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Saturday, 9 June 2012

The Cullinan Diamond: A Royal Collection

The Cullinan Diamond I, known as the Star of Africa, weights 530,.2 ct.  Mounted in the Sovereign Sceptre, part of the Crown Jewels. The Cullinan II, known as the Second Star of Africa (317,4 ct) is set in the Imperial State Crown and it is also part of the English Crown Jewels

Once upon a time, in 1905, an extraordinary diamond was found at the Premier Mine in South Africa. Of exceptional purity and beautiful white-blue colour, in its rough state it weighted 3,106 carats and measured over 10 cm. The stone was named after the chairman of the mining company and it was given to King Edward VII as a present. The firm selected to cut it was I.J. Assher in Amsterdam and the result were nine numbered principal stones, 96 small brilliants and 9 carats of unpolished diamond material.

For the first time in history, seven of the nine principal stones will be exhibited together, as part of the Queen Elisabeth personal collection, the remaining two belong to the English Crown Jewels.

Cullinan III (pear shaped, 94.4 ct) and IV (cushion cut 63.6ct)