Reena Ahluwalia Speaks at the Gem-A Conference 2017

Reena Ahluwalia was invited by the Gemmological Association of Great Britain (Gem-A) to speak on 'Diamond Storytelling Through Design & Art'. A topic Reena has spoken extensively about. Reena highlighted need for diamond industry to tell diamond stories that can authentically connect to next generations and their aspirations.

Diamonds already start as nature's art-forms. One thing we have learnt in the diamond and jewellery business is that each generation brings their own challenges and opportunities. Collectively as an industry we must have the vision to not only seek to understand the Millennials, but also the generation that will exert their market power after them. According to Reena, trends may come and go, but stories are truly cross-generational. Stories never go out of fashion. Stories, live on.

Established in 1908, the Gemmological Association of Great Britain, or Gem-A, is the world’s longest established provider of gem and jewellery education. 

Read Reena's speaker's interview for Gem-A

Reena Ahluwalia with Gem-A CEO, Alan Hart.

Reena Ahluwalia with Gem-A CEO, Alan Hart.

Gem-A CEO, Alan Hart with Reena Ahluwalia and Alan Bronstein. Image: Henry Mesa, Gem-A

Gem-A CEO, Alan Hart with Reena Ahluwalia and Alan Bronstein. Image: Henry Mesa, Gem-A

Reena Ahluwalia Speaking at the Gem-A Conference 2017. Image: Henry Mesa, Gem-A

Reena Ahluwalia Speaking at the Gem-A Conference 2017. Image: Henry Mesa, Gem-A

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Chandra Horn, Reena Ahluwalia, John Bradshaw, Richard Drucker at the Gem-A Conference. Image: Henry Mesa, Gem-A

Chandra Horn, Reena Ahluwalia, John Bradshaw, Richard Drucker at the Gem-A Conference. Image: Henry Mesa, Gem-A

Reena Ahluwalia showing the  Coronet By Reena  spinning diamonds collection to attendees at the Gem-A conference. Image: Henry Mesa, Gem-A.

Reena Ahluwalia showing the Coronet By Reena spinning diamonds collection to attendees at the Gem-A conference. Image: Henry Mesa, Gem-A.

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Wonderful Mark Cullinan of Cullinan Diamonds (his great grandfather was the owner of the famous Cullinan Mike), is now the owner of Reena Ahluwalia's blue diamond painting.

Wonderful Mark Cullinan of Cullinan Diamonds (his great grandfather was the owner of the famous Cullinan Mike), is now the owner of Reena Ahluwalia's blue diamond painting.

Wonderful Mark Cullinan of Cullinan Diamonds (his great grandfather was the owner of the famous Cullinan Mike), is now the owner of Reena Ahluwalia's blue diamond painting.

Wonderful Mark Cullinan of Cullinan Diamonds (his great grandfather was the owner of the famous Cullinan Mike), is now the owner of Reena Ahluwalia's blue diamond painting.

 

 

Type IIa Diamonds

Type IIa diamonds are the most valued and the purest type of diamonds. They contain either very little or no nitrogen atoms in the crystal structure. White stones are exceptionally colorless and fancy colored diamonds are often found with a brown, purple, blue, or pink tone. They represent only 1% - 2% of all mined diamonds in the world. 

In the world of mined diamonds, Type IIa are so rare that they command a 5% to 15% premium, when they can be found.

One of the most well-known examples is the “Elizabeth Taylor Diamond” (formerly known as the “Krupp Diamond”), a 33.19-carat Type IIA diamond.

Purchased for $300,000 in 1968 by Richard Burton, the ring became one Elizabeth Taylor’s most cherished white diamonds; one she wore nearly every day. Of the ring, she once said, “[It] gives me the strangest feeling for beauty. With its sparks of red and white and blue and purple, and on and on, really, it sort of hums with its own beatific life.”  The Asscher-cut diamond ring recently sold at auction for a whopping $8.8 million.

