Cullinan Diamond Mine owes its historic fame to the largest diamond uncovered – the Cullinan Diamond.
An influential building contractor named Thomas Cullinan bought the Elandsfontein farm that housed the Cullinan Diamond Mine in 1903. Less than two years later, a rough diamond was found nine metres down and protruding from the sidewall of the pit measuring a staggering 3,106.75 carats. The Cullinan Diamond was established as the greatest diamond ever found. The jewel was named after the mine’s owner and sold to the South African government who presented it to King Edward VII on his 66th birthday. The largest diamond the world has ever known was cut into nine major stones and approximately 96 smaller diamonds.
The main piece of the polished gem, named Cullinan I, or The Great Star of Africa, was the biggest of the collection and weighed an astonishing 530.2 carats. The Great Star of Africa is displayed in the head of England’s royal Sceptre while the Lesser Star of Africa, or Cullinan II weighing 317.4 carats, forms part of the British crown jewels’ Imperial State Crown. Both South African-mined diamonds are exhibited at the Tower of London.
Sir Thomas Major Cullinan remained involved with operations after the significant discovery until 1923 when he resigned as Chairman and as a prominent board member, selling his shares to move on to other ventures. Cullinan died in 1936 but his mine continued to unearth the largest and most famous gems ever known. In 2003, to commemorate the world’s most famous diamond mine, the 100-year-old mine was officially renamed the Cullinan Diamond Mine. To this day, the Cullinan Diamond Mine remains a major diamond producer.
The Cullinan Diamond
Rough Weight 3,106.75 Carats
(Polished Gem – 530.20 Carats)
The Cullinan Diamond is the world’s greatest diamond ever found. At 3,106.75 carats it remains the largest clean white diamond known to-date. The stone produced nine primary gems and 96 smaller stones. The Cullinan I, or The Great Star of Africa, weighs 530.2 carats and is displayed in the head of England’s royal Sceptre. The South African-mined diamond is exhibited at the Tower of London.
(Polished Gem – 317.40 Carats)
Better known as the Lesser Star of Africa, the Cullinan II weighs a remarkable 317.4 carats and is considered the second largest top-quality polished stone in the world. The diamond forms part of the British crown Jewels’ Imperial State Crown and is on display at the Tower of London.
The Golden Jubilee Diamond
Rough Weight 755.50 Carats
(Polished Gem – 545.65 Carats)
Discovered in the late 1980′s, The Golden Jubilee is the second largest rough stone produced by Cullinan Diamond Mine. Named after the 50th anniversary ascent of Thailand’s royal couple, King Bhumibol and Queen Sirakit, the golden yellow gem resides at the Royal Museum at Pimmimak, Bangkok.
The Jonker Diamond
Rough Weight 726.50 Carats
(Polished Gem – 126.65 Carats)
Johannes Makani, a working hand for 62-year-old poor diamond digger Johannes Jacobus Jonker changed the family’s fortune in 1934 when he uncovered a 726 carat stone. The blue-white Jonker Diamond was bought a year later by famous New York jeweller, Harry Winston. The designer polished the gem into 13 pieces. The Jonker I, the biggest of the 13 pieces.
The Centenary Diamond
Rough Weight 599.00 Carats
(Polished Gem – 273.85 Carats)
The discovery of this diamond in 1986 was kept a secret for nearly two years before being announced at the diamond producer’s 100-year celebratory banquet in 1988. The Centenary Diamond was only revealed in its final, modified, heart-shaped form in 1991. The flawless stone is one of the largest top-colour diamonds ever found, surpassed only by the Cullinan I and the Cullinan II.
The Niarchos Diamond
Rough Weight 426.50 Carats
(Polished Gem – 128.25 Carats)
Millionaire Stavros Niarchos purchased the Cullinan Diamond Mine’s next discovery in 1954 for his wife at an extravagant $2,000,000. Before the 426,5 carat gem was fashioned into a sizeable pear-shaped stone and two smaller stones by Harry Winston’s Chief Cutter, Bernard de Haan. The craftsman nicknamed the larger of the trio the Ice Queen. He claimed that the rough stone would have been hard to spot in a bucket of ice cubes.
The Taylor-Burton Diamond
Rough Weight 240.80 Carats
(Polished Gem – 69.42 Carats)
In 1966, a sizeable 240,8 carat rock was recovered from the Cullinan Diamond Mine. The rough diamond was sent to New York to be polished by jeweller, Harry Winston, into two pieces. The larger 162 carat pear-shaped diamond, which had been set by Cartier into a neck piece, went up for auction in 1972 where legendary star, Richard Burton successfully bid for it. The diamond necklace was to be a 40th birthday gift for his wife, Elizabeth Taylor. The Taylor-Burton is currently owned by Lebanese diamond dealer, Robert Mouawad.
The Premier Rose Diamond
Rough Weight 353.90 Carats
(Polished Gem – 137.02 Carats)
The 1978 Premier diamond was acquired by Jacob Mouw from the Mouw Diamond Cutting Works and called the Premier Rose after his wife Rose. The diamond was one of the largest colourless stones in the world before it was cut into three spectacular pieces. The larger of the three, at 137,02 carats retained the Premier Rose name, while the 31,48 carat stone was renamed Little Rose and the 2,11 carat gem was renamed Baby Rose – together, the diamonds are known as the Premier Rose Family.
The true brilliance of diamonds can only be captured through the amount of light that is able to penetrate the precision cut facets. To your eye, the light that is absorbed by the angle, pattern and proportion of the facets allows the stone to reflect a fiery, radiant sparkle. Cut and clarity are crucial to the fire of a diamond, which is why the Cullinan Star Cut (TM) is so unique. The 66 facets, eight more than the standard 58 facet gem diamond, ensures that each stone radiates a passion so bright and clear that it resembles heaven’s stars, at the heart of the jewel.
All Cullinan Star Cut (TM) gem diamonds are coupled with an international certification of their quality, veracity and value.