, the Incomparable Diamond was piled in rubble meant for discard. The original plan behind the Incomparable Diamond was to make it the largest cut diamond in history. After identifying – and wanting to avoid – its flaws, the final decision made it the third-largest cut diamond at 407.5 carats, or 81.5 grams. Fourteen satellite stones were also cut from the same rough gem. They’re notable for ranging in colour from nearly clear to yellow-brown.
Golden Jubilee Diamond
Perhaps no diamond has a better history than the Golden Jubilee Diamond. It was found in 1985 in the Premier Mine of South Africa. It is the largest cut diamond in the entire world at 545.67 carats, or 109.13 grams. The original full diamond was cut from was 755.5 carats, or 151 grams.
After being exhibited for seven years, the diamond was purchased by a group of Thai businesspersons. This was in honour of the 50th anniversary of the coronation of Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej. The diamond was presented to him in 1995 as part of the celebration of his long rule.
Because the original diamond had some cracks and inclusions, the Golden Jubilee had to be cut from it in a specialised room that was built underground to be free from vibration. These techniques would later be utilised for De Beers’ famous Centenary Diamond.
The Golden Jubilee Diamond also served as a symbol of religious unity throughout the world. It was blessed by Pope John Paul II at the Vatican, the Buddhist Sangharaja (head of the order of Buddhist monks in Thailand), and the head of Islamic affairs in Thailand – the Chularatchamontri. Although the Golden Jubilee Diamond is estimated at up to $12 million in worth, its history means that it would likely see a much higher price were it ever to be auctioned.