Famous Diamonds


Leon Mege review famous diamonds

Until the advent of the modern round cut in the early 1900's, almost all diamonds were cushions. The cut was called "Old Miner", but other names were used to describe it, i.e. Peruzzi cut, triple cut, etc. The Old Mine cut was the earliest form of a brilliant cut, it was THE diamond cut of its era. It is characterized by a high crown, small table, shallow pavilion, large facets, and an open culet.

The beauty of these stones is not in their perfect symmetry or the amount of light they return when measured through a multi-colored plastic cone.

Antique diamonds cannot be judged by modern standards. They were cut to perform in a world of natural, not artificial, light by transforming it into a rainbow of explosive flashes with its every move.

They project a certain flair that most people find astonishing, enigmatic, and electrifying.

Leon Mege is famous for bringing the Old Mine cut (as all historic diamonds on this page)back to the spotlight. Currently, we cut our True Antique cushion diamonds in our New York diamond cutting factory.

Please browse the selection of True Antique™ cushion diamonds we have available.



Regent diamond presented by leon megeThis magnificent diamond of Indian origin was originally known as the Pitt Diamond, after Thomas Pitt, who acquired it under murky circumstances.
He claimed to pay 10 archers for it and it took 2 years to cut. It was sold in France for 1.35 plums in installments. It was renamed the Regent at this point. 140.64 carats.

After being stolen in 1792 along with the Hope and the Sancy Diamonds, it was recovered a year later and became The National Diamond of France. When Napoleon Bonaparte came to power it was mounted in the hilt of his sword.
After his downfall in 1814, it was worn in 1824 at the coronation of Charles X. The stone is now on display at the Louvre.


Cullinan II

cullinan diamond presented by leon megeProbably the best illustration of the Antique Cushion cut, the Cullinan II Diamond was discovered in January of 1905. It is the largest rough diamond to ever be discovered, weighing 3106 carats in its rough form.

Initially, it was thrown out of the window, perceived as being far too big to be a diamond.
It was recovered by Fred Wells, a manager of the Premier Mine in South Africa. The stone yielded 9 faceted diamonds and plenty of smaller ones. The Cullinan II is an antique cushion cut of 317.4 carats. It is now set into the British Imperial State Crown.



koh i noor diamond by Leon MegeThis stone might not appear as a traditional cushion shape at a first glance, but if you look closer, you can trace a poorly shaped cushion outline. The name stands for "Mountain of Light." A 105 carat (21.6 g) diamond that was once the largest known diamond in the world.

Captured in 1526 by Humayun, at which point it was stated to be valued at half the daily expense of the whole world.

In 1850, it was presented to Queen Victoria. It originally weighed 186 carats and took 38 days to cut to its present form of 108.93 carats at a cost of 8000 pounds. The stone is currently set into the Maltese Cross in the crown made for the Queen mother in 1937.




Wittelsbach diamond by Leon MegeThe Wittelsbach weighed 35.56 metric carats and measured 24.40 by 24.46 millimeters, with a depth of and 8.29 millimeters.
Minor surface scratches were caused by the butcher of a setter who removed the stone from its setting. It has 82 facets arranged in an unusual pattern. The star facets on the crown are vertically split, and the pavilion has eight pairs of extremely narrow facets. Typical of any antique cut stone, The Wittelsbach has a giant culet.


Archduke Joseph

Archduke Joseph diamond presented by leon mege

This 76.45-carat diamond gets its name from Archduke Joseph August (1872-1962), a previous owner of the gem and a prince of the Hungarian line of the Hapsburg dynasty.

This diamond was discovered sometime between 1899 and 1901 in the De Beers Mine. It now weighs 205.07 carats but is reported to have weighed 375 carats in the rough. It was sold in 1918 on behalf of the British Red Cross Society and The Order of St. John. Its present whereabouts and owner is not known.



Tiffany Diamond by Leon MegeThis stone was found either in 1877 or 1878. It went to France to be cut, yielding an antique cushion cut brilliant of 125.51 carats. It was purchased by Tiffany in 1879.

It is one of the largest rare Deep Canary Yellow Diamonds in the world and has been on display since 1896 at the Tiffany's in New York. In 1983 the stone was valued at $12,000,000.


