Diamonds are prized for what they look like when you first see them, and what they feel like when you wear them. Their brilliance and elegance have captivated imaginations since ancient times. No other jewelry or stone creates the same emotion.
Learn about the 4C's of Diamonds – cut, clarity, color and carats – that contribute to the lasting beauty of diamonds from the Gemological Institute of America.
Every diamond we sell is accompanied by a grading report from the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) or American Gem Society (AGS), the most highly acclaimed grading institutes in the world. Each diamond is analyzed by Apland to determine whether it meets our strict standards of cut and brilliance. Your diamond is guaranteed to match the certificate. Your satisfaction is guaranteed, or you can return the diamond.
A grading report is a "blueprint" of a diamond; it tells you the diamond's exact measurements and weight, as well as the details of its cut and quality. It points out individual characteristics of the stone. Grading Reports also serve as a record of the diamond's quality and identity. A grading certificate, however, is not the same thing as an appraisal. An appraisal places a monetary value on your diamond.
There are many diamond labs that issue grading reports, but the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) and the American Gem Society Lab (AGSL) are two of most widely regarded and recognized diamond grading labs in the world.
While shopping for diamonds with grading reports allows you to make an informed choice about your selections, and to comparison shop, there is no replacement for seeing your diamond with your own eyes and with the help of our trained staff! You can compare one diamond with a particular weight and quality with other diamonds of similar weight and quality to determine the better value, however visual comparisons offer the only true way to know what you are buying.
The largest diamond ever found, it was 3,106 carats in the rough and originally weighed just under one and a half pounds. The Cullinan was cut into 9 major stones and 96 smaller stones. Two of the stones cut from the Cullinan Diamond are now found in the British Crown Jewels; the 530-carat "Star of Africa", which is set in the septre and the 317-carat "Lesser Star of Africa" which is set in the Imperial State Crown. This photo shows the Founders of the Premier Mine & Cullinan Village with William McHardy holding the Cullinan Diamond. To read more about the history of The Cullinan visit Cullinan Meander on line.
The second largest stone ever found is the Excelsior, which was 995.2 carats in the rough. Some claim that the Braganza is the second largest stone ever found, but there are no records of its existence and many believe it is mythical or not even a diamond. The Excelsior was cut into ten stones, the largest of which is 69.68 carats. The GIA certified The Excelsior I has 'G' color and VS2 clarity. In May of 1996 The Excelsior I was bought by Robert Mouawad for $2,642,000.
The Koh-i-Noor ("Mountain of Light")
First mentioned in 1304, it weighed 186 carats and was an oval cut stone. It is believed to have been once set in the famous peacock throne of Shah Jehan as one of the peacock's eyes. Recut in the reign of Queen Victoria, it is amongst the British Crown Jewels and now weighs 108.93 carats.
More notorious than any other diamond, The Hope Diamond is 45.52 carats. Since the Hope Diamond was found in the early 1600s, it has crossed oceans and continents and passed from kings to commoners. What makes The Hope so notorious is that it is supposed to be cursed. It was once owned by Louis XIV but stolen during the French revolution. In 1830 it turned up in London and was purchased by Henry Phillip Hope, whom it is named. The Hope Diamond is now in the Smithsonian Institute in Washington DC. To read more about the fascinating history of the Hope Diamond visit Encyclopedia Smithsonian on line.
In 1964, this almost perfect yellow crystal was found in the Dutoitspan Mine, Kimberly, South Africa. It was acquired by Harry Winston, who presented it to the Smithsonian Institution in memory of the late Sir Ernest Oppenheimer of DeBeers Consolidated Mines.
The Orloff is thought to have weighed about 300 carats when it was found. At one time it was confused with the Great Mogul, and it is now held in the Diamond Treasury in Moscow. One tale told is that The Orloff was set as the eye of God in the temple of Sri Rangen and was stolen by a French soldier disguised as a Hindu.
Discovered in 1701 by an Indian slave near Golconda, this diamond weighed 410 carats in the rough. Once owned by William Pitt, the English Prime Minister, it was cut into a cushion shaped brilliant of 140.50 carats, and until it was sold to the Duke of Orleans, Regent of France when Louis XV wore at his coronation. After the French revolution, it was owned by Napoleon Bonaparte who set it in the hilt of his sword. It is now on display in the Louvre.
The Star of Sierra Leone
The third largest rough diamond ever discovered was found on February 14, 1972, at the Diminco Mine in Sierra Leone, which was 969.80 carats in the rough. Harry Winston purchased this diamond and had it cut into 17 stones, six of which are now set in the Star of Sierra Leone Brooch.
A total of 69.42 carats, this pear-shaped diamond was sold at auction in 1969 with the understanding that it could be named by the buyer. Cartier of New York successfully bid for it and immediately christened it "Cartier". However, the next day Richard Burton bought the stone for Elizabeth Taylor for an undisclosed sum, renaming it the "Taylor-Burton". It made its debut at a charity ball in Monaco in mid November where Miss Taylor wore it as a pendant. In 1978, Elizabeth Taylor announced that she was putting it up for sale and planned to use part of the proceeds to build a hospital in Botswana. Just to inspect the diamond, prospective buyers had to pay $2,500 to cover the cost of showing it. In June 1979 it was sold for nearly $3 million and was last reported to be in Saudi Arabia.