Diamonds come in all shapes and sizes. Some of the world’s largest diamonds are the most magnificent. The largest diamond ever found is called the Cullinan Diamond. The Cullinan stone weighed in at over 3,106 metric carats and was cut so that the diamonds could be fit in the royal crown.
The diamond is considered to be a Type IIa diamond, which is an exceptionally rare diamond with the highest quality clarity and color. On the color scale, it is rated at a D and is practically flawless. Overall, over 1,063 diamonds were cut from the Cullinan diamond.
History of the Cullinan Diamond
The Cullinan diamond was found in Pretoria, in what is modern-day South Africa, in 1905. The diamond gets its name from the chairman of the mining company, Thomas Cullinan. Before the diamond was carved up and used for the royal crown, it measured 3,106 metric carats, and was 10.1 x 6.35 x 5.9 cm in size. The diamond had a blueish-white color and had exceptional clarity.
The diamond was given to Asscher of Amsterdam to be cut, which was a challenge to have cut. The cutting of the diamond took over 4 days to the groove for the cleaving knife to be created, and the first strike broke the knife instead of the diamond. The diamond then took 8 months to have it cut for royal purposes. 3 men spent 8 hours a day cleaving at the massive diamond to cut it down into usable sizes. These diamonds were labeled I through IX. By the end of the process, the diamond was cut into 9 large stones. 97 small brilliants and unpolished fragments were also created.
What Was The Diamond Used For?
King George V ordered Cullinan Diamond I and II to be set into the king’s royal scepter and imperial state crown. These stones can still be found here today. The remaining diamonds were given to the Asscher family to be kept as payment for all of their hard work. Later, Cullinan VI and VII were bought by King Edward VII and given to Queen Alexandra as a gift. All other Cullinan diamonds were acquired by the South African government and given to Queen Mary in 1910.
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