Dresden Green

Dresden Green diamond presented by leon megeThis stone appears to be a pear at first but in reality, it is an antique cushion with one side missing shoulders. The diamond weighs approximately 41 carats.

The earliest known reference to its existence occurs in the issue dated October 25th - 27th, 1722 of The Post Boy, a London newspaper.

The diamond probably originated in the Golconda region of India, it's Type IIa chemical composition in conjunction with the extremely unusual green color makes the Dresden Green one of the greatest diamonds in the world.


Red Cross

Red Cross diamond presented by leon mege The 205.07 carat canary yellow Red Cross diamond was found in South Africa. The diamond was auctioned off at a charity auction in London in 1918, to benefit the British Red Cross Society. It was sold for £35,575 a big chunk of change in those days.


hope diamond by Leon MegeThe triangular shape cannot mask the distinctly cushion-like faceting. The shape of the Hope Diamond could be described as a cushion with two poorly formed shoulders. The unusual blue diamond appeared in Europe in 1669 and is believed to be from the Golconda mine in India.

The term "Golconda" diamond has come to define diamonds of the finest white color, clarity, and transparency as well as type II stones lacking nitrogen in their crystal structure. In its original state, it is believed to have weighed 110.5 carats. Eventually, it made its way into the hands of Harry Winston who donated the stone to the Smithsonian in 1958.


Brooklyn Twins

True antiqe diamond presented by leon megeMatching pair of diamonds faceted by world-famous Leon Mege diamond cutters. The stones are respectively 19.82 and 19.03 carat, both graded GIA as G/VS2. The stones are cut from a single piece of rough weighing almost 60 carats. They were set into a pair of bespoke platinum drops and are available for inspection at Leon Mege showroom in Manhattan.



Idol's Eye

idols eye diamond by Leon MegeThe colorless 70.21-carat diamond discovered in the mid 16th century with a faint bluish tint, typical for diamonds Golconda diamond.

The Idol’s Eye was found in the seventeenth century in the Golconda region of India. Around 1607, the stone was owned by a Persian warlord Rahab (not Rehab).

After heavy partying Rahab ran out of money so he gave the stone to the East India Company as a portion of his debt. The stone was not seen for the next 300 years.

When it reappeared it went through some serious commotions such as being a given as a ransom for Princess Rasheetah release from a Turkish Sultan.



DeBeers diamond presented by leon mege Discovered in March 1888 in the De Beers mine, weighing 439.86 carats in the rough and 228.5 carats after cutting, it was exhibited at the Paris Exhibition of 1889. It is the 7th largest cut diamond in the world.

Cartier set it in 1925 when it was first purchased and it was sold again in the 1930's when its present owners acquired it. In 1982 it came up for auction but was withdrawn at $1,750,000, which was below its (undisclosed) reserve price.



Famous Allnatt Diamond by Leon MegeCertified by the GIA as Fancy Vivid Yellow/VS2, the stone is named after its former owner, Alfred Ernest Allnatt who commissioned Cartier to have it set into a brooch with a floral design. In 1996 the Allnatt was auctioned by Christie’s for $3,043,496.


Original weight of 102.07 ct was reduced to 101.29 ct when it was re-cut to improve its color from Fancy Intense to Fancy Vivid Yellow.


Beau Sancy

beau sancy diamond by Leon Mege

The 34.98-carat modified "pear double rose cut" diamond of the Prussian crown jewels, was in the hands of the House of Hohenzollern for three long centuries, then was passed to the ruling dynasty of Prussia and, after all that time to German Emperor.

The stone was stolen from India by French ambassador Nicolas de Harlay, Lord of Sancy and given to Queen of France Marie de Medicis. She regifted the stone to the Dutch King William and finally, in 1701 the Germans got a hold of it.



agra diamond by Leon MegeAgra is the site of the Taj Mahal, one of the most beautiful buildings in the world.

In 1990, the Agra and two other diamonds from the collection were auctioned at Christie’s.

The Agra was certified as a fancy light pink natural color and sold for £4,070,000, briefly making it the most expensive pink diamond in the world. Since then, the Agra has again been re-cut, to 28.15 carats.