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Celebrated Diamonds

Mankind has celebrated the diamond for centuries.
And throughout history, one-of-a-kind, truly amazing diamonds have emerged. Behind them lies a rich, magnificent story of history, discovery and technical achievement. Jones Jewels works within this rich heritage, providing diamonds and other gems of quality and delight. Here's a few of the more interesting and celebrated diamonds that have made headlines through history:

The famous Hope Diamond today resides in the Smithsonian Institution. The stunning blue diamond weighs 44.5 carats. It was acquired by King Louis XIV in 1668 and was worn by Marie Antoinette, among other notable figures through history.

The Taylor-Burton is the ultimate diamond gift on record. It's a magnificent 69.42 carat, pear-shaped diamond. Famed Paris jeweler Cartier bought the diamond at auction and actor Richard Burton purchased the stone the very next day for his wife, Elizabeth Taylor, an avid fan of diamond jewelry.

In January 1905, a mine superintendent named Frederick Wells stumbled across the 3,106 carat Cullinan Diamond, the largest diamond ever discovered. Presented to King Edward VII as a 66th birthday present by the Transvaal government, it needed to be cut. The ticklish job was awarded to Dutch craftsman Joseph Asscher, who cleaved the Cullinan perfectly into 9 major stones, 96 lesser gems, and 10 carats of polished fragments. The largest stone, the 530-carat pear-shaped Great Star of Africa, now twinkles from the royal scepter of the British Crown Jewels in the Tower of London.

The Tiffany Diamond was found in the 1870s in South Africa's Kimberly Mine, the largest and finest yellow diamond ever discovered. It weighed 287.42 carats, and cutters in Paris studied it for a year before touching it. They eventually turned it into a 128.51-carat stone with 90 facets. It was purchased by New York's Tiffany & Company.

The Koh-i-noor Diamond is now among the Crown Jewels at the Tower of London. The 109-carat diamond was first a treasure of the Mughal emperors of ancient India, along with the famous Peacock Throne, an extravagant work of diamonds, emeralds and rubies. The Koh-i-noor was seized by Persia's Nadir Shah in the sack of Delhi in 1739. When the East India Company conquered the Punjab in India, they acquired the stone and presented it to Queen Victoria in 1850.

Marie Antoinette was Queen of France from 1774 to her execution in 1793. She was brought down, in part, by a diamond necklace. "The Affair of the Diamond Necklace" began in 1785 when a certain Cardinal de Rohan's mistress led him to believe that the Marie Antoinette was in love with him and had authorized him to buy a necklace of diamonds for her. The mistress presented the jewelers with notes signed by the cardinal. The jewelers notified Marie Antoinette who denied ever ordering the necklace. When it became a public scandal, much of France chose not to believe the queen, as she was unpopular because of her extravagance and insensitivity toward the masses. She was tried later on for treason and guillotined.

Diamonds are discovered every day and many more lie in wait deep in the Earth. The most recent major stone found is the 969.8 carat Star of Sierra Leone. In was discovered on February 14, 1972 and is the third largest gem-quality diamond ever found.

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