Gemstones have exerted a powerful influence over mankind ever since beginning. Their color, brilliance and sparkle captured the imagination of our ancestors. Each gemstone was also believed to possess remarkable healing properties, and magical powers. All of these extraordinary gemstones have gone down into the pages of history and continue to fascinate anyone who sees them.
The passage of the time has only increased their mystique and their captivating beauty and fascinating origins have done the rest. Many of these legendary jewels can now be viewed by the public as they glitter coldly from their bullet-proof glass cases.
Here is a list some of the world’s most precious, rare and valuable gems:
The Hope Diamond
A French traveler Jean Baptiste Tavernier was sold an extraordinary ‘blue-violet’ stone by a slave. He never knew that it was the largest deep blue diamond in the world. The Hope Diamond dates back to the 17th century India and is said to be cursed. It now rests in Smithsonian Institute Washington DC.
Star of India
Weighing a massive 563.35 carats, the Star of India is the largest and most famous star sapphire in the world. The grayish blue gem was mined almost 300 years ago in Sri Lanka. The Star of India was stolen from American Museum of Natural History but was recovered from a highly unlikely place — a locker in a bus station!
Star of Africa
Also known as the Cullinan I, the Star of Africa is a stunning pear-shaped diamond that weighs about 530.20 carats. The Star of Africa is the second largest cut diamond in the world. It can be viewed with the other Crown Jewels in the Tower of London.
The Tiffany Yellow Diamond
Discovered in 1878 in the Kimberly mines of South Africa, this stone weighed around 287.42 carats and is considered to be one of the largest yellow diamonds in the world. Yellow diamonds are extremely rare.
Queen Marie of Romania’s Sapphire
The enormous blue sapphire is of Sri Lankan origin. This giant rectangular cushion-shaped sapphire, in a breathtaking deep blue cornflower colour, is also one of the largest and most historic sapphires of the world.
Star of Asia
The Star of Asia is a round blue-violet colored six-ray star sapphire. The stone is believed to have been discovered in Myanmar. It can now be seen in the Smithsonian Museum’s collection of famous gemstones.
The Koh-I-Noor or ‘Mountain of Light’
This is a 105 carat diamond that was unearthed in the southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh and is one of the most famous diamonds of all times. It’s now the part of the British Crown of Jewels. It was famously said that said that whoever owned the Koh-I-Noor ruled the world.
One of the largest diamonds in the world, the Orlov can trace its origins to a Hindu temple of the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu in the 18th century. It is a wonderfully rare diamond among historic diamonds as it has retained its original rose-style cut, and radiates a slight bluish-green tint.
The Mughal Emerald
The Mughal Emerald is a magnificent dark green emerald in the shape of a tablet that dates back to the period of the last of the great Mughal Emperors of India, Aurangzeb. The historic emerald is characterized by two flat rectangular flat faces, weighs 217.80 carats and is about 10 cm high
The Spirit of de Grisogono
The Spirit of de Grisogono is the world’s largest cut black diamond. That’s not all. It’s also the fifth largest diamond in the world. This diamond was mined many years ago in west Central Africa before it was transported to Switzerland.
Author Ahsan Mukhtar