Other iconic historic Type IIa diamonds include the Koh-I-Noor, Darya-I-Noor, the Archduke Joseph, the Regent, the Agra, The Star of the South, The Winston legacy and the Beau Sancy. Type IIa diamonds also have a famous historic connection with Golconda diamonds mined from the historic Kingdom of Golconda in India.

Reena Ahluwalia holds the Type II A, D-color, 910-carat ‘The Lesotho Legend’, the fifth-largest gem diamond in history. In 2018, the diamond was sold for $40 million. The diamond is from the Letseng mine in Lesotho, a country encircled by South Africa. According to Gem Diamonds, it was the largest diamond to have been recovered from the mine (untill 2018).

Reena Ahluwalia holds the Type II A, D-color, 910-carat ‘The Lesotho Legend’, the fifth-largest gem diamond in history. In 2018, the diamond was sold for $40 million. The diamond is from the Letseng mine in Lesotho, a country encircled by South Africa. According to Gem Diamonds, it was the largest diamond to have been recovered from the mine (untill 2018).

The Pink Legacy, a Fancy Vivid Pink, Type IIA, cut-cornered rectangular-cut diamond of 18.96 carats. This incomparable pink diamond has descended from the Oppenheimer Family and was sold for $50.4 million. Image: Christie’s / 2018

The Pink Legacy, a Fancy Vivid Pink, Type IIA, cut-cornered rectangular-cut diamond of 18.96 carats. This incomparable pink diamond has descended from the Oppenheimer Family and was sold for $50.4 million. Image: Christie’s / 2018

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Stephen Silver, gemologist and jeweler, who is known for his keen eye for gemstones sold the Pink Promise, a Type IIa, 14.93 carat Fancy Vivid Pink Diamond for $32 million at the Christies’ Hong Kong Auction, 2017.

Stephen Silver, gemologist and jeweler, who is known for his keen eye for gemstones sold the Pink Promise, a Type IIa, 14.93 carat Fancy Vivid Pink Diamond for $32 million at the Christies’ Hong Kong Auction, 2017.

Pear-shaped, Type IIa “Artemis Pink” and Type IIb “Apollo Blue”, Sotheby's + Reena Ahluwalia 'Portal of Dreams' diamond painting.

Pear-shaped, Type IIa “Artemis Pink” and Type IIb “Apollo Blue”, Sotheby's + Reena Ahluwalia 'Portal of Dreams' diamond painting.

The Artemis Pink is a Type IIa, Fancy Intense Pink Diamond weighing 16.00 carats. Image: Sotheby's

The Artemis Pink is a Type IIa, Fancy Intense Pink Diamond weighing 16.00 carats. Image: Sotheby's

Unique Pink, a 15.38 ct. fancy vivid pink diamond, the largest fancy vivid pink pear-shaped diamond ever offered at auction. Image: Sotheby's 2016

Unique Pink, a 15.38 ct. fancy vivid pink diamond, the largest fancy vivid pink pear-shaped diamond ever offered at auction. Image: Sotheby's 2016

The largest D flawless, Type IIa, round brilliant diamond in the world. 102.34 carat. At 102.34 carats, this masterpiece of nature is the rarest white diamond ever to come to the market and the largest, round D colour flawless diamond known to man. The only stone of its kind ever graded by the GIA, the diamond has achieved the highest rankings under each of the criteria by which the quality of a stone is judged. The diamond is D colour; of exceptional clarity (it is completely flawless, both internally and externally); and has excellent cut, polish and symmetry. As with the famous Cullinan I and Koh-i-noor diamonds, which are part of the British Crown Jewels, the stone is part of the rare subgroup comprising less than 2% of all gem diamonds, known as Type IIa. Diamonds in this group are the most chemically pure type of diamond and often have exceptional optical transparency. Image: (AP Photo/Alastair Grant) / Sotheby's / 2018

