Cullinan diamond

The largest diamond in the world was found in southern Africa. This happened on January 25, 1905 at the mine "Premier" in the Pretoria, Transvaal. Frederick Wells, the manager of the mine, noticed during the evening detour on the wall of the quarry a glitter 9 meters from the top of the quarry. From there, the workers of the mine extracted a diamond, the dimensions of which were 10 x 6,5 x 5 centimeters. It was a Cullinan diamond, named after Sir Thomas Cullinan, president of Premier Diamond Main. The initial mass of the stone was 3106 carats. The study of the shape led to the conclusion that the Cullinan diamond was only a part of a larger stone that exceeded the number found more than twice. It is possible that this second unusual stone size was smuggled.

It was a Cullinan diamond, named after Sir Thomas Cullinan, president of Premier Diamond Main

Diamond Cullinan is transparent, colorless and free of defects, only on there was one small crack. Everybody could look at the biggest diamond in the bank of Johannesburg, but for a long time nobody wanted to buy it, because the price was too high. After the Anglo-Boer War in 1907, it was bought by the Transvaal government for 150 thousand pounds sterling. November 9, 1907, the diamond was donated to the King of England Edward the Seventh. Truly a royal birthday present!

On January 23, 1908, the Cullinan diamond was handed over for cutting to an Amsterdam firm. Over the cut of the largest diamond worked the best cutter of Europe, Josef Asher. For several months, Josef Asher studied a unique diamond before making a barely noticeable scratch on it. After that, in the presence of several famous jewelers, among the solemn silence, Asher put a chisel on the diamond with a hammer, struck it with a hammer and lost consciousness. But the calculation was correct. Upon coming to consciousness, Asher repeated this operation several times on the fragments of the diamond "Cullinan" that arose from the first blow.

From the diamond, 105 faceted stones were obtained. The largest of them - Cullinan 1 has a mass of 530,2 carats, it was placed in the Sovereign Scepter. He is also called the "Star of Africa", this name was given to him by King George Fifth. Cullinan 2 has a mass of 317,4 carats, it is inserted into the State Imperial Crown. Two other large stones 94,4 and 63,65 carats - were inserted in the crown of Queen Mary at her coronation in 1911.

The diamonds of Cullinan 2, Cullinan 3 and Cullinan 4 have been collectively referred to as the "Small Stars of Africa". The total weight of 105 cut stones is 1063,75 carats, i.. At the cut, almost 66 % of the original weight of the Cullinan diamond was lost. Cutting works were completed in November 1907, the stones were handed over to King Edward the Seventh.