The Cullinan Diamond
The discovery of the Cullinan Diamond
The Cullinan Diamond was discovered in 1905 at the Premier Mine in Pretoria, South Africa. The Premier Mine was one of the largest diamond mines in the world, producing the highest quality gemstones for decades.
The diamond was discovered by Frederick Wells, the superintendent of the Premier mine, while supervising the workings of the mine. At first Wells thought he had discovered a piece of glass, but soon realized he had found something far more valuable.
The Cullinan was transported to London to be presented to King Edward VII. The King then decided to gift it to the British Crown.
Cutting the Cullinan Diamond
The cutting of the diamond was entrusted to the famous company of diamond cutters Asscher from London. Joseph Asscher and his brother Abraham worked for nearly eight months cutting and carving the rough stone.
The Cullinan diamond cutting process was risky and complex, as any mistake could shatter the gemstone. Ultimately the stone was split into nine smaller stones and around 100 fragments.
The cut stones were then named according to their size and shape. The largest stone, which weighed over 500 carats, was named the Cullinan I or the Grand Star of Africa. It is the largest cut stone in the world. The second largest stone, weighing around 317 carats, has been named the Cullinan II or the Second Star of Africa. This stone is also one of the largest cut stones in the world.
The Cullinan Diamond today
The Cullinan Diamond is now a centerpiece of the British Crown and is on public display at the Tower of London. The other cut stones of the Cullinan Diamond are also on display, several of which are in the Queen's private collection.
Besides being one of the most valuable gems in the world, the Cullinan Diamond also has a fascinating history. The process of cutting the rough stone was closely followed by media around the world, and the discovery of the diamond was seen as a symbol of the wealth and power of the British Empire at the time.
Ultimately, the Cullinan Diamond remains a symbol of beauty, wealth and power. Its size and purity make it one of the most spectacular and valuable gems ever discovered.