Cullinan Diamond

3/27/2022 16:12 Read 134 views

The discovery of the world's largest gemstone diamond, named "Cullinan", was quite fortuitous: on January 25, 1905, a manager named Welsh, who occasionally saw a shiny piece of stuff half exposed on the ground of the mine, dug it out with a knife and saw that it was A huge piece of gemstone diamond. It was the size of a grown man's fist. It was pure and transparent, with a light blue hue, the best grade of gemstone diamond. It is still the largest gemstone diamond ever found in the world.

The discovery of the world's largest gemstone diamond


Cullinan Diamond Status: The largest gemstone diamond in the world Date of discovery: January 25, 1905.Size: 5×6.5×l0cm Location: Premere mine in South Africa (Azania) Weight: 3106 carats, i.e. 621.2 grams.

1.Introduction of Cullinan Diamond

Introduction of Cullinan Diamond

The first big diamond Cullinan Cullinan, produced in 1905 in South Africa Premer (Premiar) mine. Weighing 3106.75ct, light blue, fist size. Acquired for 150,000 pounds, it was offered to King Edward III in 1907 and turned into nine large diamonds. The Cullinan I, II, III and ...... IX weigh 530.20, 317.40, 94.40 and ......4.34ct respectively. The largest I is set in the King's scepter, II is now set in the King's crown and III in Queen Mary's crown.

The Cullinan is not a complete crystal, it is only a fragment of a larger crystal. The Cullinan was so large that no one could afford to buy it at the time. It was acquired by the local authorities of the Transvaal in South Africa for 150,000 pounds and presented to the British Royal Family on December 9, 1907, to congratulate King Edward VII on his birthday.

2.Cullinan diamond processing

Cullinan diamond processing

At the beginning of 1908, Cullinan was sent to Amsterdam in the Netherlands, the most authoritative city for faceted diamonds at that time, and handed over to Jo-Aschal for processing at a cost of 80,000 pounds. Because the rough stone was so large, it had to be broken into several small pieces as planned beforehand. Breaking it was an extremely difficult task, because if the research was not sufficient or the technique was not good, the huge stone would be broken into a pile of small pieces of little value.

The breaking was carried out by the famous Dutch craftsman Jo Aschal. He spent several weeks studying Cullinan, built a glass model of its size and shape, and designed a set of tools. He first tested the glass model with these tools, and the model was split as expected. After a few days of rest, on February 10, 1908, he and his assistant went to a special workshop where he placed the Cullinan in a large vice and clamped it firmly in place, then placed a special steel wedge in a pre-sharpened groove on top of it. Jo Aschal struck the wedge with a heavy stick, and with a "pop", Cullinan did not move, but the wedge broke. Aschal face dripping with cold sweat, in that tense atmosphere as if to explode, he put on a second steel wedge. This time, the Cullinan split in half exactly as intended, while Aschal fainted on the floor.

After Cullinan was split, it was worked by three skilled craftsmen, working 14 hours a day, for eight months. In total, 9 large diamonds and 96 small diamonds were ground. The total weight of these 105 diamonds is 1063.65 carats, which is 34.25% of the original weight of the Cullinan. This shows that diamonds lose a lot of weight when they are processed into diamonds.

The "Cullinan First" is pear-shaped, the heaviest of the three, weighing 530.2 carats, and was later set in the King's scepter, a giant diamond called the "Star of Africa". It has 74 facets.

a giant diamond called the "Star of Africa"

The "Cullinan II" is square, weighing 317.4 carats, and was later set in the center of the King's crown.

The "Cullinan III" is pear-shaped, weighing 94.4 carats, and is mounted on the spire of the Queen's crown.

The "Cullinan IV" is square, weighing 63.6 carats, and was created by splitting the smallest diamond into two, the "Cullinan III" and the "Cullinan IV". It was set in the Queen's crown. It is set on the side of the Queen's Crown.

