The Earth Star
The Earth Star was cut from a rough gem weighing 248.9 carats found in the Jagersfontein Mine on May 16th, 1967. It travelled right through the recovery process until it appeared on the grease table in the recovery plant. Not surprisingly its appearance caused a commotion at the mine and to many in the diamond industry because too amoung the numerous fine diamonds found at Jagersfontein, there had been few brown gems. In all its long existence, the mine had never been known for producing large stones of this color. Moreover this specimen came from the 2500-foot level of the mine workings, which is exceptionally deep in a volcanic diamond-bearing pipe for a gem of this size to be found in.
Baumgold Bros. of New York purchased the stone and cut it into a pear shape weighing 111.59 carats, then the largest faceted brown diamond in the world. The diamond was found to have a greater degree of brilliance than is usually seen in a gem of such a strong color: the combination of color and brilliance led to Joseph Baumgold naming it the Earth Star. The diamond returned to South Africa in 1971 for display at the exhibition held to commemorate the 100-year anniversary of the discovery of the Kimberly Mine. The diamond would later be bought in 1983 for $900,000 by Stephen Zbova of Naples, Florida. Sources: Famous Diamonds by Ian Balfour and Diamonds - Famous, Notable and Unique by GIA.