The Royal Cullinan Diamond
The largest rough diamond to ever be mined in the world is the Cullinan diamond, coming from the Premier Mine in Cullinan, South Africa. This magnificent diamond weighed a total of 3,106.75 carats. Cullinan was presented as a gift to King Edward VII by Transvaal Prime Minister Louis Botha.
The original rough diamond was broken down into several different stones, the largest and most famous of which is named Cullinan I or the Great Star of Africa.
Nine of these diamonds are now part of the Queen’s Crown Jewels and Royal Jewellery Collection and many can be admired today at The Tower of London.
Let’s take a closer look at these royal heirlooms:
The Cullinan I (or The Great Star of Africa) is set into the mesmerizing Sovereign's Sceptre with the Cross. It was cut into a pear-shaped Old European cut diamond, and is the largest diamond in the world, weighing a total of 530.2 carats.
The Cullinan II (also known as the Second star of Africa) was cut into a cushion shaped old mine cut diamond and weighs 317.4 carats. It was set into The Imperial State Crown, which is worn by a monarch after a coronation and is also used at the State Openings of Parliament.
The majestic Cullinan brooch: pear-shaped Cullinan III hangs off of Cullinan IV (both are referred to as the Lesser star of Africa), the total weight of this brooch is 157 carats. Queen Elizabeth revealed that Cullinan III and IV were known in their family as “Granny’s chips”. Previously, Cullinan III was placed on top of a crown that Queen Mary (wife of King George V) had bought personally. Now it is more commonly worn as a brooch underneath Cullinan IV (as seen in the picture above).
Another brooch featuring Cullinan V, this great 18.9 carat heart-shaped diamond is in platinum, brilliant and old mine-cut diamonds. This particular brooch was added into the bodice of one of Queen Mary’s dresses for her to wear at the Delhi Durbar in 1911. It is also known as one of Queen Elizabeth’s favourite brooches.
This third brooch contains Cullinan diamond VI, set as an emerald cut, and Cullinan VIII as a marquise cut. It was created around the same time as Cullinan V brooch, thus giving them a similar shape in terms of the framing of the Cullinan diamonds.
The Delhi Durbar Necklace is a breathtaking emerald necklace which includes 8 square and oval cabochon emeralds surrounded by brilliant-cut diamonds, and held in place by two strings of smaller brilliant-cut diamonds. It also has two detachable pendants, one of which is the Cullinan VII as a marquise cut and a great pear shape emerald cabochon.
Originally, this diamond was gifted to Queen Alexandra by her husband, King-Emperor Edward VII. However, once Queen Alexandra passed away, it was given to Queen Mary who made the decision to have it set in the necklace seen above.
Cullinan diamond IX is the smallest diamond to have come out of the rough Cullinan, it is a pear shaped 4.39 carat diamond set as a platinum ring, which is known as the Cullinan IX ring. It is not seen worn so often, since the queen often wears gloves. However, it remains a remarkable piece of fine jewelry.
This can definitely be considered an envy worthy collection!
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