The largest D flawless, Type IIa, round brilliant diamond in the world. 102.34 carat. At 102.34 carats, this masterpiece of nature is the rarest white diamond ever to come to the market and the largest, round D colour flawless diamond known to man. The only stone of its kind ever graded by the GIA, the diamond has achieved the highest rankings under each of the criteria by which the quality of a stone is judged. The diamond is D colour; of exceptional clarity (it is completely flawless, both internally and externally); and has excellent cut, polish and symmetry. As with the famous Cullinan I and Koh-i-noor diamonds, which are part of the British Crown Jewels, the stone is part of the rare subgroup comprising less than 2% of all gem diamonds, known as Type IIa. Diamonds in this group are the most chemically pure type of diamond and often have exceptional optical transparency. Image: (AP Photo/Alastair Grant) / Sotheby's / 2018

The largest D flawless, Type IIa, round brilliant diamond in the world. 102.34 carat. Image: (AP Photo/Alastair Grant) / Sotheby's / 2018

The largest D flawless, Type IIa, round brilliant diamond in the world. 102.34 carat. Image: (AP Photo/Alastair Grant) / Sotheby's / 2018

Dubbed as the 'RAREST WHITE DIAMOND' - Sotheby's 102.34 ct, D Flawless, Type IIa. Was cut from a 425-carat rough mined by the De Beers Group in Botswana. 2018. Image: Nils Jorgensen/REX

Dubbed as the 'RAREST WHITE DIAMOND' - Sotheby's 102.34 ct, D Flawless, Type IIa. Was cut from a 425-carat rough mined by the De Beers Group in Botswana. 2018. Image: Nils Jorgensen/REX

Dubbed as the 'RAREST WHITE DIAMOND' - Sotheby's 102.34 ct, D Flawless, Type IIa. Was cut from a 425-carat rough mined by the De Beers Group in Botswana. 2018. Image: WENN

Dubbed as the 'RAREST WHITE DIAMOND' - Sotheby's 102.34 ct, D Flawless, Type IIa. Was cut from a 425-carat rough mined by the De Beers Group in Botswana. 2018. Image: WENN

THE QUEEN OF KALAHARI - an ultra-rare 342-carat, Type II A, D-Flawless diamond found by Lucara Diamond Corp in 2010 at Karowe, Botswana.

THE QUEEN OF KALAHARI - an ultra-rare 342-carat, Type II A, D-Flawless diamond found by Lucara Diamond Corp in 2010 at Karowe, Botswana.

THE QUEEN OF KALAHARI - an ultra-rare 342-carat, Type II A, D-Flawless diamond found by Lucara Diamond Corp in 2010 at Karowe, Botswana. This magnificent stone was transformed into THE GARDEN OF KALAHARI, a collection of six jewellery creations by Caroline Scheufele, Chopard. http://www.chopard.com/diary/the-queen-of-kalahari/

THE QUEEN OF KALAHARI - an ultra-rare 342-carat, Type II A, D-Flawless diamond found by Lucara Diamond Corp in 2010 at Karowe, Botswana. This magnificent stone was transformed into THE GARDEN OF KALAHARI, a collection of six jewellery creations by Caroline Scheufele, Chopard. http://www.chopard.com/diary/the-queen-of-kalahari/

THE GARDEN OF KALAHARI, a collection of six Type II A diamond jewellery creations by Caroline Scheufele, Chopard. http://www.chopard.com/diary/the-queen-of-kalahari/

THE GARDEN OF KALAHARI, a collection of six Type II A diamond jewellery creations by Caroline Scheufele, Chopard. http://www.chopard.com/diary/the-queen-of-kalahari/

THE GARDEN OF KALAHARI, a collection of six Type II A diamond jewellery creations by Caroline Scheufele, Chopard. http://www.chopard.com/diary/the-queen-of-kalahari/

THE GARDEN OF KALAHARI, a collection of six Type II A diamond jewellery creations by Caroline Scheufele, Chopard. http://www.chopard.com/diary/the-queen-of-kalahari/

