A rare 19th century 55-carat diamond, once part of the Russian Crown Jewels has gone on temporary view at New York’s American Museum of Natural History on Central Park West. The Diamond gets its name from the Kimberley mine in South Africa where it was found before 1868. It has also been described as a “cape diamond,” an Old World term meaning “deep color.”
The Kimberley Diamond went through a number of transformations during its 145-year history. It was cut from a 490-carat crystal into a 70-carat gem in 1921. The original diamond was fairly large, but there aren’t many descriptions of it, so its history isn’t well-known.
To improve its brilliance and proportions, the diamond was re-cut to its present form in 1958 by renowned New York City Fifth Avenue jewelers the Baumgold Bros. The rectangular diamond is about 1.25 inches in length and virtually flawless.
Large diamonds are extremely rare on Earth. The largest one ever found was The Cullinan Diamond which was 3,106 carats! It was cut into 9 major stones and 96 smaller stones, the largest of which was the “Star of Africa”, a whooping 530 carat diamond set in the septre of the British Crown Jewels. This diamond pales in comparison to the gargantuan discovery by astronomer Travis Metcalfe of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics and his colleagues in 2004. They discovered a diamond star that is 10 billion trillion trillion carats!!! Just think how many engagement rings and diamond earrings could come out of that if we had access to it!
The cosmic diamond is a chunk of crystallized carbon and is 4,000 km across, and about 50 light-years away from Earth in the constellation Centaurus. It’s the compressed heart of an old star that was once bright like our own sun, but has since faded and shrunk. Astronomers have decided to call the star “Lucky” after the Beatles song, Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds.
According to scientists, if you wait long enough, our own sun could eventually turn into a similar large diamond star!