One of World's Rarest Diamonds Comes to New York Museum

One of the world's greatest gems goes on display Thursday at the American Museum of Natural History.

The blue Wittelsbach-Graff Diamond boasts 31-carats -- 4 carats smaller than it was when diamond magnate Laurence Graff bought it in 2008 for $24 million -- scandalizing historic diamond experts when he had it cut to remove imperfections.

The diamond was once thought to have been cut from the same stone as the 45-carat Hope Diamond (recognized as the world’s most near-perfect example of a blue diamond), which strongly resembles the Wittelsbach-Graff, but scientists debunked that myth last year

Tradition holds the Wittelsbach-Graff Diamond was a gift to a 17th century Spanish princess from her father, the king, after she was engaged to an Austrian emperor. It later became one of the crown jewels of the ruling house of Bavaria. It was discovered in India in the 17th century.

The diamond will be on display at the Museum of Natural History through January 2, 2011.