Lucara Diamond sold giant Type IIa, 813-ct. Constellation diamond for $63M US in May 2016. Just to put all this in perspective, it is the the highest price ever achieved for the sale of a rough diamond. Image: Lucara Diamond Corporation

Lucara Diamond sold giant Type IIa, 813-ct. Constellation diamond for $63M US in May 2016. Just to put all this in perspective, it is the the highest price ever achieved for the sale of a rough diamond. Image: Lucara Diamond Corporation

At 1109-carat, the "Lesedi La Rona" is the largest gem-quality rough diamond to be discovered in over a century and the largest Type IIa rough diamond in existence today. Image: Lucara Diamond Corporation

At 1109-carat, the "Lesedi La Rona" is the largest gem-quality rough diamond to be discovered in over a century and the largest Type IIa rough diamond in existence today. Image: Lucara Diamond Corporation

At 118.78 carats, the “The Graff Venus” is the world’s largest D-color, Type IIA, flawless heart-shaped diamond. The Graff Venus was cut from a 357-carat rough diamond discovered in 2015 at the Letšeng Mine in Lesotho. Image: Graff Diamonds

At 118.78 carats, the “The Graff Venus” is the world’s largest D-color, Type IIA, flawless heart-shaped diamond. The Graff Venus was cut from a 357-carat rough diamond discovered in 2015 at the Letšeng Mine in Lesotho. Image: Graff Diamonds

At 118.78 carats, the “The Graff Venus” is the world’s largest D-color, Type IIA, flawless heart-shaped diamond. The Graff Venus was cut from a 357-carat rough diamond discovered in 2015 at the Letšeng Mine in Lesotho. Image: Graff Diamonds

At 118.78 carats, the “The Graff Venus” is the world’s largest D-color, Type IIA, flawless heart-shaped diamond. The Graff Venus was cut from a 357-carat rough diamond discovered in 2015 at the Letšeng Mine in Lesotho. Image: Graff Diamonds

100.20-Carat, Type IIa, Internally Flawless 'Perfect Diamond' could fetch $25 Million in auction in New York in 2015. Photo courtesy: Sotheby's

100.20-Carat, Type IIa, Internally Flawless 'Perfect Diamond' could fetch $25 Million in auction in New York in 2015. Photo courtesy: Sotheby's

100.20-Carat, Type IIa, Internally Flawless 'Perfect Diamond' could fetch $25 Million in auction in New York in 2015. Photo courtesy: AP

100.20-Carat, Type IIa, Internally Flawless 'Perfect Diamond' could fetch $25 Million in auction in New York in 2015. Photo courtesy: AP

100.20-Carat, Type IIa, Internally Flawless 'Perfect Diamond' could fetch $25 Million in auction in New York in 2015. Photo courtesy: Reuters

100.20-Carat, Type IIa, Internally Flawless 'Perfect Diamond' could fetch $25 Million in auction in New York in 2015. Photo courtesy: Reuters

The 100.20-carat "Perfect" diamond during the cutting and polishing process. The original rough weighed more than 200 carats and was mined by De Beers in southern Africa. It took more than a year to study, cut and polish the rough into the 100-carat diamond. Photo courtesy: Sotheby's

The 100.20-carat "Perfect" diamond during the cutting and polishing process. The original rough weighed more than 200 carats and was mined by De Beers in southern Africa. It took more than a year to study, cut and polish the rough into the 100-carat diamond. Photo courtesy: Sotheby's

The 100.20-carat "Perfect" diamond during the cutting and polishing process. The original rough weighed more than 200 carats and was mined by De Beers in southern Africa. It took more than a year to study, cut and polish the rough into the 100-carat diamond. Photo courtesy: Sotheby's

The 100.20-carat "Perfect" diamond during the cutting and polishing process. The original rough weighed more than 200 carats and was mined by De Beers in southern Africa. It took more than a year to study, cut and polish the rough into the 100-carat diamond. Photo courtesy: Sotheby's

The 'Winston Legacy' is the largest white diamond ever to come to auction. The 101.73ct, Type IIa, pear-shaped, D colour, flawless diamond was sold to Harry Winston at Christie's auction of jewels in Geneva on 15 May 2013. Its the "largest of its type" ever offered for public sale. Christies Images Ltd 2013.

