February 15, 2016 | Jewelry
Jewelry: the world's most famous jewels are hidden or locked away

Everybody knows them, and everybody talks about them. The biggest treasures are very well protected, and will always be an object of desire for millions of jewelry lovers around the world. But, where are they hidden?

The most valuable and wonderful treasures of the world are crafted with Nature's most precious materials: rare stones and minerals, gemstones and precious metals like gold, silver and platinum.

As a result, for centuries, thousands of archaeologists have been hunting the artworks of the ancient world, and the designs of historic craftsmen and goldsmiths.

Today, the most famous diamonds, jewelry and gemstones are owned by countries, companies and private collectors. Elizabeth Taylor gathered one of the finest and richest jewelry collection of all time, full of iconic jewels and pieces worth more than 30 million dollars, including a 33.19-carat diamond ring and a 16th-century pear-shaped pearl.

The "Taylor-Burton Diamond" is a stunning piece. The ultimate marriage between Nature and humankind.

The Taylor-Burton Diamond

But the eyes of the world also turned towards other historical treasures. One of the most famous collections of jewels and gemstones was acquired by the Indian government, back in 1995. The "Jewels of the Nizams" are a precious treasure that once belonged to the Nizams of Hyderabad, the seven 18th-century Indian princes who ruled the Hyderabad state until 1947.

The Jewels of the Nizams of Hyderabad

The "Cullinan I", also known as "The Great Star of Africa", is a 530.4-carat polished diamond discovered in 1905, by Thomas Evan Powell, in a South African mine owned by Sir Thomas Cullinan. Until 1985, it was the largest polished diamond in the world. Its estimated value is over 400 million dollars and belongs to the Crown Jewels of the United Kingdom. It can be observed at the Tower of London.

The Imperial State Crown of the United Kingdom

The "Golden Jubilee Diamond" is currently the largest faceted diamond on Earth, with its 755.5 carats. Formerly known as "Unknown Brown", it is owned by King Bhumibol Adulyadej and stored in the Thai Palace.

The Golden Jubilee Diamond

The "Koh-i-Noor", also known as "Mountain of Light", was mined in Kollur, India. Specialized sources say the mysterious stone was discovered 5,000 years ago. The "Koh-i-Noor" has belonged to Hindu, Mughal, Turkic, Afghan, Sikh and British owners. The legendary diamond is now set in the platinum crown made for the coronation of the late Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother, in 1937.

The Koh-i-Noor

The "Timur Ruby" has had successive owners since it fell into the hands of Shah Abbas I of Persia. This famous piece of jewelry - now turned into an exquisite necklace - holds the names of several monarchs, from Jahangir, the Mughal Emperor of India, to Ahmad Shah. Meanwhile, the United Kingdom took over it as part of an Indian treasure. The "Timur Ruby" weighs over 352.5 carats.

The Timur Ruby

Radioactive materials made "The Dresden Green Diamond", a rare and unique piece with 41 carats displayed at the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden.

The Dresden Green Diamond

The "Hope Diamond" is a large deep blue diamond weighing 45.52 carats. This true rarity is notorious for supposedly being cursed, as it is believed to bring tragedy to its owners. The "Hope Diamond" is the second most-visited artwork in the world, right after Mona Lisa, and can be seen at the Smithsonian Natural History Museum, in Washington.

The Hope Diamond

The "Maharani Cat's Eye" chrysoberyl weighs 58.2 carats, and it is often cited because of its high gem quality. Its golden honey color and the sharp eye make it an extraordinarily rare and fine jewelry piece.

The Maharani Cat's Eye

In Istanbul, Turkey, lies "The Topkapi Dagger", a beautiful gift from the Sultan to Nadir Shah. Nadir never got the treasure because he was killed before he received the jewelry piece. "The Topkapi Dagger" is known for its 31 centimeters, three large solid emeralds worked in gold, and other precious stones.

The Topkapi Dagger