3.Cullinan Diamond Split

Cullinan Diamond Split

The Cullinan is cut into nine large diamonds and 96 smaller diamonds for the crown, scepter and other decorative purposes. The remaining five of the nine diamonds are: the fifth is heart-shaped, weighing 18.8 carats; the sixth is ship-tipped, weighing 11.5 carats; the seventh is ship-tipped, weighing 8.8 carats; the eighth is baguette-shaped, weighing 6.8 carats; and the ninth is pear-shaped, weighing 4.39 carats. There are also 96 small diamonds scattered around the world weighing 8 carats. The remaining pile of very small, uncut stones weighs 9.5 carats.

The nine large diamonds ground by Cullinan are all owned by the British Crown. The Cullinandi I and Cullinandi IV were set in Queen Mary's crown in 1911, but were later removed from her collection and replaced by a crystal replica. In 1919, a 1,500-carat gemstone diamond was found in the Plemmer mine. It is the third largest by weight in the world. It is also a large crystal fragment and its color is similar to that of Cullinan. Therefore, it was thought that it was made from the same large crystal as the Cullinan, so this diamond was not given a special name.

4.Cullinan diamond discovery

Cullinan diamond discovery

In May 1902, the British Empire, which was then as strong as ever, ended the war with the Boers in South Africa. In that year, Thomas Cullinan, a wealthy building contractor from Johannesburg, together with Percival Tracey, a prospector, bought out a kimberlite barrel mine in De Lansva, South Africa, which was originally a farming site, for £52,000. The two then formed the Primea Drilling Company.

On January 25, 1905, the Cullinan diamond was discovered 9 meters below the surface of the Primea mine. It was the size of a normal human fist and weighed 3,107 carats. To date, it remains the largest natural diamond ever found in the world and is legendary.

the largest natural diamond ever found in the world and is legendary


The Cullinan Diamond was discovered just after King Edward VII of England granted the South African government permission to write its own constitution. On the instructions of General Louis Botha, then Governor-General of the Transvaal Government and later the first Prime Minister of the Union of South Africa, the government spared no expense in buying the large rough diamond at a cost of £150,000 and presented it to the Crown as a gift of gratitude on Edward VII's 66th birthday.

Thomas Cullinan's official biographer, Hermel, recounts the interesting journey of the diamond before and after it was shipped from South Africa to England.

In April 1905, the Cullinan Diamond arrived in London on a ship sailing out of Cape Town, lying quietly in an ordinary registered parcel, which at the time was insured for only £5! At the end of 1907, the Crown entrusted Joseph Arthur, then a renowned diamond dealer in Amsterdam, Holland, with the sole responsibility of cutting the Cullinan rough diamond. Its crystal structure was observed for six months before it was officially cut. It was only after careful design and numerous simulations of glass and wax models that the Arthur brothers cut the Cullinan diamond into nine large diamonds and 96 small diamonds in February 1908, resulting in a total of over 9 carats of rough diamonds. Among them, the "Cullinan No. 1", also known as the "Star of Africa", weighing 530.2 carats, enjoyed the reputation of "the best of the century". The diamond was set in a scepter, a symbol of the King's power, made in 1661 to show the power of the British Crown. "The Cullinan II, weighing 317.4 carats, is set in the Royal Imperial Crown and is worn by the Queen at the annual opening of the British Parliament. Cullinan 3 and 4, weighing 94.4 carats and 63.6 carats respectively, were set in Queen Mary's crown, and five other diamonds were set in jewels belonging to the British Crown. The scepter set with the Cullinan No. 1 diamond is currently housed with the other crown jewels in the Treasure House at the Tower of London in England, attracting countless visitors every year. To this day, the Cullinan I diamond, which is cut into a pear shape and has 74 refractive facets, remains the largest cut and formed diamond in the world.

Experts estimate the geological age of the Kimberley vein that contains the Cullinan diamond to be 100 million years old. Hermel said it is very interesting that the Cullinan diamond possessed seven very smooth surfaces when it was discovered. Two other large diamonds (Jonker and Niarchls) were found at the Cullinan mine in 1934 and 1954, respectively. Hermel believes that it is likely that both of these diamonds and the Cullinan diamond originally belonged to a larger original stone. He says, "The original stone that split into the Cullinan diamond took shape deep in the earth and must have existed for an extremely long time before it was erupted and contained in a kimberlite vein."


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