The 'Winston Legacy' is the largest white diamond ever to come to auction. The 101.73ct, Type IIa, pear-shaped, D colour, flawless diamond was sold to Harry Winston at Christie's auction of jewels in Geneva on 15 May 2013. Its the "largest of its type" ever offered for public sale. Christies Images Ltd 2013.

World’s largest "flawless" D-color, colorless diamond at 101.73 carat. The stone was recently cut from a rough diamond, weighing 236 carats, that had been found at the Jwaneng mine in Botswana. It took 21 months to polish. The diamond is a Type IIa, less than 1% of the world's diamonds are Type IIa.

World’s largest "flawless" D-color, colorless diamond at 101.73 carat. The stone was recently cut from a rough diamond, weighing 236 carats, that had been found at the Jwaneng mine in Botswana. It took 21 months to polish. The diamond is a Type IIa, less than 1% of the world's diamonds are Type IIa.

D-colour, internally flawless, Type IIa diamond of 56.15 cts. In 2011, sold at auction, and becoming a world auction record for any heart-shaped diamond. Image: Christie's

D-colour, internally flawless, Type IIa diamond of 56.15 cts. In 2011, sold at auction, and becoming a world auction record for any heart-shaped diamond. Image: Christie's

The “Elizabeth Taylor Diamond” (formerly known as the “Krupp Diamond”), a 33.19-carat Type IIA diamond. I had the honor of trying out this legendary beauty at Christie's New York. Memorable moment!

The “Elizabeth Taylor Diamond” (formerly known as the “Krupp Diamond”), a 33.19-carat Type IIA diamond. I had the honor of trying out this legendary beauty at Christie's New York. Memorable moment!

The “Elizabeth Taylor Diamond” (formerly known as the “Krupp Diamond”), a 33.19-carat Type IIA diamond. Purchased for $300,000 in 1968 by Richard Burton, the ring became one Elizabeth Taylor’s most cherished white diamonds; one she wore nearly every day. Of the ring, she once said, “[It] gives me the strangest feeling for beauty. With its sparks of red and white and blue and purple, and on and on, really, it sort of hums with its own beatific life.” The Asscher-cut diamond ring recently sold at auction for a whopping $8.8 million.

The “Elizabeth Taylor Diamond” (formerly known as the “Krupp Diamond”), a 33.19-carat Type IIA diamond. Purchased for $300,000 in 1968 by Richard Burton, the ring became one Elizabeth Taylor’s most cherished white diamonds; one she wore nearly every day. Of the ring, she once said, “[It] gives me the strangest feeling for beauty. With its sparks of red and white and blue and purple, and on and on, really, it sort of hums with its own beatific life.” The Asscher-cut diamond ring recently sold at auction for a whopping $8.8 million.

The Archduke Joseph Diamond. 76.02cts., D color, Internally Flawless, Type IIA. Image: APF

The Archduke Joseph Diamond. 76.02cts., D color, Internally Flawless, Type IIA. Image: APF

Type IIa and connection with Golconda Diamonds.  

A Golconda diamond is a diamond from a specific geographic area within the historic Kingdom of Golconda in India. Diamonds with proven Golconda provenance are of a specific type of rare, pure carbon diamond known as Type IIa. Less than 1-2% of the world's diamonds are Type IIa.

The kingdom of Golconda is situated in India's Deccan plateau. Golconda was a region located between the lower reaches of the Godavari, Wainganga, Wardha and Krishna-Venva rivers, in the present-day states of Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh, central India.

