The Legendary Cullinan Diamond

This is what diamond dreams are made of!

At 3106.73-carat, Cullinan is the largest rough diamond ever found in the world, a part of British Crown Jewels, that was cut and polished by legendary diamond company - Royal Asscher. Stars of Africa initiative and collection is a jewelry collection, designed by Reena Ahluwalia for Royal Asscher Diamonds, and is named after this fabled diamond.

The Cullinan diamond was discovered in the Premier Mine in South Africa in 1905 and so named as the mine belonged to Thomas Cullinan. The Transvaal Government bought the diamond and presented it King Edward in 1907 as a sign of gratitude for passing government from British rule to the state.

 

Jewelry designer Reena Ahluwalia at Royal Asscher Diamonds headquarter in Amsterdam, holding the Cullinan diamond replica.

Jewelry designer Reena Ahluwalia at Royal Asscher Diamonds headquarter in Amsterdam, holding the Cullinan diamond replica.

Upon it's discovery, Cullinan crystal (rough) being handed from Fred Wells (right) to McHardy, who then hands it to Sir Thomas Cullinan (left). 1905

Upon it's discovery, Cullinan crystal (rough) being handed from Fred Wells (right) to McHardy, who then hands it to Sir Thomas Cullinan (left). 1905

Cullinan Diamond. Photograph showing two models (replicas) of the original stone. The Cullinan Diamond was discovered in South Africa in 1905 and presented to King Edward VII in 1907. It was sent to Asschers (presently, Royal Asscher Diamond Company) of Amsterdam to be cleft in 1908. Image: Royal Collection © Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

Cullinan Diamond. Photograph showing two models (replicas) of the original stone. The Cullinan Diamond was discovered in South Africa in 1905 and presented to King Edward VII in 1907. It was sent to Asschers (presently, Royal Asscher Diamond Company) of Amsterdam to be cleft in 1908. Image: Royal Collection © Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

Royal Asscher file image of tools used by Joseph Asscher to cleave the Cullinan Diamond.

Royal Asscher file image of tools used by Joseph Asscher to cleave the Cullinan Diamond.

Photograph of Mr Joseph Asscher standing to the right of a bench while holding a cutting tool resting on the Cullinan Diamond, held in a vice. He holds a hammer in his raised right hand about to strike the cutting tool. Image: Royal Collection © Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

Photograph of Mr Joseph Asscher standing to the right of a bench while holding a cutting tool resting on the Cullinan Diamond, held in a vice. He holds a hammer in his raised right hand about to strike the cutting tool. Image: Royal Collection © Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

Original tools used for cleaving the largest rough diamond ever found, The Cullinan diamond. Check out the large loop ! Joseph Asscher had to create new and significantly large tools for the fabled rough diamond. Image: Royal Asscher Archives

Original tools used for cleaving the largest rough diamond ever found, The Cullinan diamond. Check out the large loop ! Joseph Asscher had to create new and significantly large tools for the fabled rough diamond. Image: Royal Asscher Archives

The diamond was presented to Great Britain’s King Edward VII who asked the Asscher brothers to cleave it. In 1908, Joseph Asscher cut the stone into 9 large stones and 42 small stones. Here are the replicas of Cullinan polished diamonds. Image: Royal Asscher Archives

The diamond was presented to Great Britain’s King Edward VII who asked the Asscher brothers to cleave it. In 1908, Joseph Asscher cut the stone into 9 large stones and 42 small stones. Here are the replicas of Cullinan polished diamonds. Image: Royal Asscher Archives

The Imperial State Crown. Set in The Imperial State Crown is a magnificent 317.4 carat Cullinan II diamond, also known as the Lesser Star of Africa, was cut by the Asscher Diamond Company. Great Britain's Crown Jewels. Image: Royal Collection © Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

The Imperial State Crown. Set in The Imperial State Crown is a magnificent 317.4 carat Cullinan II diamond, also known as the Lesser Star of Africa, was cut by the Asscher Diamond Company. Great Britain's Crown Jewels. Image: Royal Collection © Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

The Sovereign's Sceptre with Cross that is set with the largest of the Cullinan diamonds known as the Star of Africa or Cullinan I that weighs 530.2 carats. The Sceptre is part of the Crown Jewels. Image via: The Jewellery Editor

The Sovereign's Sceptre with Cross that is set with the largest of the Cullinan diamonds known as the Star of Africa or Cullinan I that weighs 530.2 carats. The Sceptre is part of the Crown Jewels. Image via: The Jewellery Editor

Cullinan diamond III and IV Brooch, commissioned by Queen Mary in 1911, and the Delhi Durbar Necklace and Cullinan Pendant, which is the Cullinan VII. Image: Roland Hoskins

Cullinan diamond III and IV Brooch, commissioned by Queen Mary in 1911, and the Delhi Durbar Necklace and Cullinan Pendant, which is the Cullinan VII. Image: Roland Hoskins

Cullinan diamond III and IV Brooch: The third and fourth largest of the Cullinan gems - a pear-shaped drop of 94.4 carats (III) and the cushion-shaped 63.3 carat IV - were originally placed by Queen Mary on her new crown in 1911. The stones were most often worn hooked together as a pendant brooch.

Cullinan diamond III and IV Brooch: The third and fourth largest of the Cullinan gems - a pear-shaped drop of 94.4 carats (III) and the cushion-shaped 63.3 carat IV - were originally placed by Queen Mary on her new crown in 1911. The stones were most often worn hooked together as a pendant brooch.

Cullinan diamond VI and VII brooch: Many pieces of Royal jewellery were created to be versatile. As well as the brooch, the 11.5 carat Cullinan VI has been used in a number of pieces including a diadem.

Cullinan diamond VI and VII brooch: Many pieces of Royal jewellery were created to be versatile. As well as the brooch, the 11.5 carat Cullinan VI has been used in a number of pieces including a diadem.

Cullinan IX The smallest of the nine stones, weighing 4.4 carats, was set into a platinum ring for Queen Mary in 1911. The pear shape is known as a pendeloque and is mounted in an openwork 12-claw setting. It was also inherited by The Queen in 1953. Image: MailOnline

Cullinan IX The smallest of the nine stones, weighing 4.4 carats, was set into a platinum ring for Queen Mary in 1911. The pear shape is known as a pendeloque and is mounted in an openwork 12-claw setting. It was also inherited by The Queen in 1953. Image: MailOnline

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II wears the Imperial State Crown and holds the Sovereign's Sceptre, both of which contain stones cut from the Cullinan Diamond in this picture from her Coronation. Image: MailOnline

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II wears the Imperial State Crown and holds the Sovereign's Sceptre, both of which contain stones cut from the Cullinan Diamond in this picture from her Coronation. Image: MailOnline

In the past I have authored posts on jewelry history, such as , The Magnificent Maharajas Of IndiaSplendors Of Mughal India - IMystery & History Of Marquise Diamond CutÓr - Ireland's GoldThe Legendary Cullinan DiamondBejeweled Persia - Historic Jewelry From The Qajar Dynasty, some more. Being a curious artist that I am, over years I have spent countless hours in self-driven studies on jewelry history and in research. All good stuff, as I have accumulated a great deal of interesting knowledge, something that definitely informs my jewelry design and other artistic creations. I wrote these blogs for simple reasons - to share my collected knowledge with all who are interested so that more can benefit from it and for ease in accessibility. Take a look and enjoy!