On January 25, 1905, one of the company engineers of the Premier Mine in the South Africa’s Transvaal province made an almost unbelievable find – a diamond crystal that was by far the largest ever known. In the rough, the Cullinan diamond, named after the company’s founder Thomas Cullinan, weighed 3,106 carats. (1 carat = 0.2 gram.) Here was a truly matchless gift for a king, and a king was soon to receive it.
The Transvaal government purchased it for 150,000 pounds and presented it to King Edward VII of England on his 66th birthday in 1907. It was cut by the skillful diamond cutters of Amsterdam into four large stones and 102 lesser brilliants. (A brilliant-cut diamond has 58 facets.) From the great Cullinan crystal came what is still the largest cut diamond in the world – an egg-shaped colorless brilliant weighing 530.2 carats. The other three large stones from the Cullinan weigh 317.4 carats, 94.45 carats and 63.65 carats. It may help to give some idea of the Cullinan’s size if we recall that the famous Hope diamond, which is the largest of the colored diamonds, weighs 44.4 carats.
The most important of diamonds cut from Cullinan are now among the British Crown Jewels.
Cullinan Diamond (Wikipedia)