Tag Archives: royal jewels

Chipping Away At The Cullinan Diamond

This week marks the 110th anniversary of the discovery of the Cullinan Diamond, the largest gem-quality diamond ever found.

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Weighing in at 3106.75 carats in its rough form, the diamond was found in the Premier Mine of Pretoria in the Gauteng province of South Africa by Captain Frederick Wells.

Named after Sir Thomas Cullinan, owner of the mine, the diamond was presented to England’s reigning monarch King Edward VII in 1905.   After a lengthy debate on how the diamond could be split up, the decision was made to cut it into 9 major diamonds and 96 minor ones.

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Here is the true story on what has happened to the nine major stones cut from the Cullinan Diamond.

Cullinan I (also called The Great Star of Africa)

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The largest stone from the Cullinan Diamond weighs in at 530 carats and is one the largest cut diamonds in the world.   It currently sits in the head of the British Sovereign’s Royal Scepter, on display in the Tower of London.

Cullinan II (also called Star of Africa II)

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Also considered one of the largest cut diamonds in history, this rectangular, cushion-cut stone is set in the front of Britain’s Imperial State Crown.   On special Royal occasions, the Cullinan I and the Cullinan II have also been put together as a brooch.

Cullinan III and IV

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The 94.4-carat Cullinan III and 63.6-carat Cullinan IV diamonds are currently worn together as stunning pendant brooch.   The diamonds were originally set on the crown worn in the consort crown worn by Queen Mary, wife of King George V.

Cullinan V

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The heart-shaped Cullinan V currently sits as the centrepiece of a stomacher brooch that also features the emerald Delhi Durbar Parure.

Cullinan VI and Cullinan VII

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Both of these stones feature a marquise-cut, the VI is much thinner but comes in at 11.5 carats while the VII is heftier looking and weighing 8.8 carats.   The two diamonds can also be seen as a pendant attached to the stomacher featuring the Cullinan V.

Cullinan VIII

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The Cullinan VIII, a 6.8-carat emerald-cut diamond, has been used both as a single-stone brooch or paired with the Cullinan V or Cullinan VI as a more elaborate piece.

Cullinan IX

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The last of the major stones from the Cullinan Diamond is the 4.4-carat, pear-shaped Cullinan IX.   The diamond is currently on a ring set on platinum and has occasionally been worn by Queen Elizabeth II.

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