It has been said that whoever owned the Koh-I-Noor ruled the world, a suitable statement for this, the most famous of all diamonds and a veritable household name in many parts of the world. Legend has suggested that the stone may date from before the time of Christ; theory indicates the possibility of its appearance in the early years of the 1300s; history proves its existence for the past two and a half centuries.
The 45.52 carat steel blue Hope Diamond was found in India back in remote times as a rough crystal weighing 112 carats. It first came to light when Jean Baptiste Tavernier, the noted French traveler of the 17th century, was approached in India by a slave who had a very secretive manner about him.
It turned out that he had in his possession an intriguing steel blue stone which at first look seemed to be a large sapphire, but the well-experienced Tavernier soon realized it was a diamond – the largest deep blue diamond in the world.
The Star of Africa, a pear shaped diamond weighing 530.20 carats, aka the Cullinan I. It measures 58.9 × 45.4 × 27.7 mm, and has 76 facets (counting the culet and the table). It is called the Cullinan I because it's the largest of the 9 large stones cut from the Cullinan Diamond, and the Cullinan II is the massive 317.40-carat cushion shaped diamond in the center-front of the Imperial State Crown of Great Britain. The Crown also features the Black Prince's Ruby, as well as St. Edward's Sapphire, and the Stuart Sapphire. All the stones in the crown seem to have a history. The Star of Africa holds the place of 2nd largest cut diamond in the world and is on display with the other Crown Jewels in the Tower of London.
The William Goldberg Diamond Corporation, famous for outstanding stones like the Premier Rose and the Guinea Star, cut this gem from a 13.90-carat rough. They transformed the piece into a spectacular red diamond weighing 5.11 carats. The GIA states, "It is the largest Fancy Red, natural color diamond that we have graded as of the date the report was issued." The stone is a triangular brilliant, sometimes refered to as a trillion or a trilliant cut. It was cut sometime in the mid-1990s, so its history is still relatively uneventful. Sometime around 2001 or 2002 the stone was purchased by Moussaieff Jewellers Ltd. The firm, while it has no website as of yet, is renowned for multi-million dollar pieces of jewelry and has locations in the United States as well as abroad.
It was expected that some 12-million people would visit the De Beers Millennium Jewels Exhibition at the Millennium Dome in London. There they were on view in a specially designed exhibit for the entire year of 2000. It is worth it to pause a moment and reflect on the rarity of blue diamonds. Pre-20th century accounts of great blue diamonds reinforce the trade's historical links with India, the only known early source of diamonds. These accounts tell of diamonds such as Tavernier Blue (now known as the Hope Diamond; 45.52 carats) and the 30.82-carat Blue Heart, which today are valued for their history and mystique as much as for their rare color. These diamonds are famous because of their incredible rarity - only red diamonds are rarer - and the De Beers collection of blues is something that will never be seen again.
The Heart of Eternity paid a visit to the Smithsonian Museum in the summer of 2003, being part of an exhibit titled The Splendour of Diamonds. The exhibit lasted from June 27th to September 15th and featured a number of other unusual colored diamonds, namely the Allnatt, the Millennium Star, the Pumpkin Diamond, the Moussaieff Red (formerly known as the Red Shield), the Ocean Dream, and the Steinmetz Pink.