Bigger is not always better. A two-seater roadster beats a station wagon every time and brick-like mobile phones of the 80s look laughably huge in comparison to today’s smartphone. But when it comes to the world of precious stones, we all worship at the altar of size. The Crown Jewels, the Cullinan Diamond, even the fictional Heart of the Ocean from Titanic are just a few astonishing pieces that have the masses fantasising.
Good news, though: you can stop daydreaming now and get your hands on your own whopper (provided your bank statement comes with many zeros) because a number of auction houses and brands have some seriously impressive diamonds for sale.
The record-breaking diamond
Precious stones have been headline news this year thanks to the Lesedi la Rona – the world’s largest uncut diamond. The three-billion-year-old stone was unearthed in Botswana last November and it weighs in at an incredible 1,109 carats. In terms of its weight, it is exceeded only by the Cullinan Diamond, which was cut into nine stones, many of which are in the Tower of London or perched on the Queen’s head. The tennis-ball-sized gem went on sale this June at Sotheby’s and had been expected to sell for more than £52m. Unsurprisingly, no bidder met that amount, so it remains in London awaiting its first owner.
The flawless diamond
If you’re looking for perfection in a stone, Graff has a 314-carat uncut stone, discovered last year in Lesotho. It has been cut into a flawless pear-shaped diamond (read our guide on everything you need to know about diamond cuts) and is currently on sale in the newest Graff boutique at the exclusive Place Vendôme in Paris (which is conveniently located next to the newly renovated Ritz Paris, if you need somewhere to rest your head after all that spending).
The dazzling diamond ring
If you don’t want to go through all the fuss of setting your diamond, why not buy one already in place? One of the biggest diamond creations ever sold was the Bulgari Two-Stone diamond ring in 1972, made up of a blue diamond that weighs 10.95 carats and a colourless counterpart that weighs 9.87 carats. It is not currently for sale, but Bulgari has a number of impressive rings in the Le Magnifiche Creazioni and the Giardini Italiani collection that are just as beautiful.
The manly diamond
It seems rather cruel that men have to miss out on all this diamond loveliness, which is why the Big Bang watch by Hublot is proving rather popular despite its US$5 million price tag. Yes, that’s right, five mill for a watch, although it makes sense when you realise it’s made up of 1,280 diamonds that are at least three carats each in weight. And to own it would put you in good company, as rumour has it Beyoncé gave one to Jay Z for his birthday.