The latest issue of Rapaport magazine has an article on diamonds that are known to be 100 carats or more. Rapaport maintains a Registry which lists the diamonds known to be 100 carats plus, along with other known information such as the mine it came from, the size of the rough it was cut from, where it was sold and for how much, who owns it, etc..
There are 65 diamonds on the Registry. The oldest is the “Koh-I-Noor” which dates to 1304 and is part of the British Crown Jewels. There are 2 over 500 carats, the “Golden Jubilee” at 545 carats and the “Great Star of Africa” at 530 carats. There is one at 407 carats, one at 317, 6 at 200 plus carats and the rest are between 100 and 200.
Laurence Graff, the London jeweler owns or has owned 12 of the 100 plus carat diamonds. Robert Mouawad, the Lebanese jeweler has owned 5 of them. Several are in the British Crown Jewels and several are in the Iranian Crown Jewels.
The modern era of colossal diamonds (the 5th “C”) dates only to 1990 and the sale by Sotheby’s of a 101 carat modified pear shaped diamond which was purchased by Robert Mouawad for $12.7 million (named the Mouawad Spendour). This sale set off a “stream” of sales of colossal diamonds over the next 25 years, usually for millions of dollars, and made the auction houses of Christies and Sotheby’s the preferred venue for such sales. These diamonds are usually named to establish the “provenance” of the stone.
There are large diamonds being mined at the Letseng and Karowe mines in Africa and there are wealthy individuals, especially Russian, Chinese and Arab, who wish to own “trophy” diamonds. This portends a future of more sales of colossal diamonds for fabulous prices at spectacular auction events in the houses of Sotheby’s and Christies.