 

Koh-i-noor is one of the most celebrated Indian diamonds and perhaps the best-known. A modified oval brilliant cut, the 105.60 ct diamond is set in Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother’s Crown. This is the name of the platinum crown that was designed for Queen Elizabeth, consort (or wife) of George VI, to wear at the Coronation of her husband in 1937. The Koh-i-noor is now on display in the Tower of London. Photo: Kenneth Scarratt. Courtesy: The Gemmologists, the Crown Jewels. Via GIA

Koh-i-noor is one of the most celebrated Indian diamonds and perhaps the best-known. A modified oval brilliant cut, the 105.60 ct diamond is set in Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother’s Crown. This is the name of the platinum crown that was designed for Queen Elizabeth, consort (or wife) of George VI, to wear at the Coronation of her husband in 1937. The Koh-i-noor is now on display in the Tower of London. Photo: Kenneth Scarratt. Courtesy: The Gemmologists, the Crown Jewels. Via GIA

The Idol’s Eye is a 70.20 ct Very Light blue diamond that has been described as being between and round and a pear shaped brilliant cut It is believed to have originated from the Golconda region. This famous diamond is an early 17th century stone, an antique triangular modified brilliant cut light blue diamond. Named because of the legend that it once formed the eye of a temple statue, the diamond traveled through a number of international collections. Image Via GIA

The Idol’s Eye is a 70.20 ct Very Light blue diamond that has been described as being between and round and a pear shaped brilliant cut It is believed to have originated from the Golconda region. This famous diamond is an early 17th century stone, an antique triangular modified brilliant cut light blue diamond. Named because of the legend that it once formed the eye of a temple statue, the diamond traveled through a number of international collections. Image Via GIA

Famous Golconda Type IIa Diamonds.    Top Row: Hope (Type IIb) | Koh-I-Noor | Darya-I-Noor Bottom Row: Archduke Joseph | Regent | Sancy    Image created by: Reena Ahluwalia

Famous Golconda Type IIa Diamonds.

Top Row: Hope (Type IIb) | Koh-I-Noor | Darya-I-Noor
Bottom Row: Archduke Joseph | Regent | Sancy

Image created by: Reena Ahluwalia

Famous Type IIa Diamonds.    Shown here: (1) The De Beers Millennium Star | 203.04 carat, (2) The Idol's Eye | 70.21 carat, (3) The Agra | 28.15 carat, (4) The Koh-I-Noor | 105.60 carat, (5) The Cullinan I | 530.20 carat, (6) The Hope (Type IIb) | 45.52 carat. Image created by: Reena Ahluwalia

Famous Type IIa Diamonds.

Shown here: (1) The De Beers Millennium Star | 203.04 carat, (2) The Idol's Eye | 70.21 carat, (3) The Agra | 28.15 carat, (4) The Koh-I-Noor | 105.60 carat, (5) The Cullinan I | 530.20 carat, (6) The Hope (Type IIb) | 45.52 carat. Image created by: Reena Ahluwalia

The 42.52 carat legendary Hope Diamond without it's white diamond pendant. Photo: Chip Clark. Smithsonian. Did you know? The famous Hope diamond was originally 112 carats before being cut to its present weight of 45.52 carats. The Hope Diamond is a Type II (b) Golconda diamond.

The 42.52 carat legendary Hope Diamond without it's white diamond pendant. Photo: Chip Clark. Smithsonian. Did you know? The famous Hope diamond was originally 112 carats before being cut to its present weight of 45.52 carats. The Hope Diamond is a Type II (b) Golconda diamond.

Golconda Diamonds: Rahul Kadakia, Department Head, Jewelry, Christie's Americas, describes these very special and rare diamonds. (2005) (RT 3:13)

The Star of South Diamond. 128.48-carat, Type IIa, fancy light pinkish-brown diamond. It was discovered in 1853 and became the first Brazilian diamond to receive international acclaim.

The Star of South Diamond. 128.48-carat, Type IIa, fancy light pinkish-brown diamond. It was discovered in 1853 and became the first Brazilian diamond to receive international acclaim.

