The Centenary Diamond: A Journey Through Time and Value

The Centenary Diamond: A Journey Through Time and Value

Centenary Diamond

Centenary Diamond //  De Beers


The Centenary Diamond is one of the most celebrated gems in history. From its geological formation to the hands of its renowned owners, its story is an enchanting tale woven around 273.85 carats of mesmerizing brilliance. In this article, we will delve into the various aspects of the Centenary Diamond, including its significant owners, size, carat, geological details, and estimated value.


A Brief Overview

The Centenary Diamond was discovered in the Premier Mine in South Africa on July 17, 1986. It was found in its rough form, weighing 599 carats, and would later be transformed into a modified heart-shaped cut weighing 273.85 carats. It is classified as a D color by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), which is the highest grade for a colorless diamond, and is internally and externally flawless.


Geological Details

The Centenary Diamond belongs to a category known as Type IIa diamonds, which constitute less than 2% of all naturally occurring diamonds. This classification is given to diamonds with an exceptional lack of nitrogen impurities, which often imparts a yellowish tint in other diamonds.

Formed deep within the Earth's mantle under extreme pressure and temperature conditions, the Centenary Diamond's crystalline structure is a testament to nature's artistry. The specific geological conditions of the Premier Mine have led to the production of several remarkable diamonds, making it one of the most prolific sources of high-quality gems.


Significant Owners

Though the full history of the Centenary Diamond's owners is shrouded in privacy and confidentiality, its journey began with De Beers Consolidated Mines.


De Beers

As the owner of the Premier Mine, De Beers was the original custodian of the Centenary Diamond. The company named the gem "Centenary" to mark its 100th anniversary in 1988. Renowned master cutter Gabi Tolkowsky was selected by De Beers to oversee the cutting process, which took nearly three years.

The Centenary Diamond was unveiled to the public in 1991, and it became a part of various exhibitions around the world.


Size and Carat

Centenary Diamond

Centenary Diamond // De Beers


The original rough stone of the Centenary Diamond weighed a substantial 599 carats. The cutting process, led by Gabi Tolkowsky, reduced its weight to 273.85 carats, maintaining the diamond's brilliance and perfection.

The finished product is a modified heart shape and includes 247 facets. Its unique cutting and design have contributed to its standing as one of the largest top-color, flawless diamonds in the world.



Determining the exact value of the Centenary Diamond is challenging due to its unique attributes and historical significance. When it was insured during its time with De Beers, the gem was valued at around $100 million. However, the market value could be significantly higher, especially when considering factors such as rarity, demand, and the continued appreciation of unique diamonds.



The Centenary Diamond is more than just a dazzling piece of art; it's a geological marvel and a symbol of human craftsmanship. Its significant owners, size, carat, unique geological characteristics, and unfathomable value make it a remarkable gemstone in the annals of history.

Though its current ownership remains a closely guarded secret, the Centenary Diamond continues to captivate the imaginations of gem enthusiasts and historians alike. Its timeless elegance and unparalleled purity will forever keep it among the pantheon of the world's most extraordinary diamonds.


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