Famous diamonds & some of their history
Blue Heart |
Blue Hope |
De Beers |
De Beers Millennium Star |
Dresden Green |
Great Star of Africa |
Idol's Eye |
Premier Rose |
The largest gem-quality diamond ever found was discovered on January 26, 1905 in the Premier Mine in South Africa., it was 3,106 carats in the rough and originally weighed just under one and a half pounds. The stone possessed a surprisingly smooth cleavage face on one side, leading many experts to believe that the huge stone was only a piece of a larger diamond that was broken up in the weathering process.
It was notable for its exquisite color and exceptional purity.
The diamond was named for Sir Thomas Cullinan, who opened the Premier Mine.
The Transvaal Government bought the diamond rough for $750,000 and presented it to England's King Edward VII on his 66th birthday in 1907. The next year, King Edward sent the stone to the renowned Asscher's Diamond Co. in Amsterdam for cutting.
The diamond rough was insured for $1,250,000, when it was sent to Asscher's Diamond Company to be cut. A heavy steel blade shattered on the first attempt to cut the diamond. On the second attempt the diamond fell apart... exactly as planned. It was reported that the diamond cutter fainted.
Following months of exacting study, the rough stone was cleaved into nine major gems and 96 smaller gems and 9 1/2 carats of unpolished pieces. The largest two retained by the Royal Family for the Crown Jewels.
Cullinan I (also known as the Great Star of Africa): 530.20 carats. It is a magnificent pear-shaped diamond with 74 facets. until recently, the largest cut diamond in the world. (That record is now held by the Unnamed Brown, a golden brown cushion shape diamond weighing 545.67 carats.)
King Edward called it "The Great Star of Africa" and ordered it to be set in the British Imperial Scepter, which had to be redesigned to accommodate it. The Scepter is on permanent display in the Tower of London.
Cullinan II (also known as the Lesser Star of Africa): 317.40 carats.
A cushion-cut brilliant, the fourth-largest cut diamond in the world. It is also part of the British Crown Jewels. This square stone is set in the British Imperial State Crown, on display in the Tower of London.
Cullinan III - This pear shape diamond weighs 94.40 carat, placed on Queen Mary's Crown.
Cullinan IV - The 63.60 carat Square Diamond is set in the band of Queen Mary's Crown.
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