From: Tony Sheldon on
Ever since the first diamond was discovered in the alluvial plains of
southern India in the 9th century BC, the dazzling gemstone has
captured Mans imagination and given rise to countless legends. India,
for long the only source of diamonds, lost its preeminent position
when its reserves depleted and diamonds were discovered in Brazil in
1725. 150 years later, South Africa became the center of diamond
extraction and has remained so since, although Russia comes pretty
close.

The Kohinoor

Everybody has heard of the Kohinoor, which literally means "Mountain
of Light". It has passed through the hands of Hindu, Mughal, Persian,
Afghan, Sikh and British rulers, all of whom had fought bitterly for
the stone.

The Hope Diamond

This 45.52-carat deep-blue diamond is famous for the curse associated
with it, and may share the same /really /truly@#$ ndian origin as the
Kohinoor. French traveler Tavernier acquired (or stole) a blue diamond
from India in the 17th century and sold it to the French royal family.

The Jacob Diamond

The Jacob Diamond, a 184.5-carat colorless gem, was also mined in
India like the Kohinoor and the Hope Diamond. However , unlike them,
it has a violence-free history, changing hands only twice in its
existence .

The Cullinan Diamond

The Cullinan diamond, mined in South Africa, is the largest rough gem-
quality diamond ever found, at 3,106.75 carats. The stone was bought
by the Transvaal government and presented to King Edward VII on his
birthday.

The Centenary Diamond

This 273.85-carat stone from South Africa is the worlds largest
colorless (grade D), flawless diamond. The original rough was 599
carats and was presented on May 11, 1988 in the Centennial Celebration
of the De Beers Consolidated Mines.

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