From The Treasury of Baroda - a magnificent three-tired diamond necklace, shown here worn by the Maharani of Baroda, Sita Devi in 1948. Khande Roe, Gaekwar of Baroda, had this necklace made to display two important diamonds - The 128.48-carat, Type IIa, Star of the South (fancy light pinkish-brown) and the 78.5-carat English Dresden below it. Necklace photo: circa 1880.

From The Treasury of Baroda - a magnificent three-tired diamond necklace, shown here worn by the Maharani of Baroda, Sita Devi in 1948. Khande Roe, Gaekwar of Baroda, had this necklace made to display two important diamonds - The 128.48-carat, Type IIa, Star of the South (fancy light pinkish-brown) and the 78.5-carat English Dresden below it. Necklace photo: circa 1880.

The Beau Sancy Diamond. Type IIa, 34.98 ct., modified pear, double rose cut diamond. The stone has passed through four European Royal families. Image: Sotheby's

The Beau Sancy Diamond. Type IIa, 34.98 ct., modified pear, double rose cut diamond. The stone has passed through four European Royal families. Image: Sotheby's


 

 

Esperanza Diamond is a Type IIa, internally flawless, D-color, 4.65-Carat ‘Triolette’, cut by master cutter Mike Botha.

Esperanza Diamond is a Type IIa, internally flawless, D-color, 4.65-Carat ‘Triolette’, cut by master cutter Mike Botha.

118.28-carat, D-color, flawless, Type IIa, magnificent oval diamond. Image: Sotheby's

118.28-carat, D-color, flawless, Type IIa, magnificent oval diamond. Image: Sotheby's

A model holds a 118.28-carat, flawless diamond dubbed the 'Magnificent Oval Diamond' during a media preview at Sotheby's Hong Kong auction house on September 19, 2013. The stone broke a world record on October 7, 2013 when it fetched more than 30 million USD on auction. Photo: Laurent FIEVET

A model holds a 118.28-carat, flawless diamond dubbed the 'Magnificent Oval Diamond' during a media preview at Sotheby's Hong Kong auction house on September 19, 2013. The stone broke a world record on October 7, 2013 when it fetched more than 30 million USD on auction. Photo: Laurent FIEVET

In the past I have authored posts on, Top Ten - Largest Diamonds Discovered In The WorldSplendors of Mughal IndiaThe Magnificent Maharajas Of IndiaMystery & History Of Marquise Diamond CutÓr - Ireland's GoldThe Legendary Cullinan DiamondBejeweled Persia - Historic Jewelry From The Qajar DynastyFamous Heart-Shaped DiamondsType II DiamondsGreen DiamondsRed Diamonds and more. Being a curious artist that I am, over years, I have spent countless hours in self-driven studies on diamond, jewelry history and 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 reason - to share my collected knowledge with all who are interested, so that more can benefit from it. Take a look and enjoy! -- Reena

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

Replica of the 9 largest stones polished from the Cullinan diamond. Image: Taken by Reena Ahluwalia, at L'École des Arts Joailliers, Van Cleef & Arpels. Paris

Replica of the 9 largest stones polished from the Cullinan diamond. Image: Taken by Reena Ahluwalia, at L'École des Arts Joailliers, Van Cleef & Arpels. Paris

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, Top Ten - Largest Diamonds Discovered In The WorldSplendors of Mughal IndiaThe Magnificent Maharajas Of IndiaMystery & History Of Marquise Diamond CutÓr - Ireland's GoldThe Legendary Cullinan DiamondBejeweled Persia - Historic Jewelry From The Qajar DynastyFamous Heart-Shaped DiamondsType II DiamondsGreen DiamondsRed Diamonds and more. Being a curious artist that I am, over years, I have spent countless hours in self-driven studies on diamond, jewelry history and 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 reason - to share my collected knowledge with all who are interested, so that more can benefit from it. Take a look and enjoy! -- Reena