5 of the Most Famous Jewels in History
From the prized Dresden Green to the cursed Hope Diamond, our society has revered these remarkable gems for centuries. Keep reading to find out the fascinating histories behind some of the most well-known jewels in the world!
1. The Koh-I-Noor Diamond
Originally discovered in India around 1500 C.E., the Koh-I-Noor diamond weighs a whopping 106 carats, and at one point was the largest diamond in the world. Its name comes from the Persian phrase, "mountain of light", and throughout its history, it has been the pride and joy of many nobles in the upper class. When possessed by the Mughals, in 1628, it was the crowning jewel of a gem-encrusted throne that had been commissioned by their ruler, Shah Jahan. Later, it was given to Queen Victoria, following the conquest of Punjab in 1849, and set into crown that is only to be worn by female queens. Supposedly, if a male puts it on, it will bring bad luck upon the wearer.
2. The Dresden Green
One of the rarest gems in history, the The Dresden Green is the largest natural green diamond in the world, weighing 41 carats. Famous not only for its size, but also its startling clarity, and consistent color, the gemstone has been a symbol for Saxony rulers since 1741, when it was purchased by Frederick the Great for approximately 4 tons worth of gold. Though it has been a token part of several historical badges, the stone found its final setting in a hat ornament, surrounded by several white diamonds in a dazzling design that is able to be seen today at Dresden Castle, in Germany.
3. La Peregrina Pearl
Likely the most famous pearl in the world, the La Peregrina Pearl has been worn by some of history's most notorious figures, including Queen Mary of England and Elizabeth Taylor. Both women were given the pearl as a gift from their husbands, but unfortunately, it was and still is rumored to have a detrimental effect on the marriage of its wearers. Despite its "curse", however, the La Peregrina Pearl still remains one of the most desired gems in the world, due to its remarkable size and natural symmetry, and in 2011, the 58.5 carat pearl sold to an anonymous bidder for $11.8 million.
4. L'Incomparable Diamond
The 407.48 carat Incomparable Diamond currently holds the Guiness World Record for the world's most expensive necklace--valued at around $55 million! What makes this gem remarkable is the combination of its beautifully deep yellow color, its perfect shield step-cut, and its truly flawless interior. In fact, it was actually deemed the largest internally flawless diamond ever graded by the Gemological Institute of America. The diamond was displayed in multiple museums, before being set in an 18k rose gold necklace that compliments the gem with 91 white diamonds of various shapes and sizes.
5. The Hope Diamond
Famous for its terrible "curse", The Hope Diamond is one of the most well-known gems in the world. For centuries, it has intrigued jewelers and socialites alike, with its sparkling blue-violet color that sets it apart from most other gems. But for all its beauty and allure, the stone is rumored to bring misfortune upon its owners, and is feared just as much as it is beloved. Even so, this famous jewel has brought record attendance to the Smithsonian Museum, as people cannot seem to get enough of this mysterious blue diamond, even given its questionable history.