The story of the largest diamond ever found on Earth

The largest rough diamond ever found on Earth is called Cullinan, also known as The Star of Africa. It was found in 1905 in a South African mine by the manager of the mining company that exploited the deposit, Frederick Wells.

The find took place 40 kilometers east of the city of Pretoria while Wells was conducting an inspection at the mine. The name given to the extraordinary mineral is that of the owner of this industry, Sir Thomas Cullinan.

The piece, at the time of being found, It weighed 3,106 carats (621 grams) and measured 10.1 x 6.35 x 5.9 centimeters.

After being found, the diamond was put up for sale, which, however, did not happen immediately. The buyer ended up being the government of the colony of Trasvaal, a South African province, and it was later given as a gift in 1907 to King Edward VII of England.

However, the precious stone it was too big to keep in its original formso it was sent to a company in the Netherlands to proceed to cut it into smaller pieces.

cut into nine fragments

it was like that the Cullinan diamond was cut into nine different stones, numbered I through IX, and in still smaller ones, up to no less than 150 carved fragments. The first and largest of the pieces, named Cullinan I, became known as the Great Star of Africa and weighs 530.2 carats, or 106 grams.

Currently, the nine diamonds still belong to the british royal family and they gain prominence during the coronation of the new kings, as happened during the recently celebrated to proclaim Carlos III. They are part of the British crown jewels and are kept in the Sovereign’s Scepter with Cross.

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The Cullinan I is set in the Scepter of the Crosswhich the king holds in his right hand when he is crowned, and was the largest cut diamond in the world until 1985, when it was displaced by another exceptional piece: the Golden Jubilee Diamond.

The Cullinan II, for its part, appears in the Crown of the British Imperial State, which is preserved in the Museum of the Tower of London.

The Cullinan III and IV were attached to a clasp, in which the Cullinan IV hangs from the Cullinan III.

Nonetheless, there is a diamond even bigger than the Cullinan, called the Enigma Diamond, which however is not considered a true precious stone. It weighs 555 carats (111 grams) and, according to some scientists, it could come from a meteorite that crashed into Earth 2.6 billion years ago.

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