Name: The Golden Jubilee Diamond
Nickname: Unnamed Brown Diamond
Mine of Origin – Premier Mine
Discovery - 1985
Carats: 545.67 carats
Size: 109.13 grams
Color: Fancy Yellow-Brown
Cut: Fire Rose Cushion cut
Price Estimation: USD 4-12 Million
Original Owner: Henry Ho of Thailand
Owner – King of Thailand
About The Golden Jubilee Diamond
The Golden Jubilee Diamond is the world’s largest cut and faceted diamond. The diamond presently weighs 545.67, or 109.13 g.
Now, before we proceed, let’s clear a common confusion. The Golden Jubilee Diamond isn’t the world’s largest diamond find. That record is held by Cullinan. Instead, the Golden Jubilee Diamond holds the title as the world’s largest cut and faceted diamond. To put it into better perspective, a diamond may weigh 1,000 carats at the time of discovery. At this point, the stone is still in its rough state. However, the cutting and polishing process may hive off a significant portion of the diamond. Therefore, the final cut and polished form of the stone may not be as large as its original rough form.
The Golden Jubilee Diamond was discovered in 1985, in the Premier Mine. Many of the world’s historic diamond finds have been made in the Premier Mine. Of notable mention include the Cullinan in 1905, the Taylor-Burton in 1966, and the Centenary in 1986.
Before the processing of the Golden Jubilee Diamond, Cullinan I was the world’s largest piece of cut and faceted diamond. It had held that record since 1908. The Golden Jubilee Diamond outweighs the Cullinan 1 diamond by 15.37 carats. The color of this diamond hasn’t been conclusively analyzed. Various images portray it as golden-to-orange in color. However, it was graded as a fancy yellow-brown diamond. Though it may not look like much, there’s a huge variance between the two colors in terms of how they impact diamond brilliance and clarity.
Before its cutting, the Golden Jubilee was one of the ugliest stones. No wonder it was initially christened the Unnamed Brown Diamond. However, its shape and beauty would be transformed when it was cut into a fire-rose cushion-cut.
Initially, the Golden Jubilee was a 755.5 carats large brown diamond. When the diamond was discovered in the prolific blue ground region of Premier Mines, it did not attract any significant media attention. Years later, the diamond was still largely hidden from the outside world. But in 1990, processing works on the diamond commenced. The cutting process was overseen by De Beers, the same company that operated Premier Mines. However, there was one monumental challenge. The diamond featured a large surface and visible cracks from its inside. Besides, there were numerous inclusions. Not only did these affect the quality of the gem, but they also presented challenges in terms of cutting the stone.
It was time for De Beers to explore some of the cutting-edge diamond cutting tools and techniques the company had been developing for years. Most of these tools and methods were developed to be used in cutting the colorless, flawless, 273.85 carats D-color Centenary Diamond. Eventually, De Beers hired Gabriel Tolkowsky to help with the cutting work. It was an opportunity for Gabriel Tolkowsky to test these techniques and prove their viability.
The many cracks and inclusions in the diamond made it difficult to cut the stone in the open, due to lighting and vibration challenges. An idea to construct an underground room was mooted. The room would be free from vibrations. Besides, it would be easier to control the lighting conditions.
In 1990, the stone was successfully reduced to 545.65 carats, down from the original 755.50 carats. Upon cutting the Golden Jubilee Diamond, MrTolkowsky described the cut as “Fire-Rose cushion shape”.
The Thai Diamond Manufacturers Association then brought the diamond to Thailand for display at the Thai Board of Investment Exhibition, held in LaemChabang. The diamond was chosen to mark the centennial celebrations of De Beers in 1988.
In 1995, a group of Thai investors, led by Henry Ho, purchased the diamond from De Beers. Henry Ho wasn’t only fascinated by the fire and brilliance of this gem. He also observed that it was quite heavy. In an interview with the Natural Color Diamond Association, Henry Ho compared the size of the diamond to two chickens. Therefore, there was a lot more to the diamond that made investing in it worth the risk. Arrangements were made for the gem to be offered to King Bhumibol, as a gift from his subjects. At the time, the king was due to celebrate his 50 th anniversary of ascent to the throne. That’s how the diamond earned the name Golden Jubilee.
In 2000, the king’s daughter, Princess MatiaChakriSirindhom, received the diamond on her father’s behalf. At the time of purchasing the diamond, the Thai government had gone through years of economic austerity. Citizens were very conscious of the government’s spending policies. A massive investment like this, whose value was more sentimental than practical, would definitely raise a few questions. Therefore, information on the actual cost of the Golden Jubilee Diamond was largely unavailable. At some point, the Thai government reported the diamond as a large topaz, apparently to keep its real value secret.
The Golden Jubilee Diamond is presently on display at the Royal Museum, located within the Pimammek Golden Temple Throne.
Value and Popularity
The Golden Jubilee Diamond has made it to some of the world’s most famous public exhibitions as well as private jewelry outlets. Most notable is the Jewelry Trade Center, the 59-story building located in Bangkok. The diamond has also been exhibited at the Central Department Store, located in LatPhrao, Bangkok.
Exhibitions outside of Bangkok include;
- In Basel, Switzerland,
- At the Warren Buffet-owned Borsheims Jewelers in Nebraska, USA, and
- At the Gleim's Jewelers in California, USA.
Besides these historical exhibitions, certain prominent global leaders have also handled the diamond. Pope John Paul II received the diamond in Vatican City, to give it papal blessings. Other religions leaders that have received the diamond, ostensibly to bless it include the Islamic Chularatchamontri and the Buddhist Supreme Patriarch of Thailand.
The Golden Jubilee Diamond is currently priced between four and twelve million dollars. The value could be higher, were it to be sold at an auction. Besides, the fact that it’s held as one of the royal gifts could further raise its value.
The Golden Jubilee Diamond boasts a history that’s characterized by royal glamor. Though it’s presently held at the Bangkok's Royal Museum, the diamond has travelled the world and graced many exhibitions. And yes, it still holds the title as the world’s largest cut diamond.