A freakishly large diamond that shimmers as much as the morning sun-the Cullinan diamond is one that will amaze you. Famed as the “Star of Africa”, the Cullinan diamond is the largest diamond in the world. It has an astonishing weight of 1.3 pounds and 3106 carats. The diamond was found in the South African, premier mine in Pretoria in the year 1905.
There was nothing special when it came to how the diamond was found or mined. It just seemed to be found in plain sight in a mine that wasn’t even considered large. The word got around and the media frenzy that surrounded the diamond turned it into a sensational story for the press.
The word Cullinan comes from the name of the mine owner, Sir Thomas Cullinan. Thomas Cullinan didn’t keep the diamond with him for too long. He parted ways with the diamond and sold it off to the Transvaal provincial government. The government then sold the diamond to King Edward VII as a present for his 66th birthday. However, King Edward VII wasn’t very keen on being in possession of a diamond that was this much important and had this monumental of a value tagged to it. It was Winston Churchill who finally convinced the king to buy the Cullinan diamond.
How Was The World’s Largest Diamond Cut?
The diamond was kept intact until it reached the hands of the monarch. On getting his hands on the rough Cullinan diamond, King Edward VII called for one of the most skilled diamond cutters in the world, Joseph Asscher from Amsterdam. Asscher was skilled and had experience under his belt but a diamond of this size was something that even this skilled of a diamond cutter hadn’t worked with. It is believed that it took Asscher as much as 6 months before making the first cut.
Once the job was over, what remained in the hands of Asscher was a perfectly cut diamond of so gargantuan of a proportion, that it paled everything around it.
The Present Whereabouts Of The Biggest Diamond
The Cullinan diamond is not completely intact-it was broken into 9 large pieces and around 100 smaller ones. The Star of Africa I or the Cullinan I is the largest diamond that was to come out of the original Cullinan diamond and it is estimated at around 530 carats, making it still the largest cut colourless diamond in the world. The full carat diamond pieces are truly a sight to behold.