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Museum prepares for the biggest-ever exhibition of Diamonds

28 April 2005

The Natural History Museum is preparing for the arrival of the world's largest-ever gathering of spectacular diamonds.

The Steinmetz Pink diamond © Steinmetz Group

Opening on 8 July 2005, the Diamonds exhibition is your once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see an astonishing array of important diamonds.

(Image to the right: The Steinmetz Pink diamond © Steinmetz Group)

 ‘The sheer size and diversity of the collection of diamonds we're assembling will make this an awe-inspiring exhibition,’ says Dr Michael Dixon, Director of the Natural History Museum.

 The Heart of Eternity vivid blue diamond © Steinmetz Group

‘This exhibition will bring together many of the most impressive single stones in the world, and link them with fascinating science and insights into the diamond industry to tell the story of diamonds' journey from deep in the earth to the red carpet.’

(Image to the right: The Heart of Eternity vivid blue diamond © Steinmetz Group)

Stellar line-up

The Pumpkin intense vivid orange diamond. Photographed by Hans Gissinger © 2004 Harry Winston

 For every 10,000 white diamonds only one coloured diamond is mined. Coloured diamonds, known as fancy diamonds, are the most valuable gemstones in the world. The exhibition's stellar line-up includes:

(Image to the right: The Pumpkin intense vivid orange diamond. Photographed by Hans Gissinger © 2004 Harry Winston)

  • The Incomparable At a staggering 407.48 carats, this yellow stone is the third-largest diamond ever cut.
  • The Steinmetz Pink The world's largest fancy vivid pink, flawless diamond. It took Steinmetz almost two years to cut this magnificent 59.60-carat oval-shaped diamond. It was first worn by supermodel Helena Christensen in May 2003.
  •  The Pumpkin An intense vivid orange 5.54-carat diamond worn in a ring by Halle Berry at the 2002 Oscars.
  • The Heart of Eternity  Graded as a fancy vivid blue, at 27.64 carats this heart-shaped diamond is one of the finest blue diamonds in the world.

How diamonds are formed

The Incomparable yellow diamond. Photographed by Harry Taylor

Each diamond is unique and some are older than the stars. This exhibition reveals diamonds as one of nature's great miracles.

(Image to the right: The Incomparable yellow diamond. Photographed by Harry Taylor)

Diamonds are formed of carbon that has been exposed to extreme pressure and temperatures over billions of years.

Hidden deep within the Earth's crust, diamonds reveal themselves to us only after volcanic eruptions push molten rock to the earth's surface. Only a small number of diamonds survive this remarkable journey, and just a tiny proportion of these are of a size and quality that makes them suitable for cutting, polishing and setting into jewellery.

Diamonds opens on 8 July 2005 and closes on 26 February 2006

Diamonds has been made possible by the generous support of principal sponsor Steinmetz, with additional support from the Diamond Trading Company

Further Information