The History of the Cullinan – a 3,000 Carat Diamond

The Cullinan Diamond discovered in 1905, weighed at 3100 carats or 1.3 pounds, is the world’s largest diamond. Fredrick Wells who was the manager of the Premier Diamond Company discovered it in South Africa. Wells accidentally found the diamond when it refected light off the mine walls. He initially thought the diamond was a large piece of glass. The diamond gets it name from Sir Thomas Cullinan, who opened the mine.

Sold in 1907 to the South African Government, King Edward VII received it as a gift for his 66th birthday. To transport the diamond to England safely, detectives accompanied the box in a ship that carried a fake diamond as a decoy. The stone was eventually placed in a box and sent by parcel post. The diamond, insured then for $1.25 million, was studied for 3 months, and cut by Asscher’s Diamond Company of Amsterdam.

There were nine diamonds cut out of the Cullinan and all of these are in the possession of the Royal Family. These nine diamonds are on or in the following four items:

The Cullinan I – Which weighs 530 carats, remains on the British Monarch’s Royal Scepter.
The Cullinan II – Weighing 317 carats, is on the Imperial State Crown.
The Cullinan III – Which is a pear shaped diamond and weighed 94 carats. This diamond is apart of Queen Mary’s Crown.
sThe Cullinan IV – This is 64 carats and is visible in portraits of Queen Mary.