A look at the Queen’s Cullinan Diamonds collection weighing over 1000 carats

The Cullinan Diamond is the largest diamond ever found, and it was unearthed near Pretoria in South Africa in the early 20th century. Uncut, the huge gem weighed 3,106 carats and was presented to King Edward VII by the Transvaal government in 1907, hoping to establish good relations between Britain and South Africa in the aftermath of the Boer War. The diamond was cut into nine large stones, some of which feature prominently in the Crown Jewels, and nearly 100 smaller brilliants were also created. Express.co.uk spoke to Daniel O’Farrell; Founder, Bespoke Jeweler and Diamond Expert at DC Jewelryabout the Queen’s Cullinan Diamond Collection.

Cullinan I and II – The Great Star of Africa and the Second Star of Africa

The two largest Cullinan Diamonds are among the Queen’s Crown Jewels, and the Great Star of Africa is the pendant-cut centerpiece of the Sovereign’s Scepter with Cross.

The Cullinan II, or the Second Star of Africa, was incorporated into the Imperial State Crown and was worn by the Queen on important state occasions throughout her reign and at her coronation in 1953.

The task of cutting the Cullinan diamond was delegated to the Asschers of Amsterdam, the masterminds behind the iconic Asscher cut diamond that remains popular today.

Mr O’Farrell said: “The larger of the two called Cullinan I, the Great Star of Africa, is a 76-facet pear-shaped diamond, weighing approximately 530.2 carats and measuring about an inch in diameter. thickness at its deepest segment.

“Cullinan II, the Little Star of Africa is a 317.4 carat cushion-shaped diamond. Both Cullinan I and II were fitted with broach wear loops, where Cullinan I hung from Cullinan II.”

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Mr O’Farrell explained: “The Cullinan III is a second pear-shaped diamond of 94.4 carats, while the Cullinan IV is a square-shaped diamond of 63.6 carats.

“Cullinan III hangs from Cullinan IV to form the second most expensive royal jewel, worth over £50million, known affectionately as ‘Granny’s Chips’.

“In 1910, the South African government presented Queen Mary Cullinans III and IV, together with the rest of the collection, with the nine large Cullinan diamonds and all the smaller chips.

“Always an innovator in jewelry, Queen Mary placed the Cullinans III and IV on her 1911 Coronation Crown, later on her Delhi Durbar Tiara, used them as pendants on her Coronation Necklaces and Emerald Necklace Ladies of India and wore them as a brooch at many important family functions, including the wedding of then-Princess Elizabeth.”

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“This would be one of Queen Elizabeth II’s favorite brooches, worn memorably for the Duke of Edinburgh’s official 99th birthday portrait.”

Cullinan VI is 11.5 carats and it is a marquise cut. The stunning gem is often worn as a brooch with the oblong cut Cullinan VIII diamond which weighs 6.8 carats.

Cullinan VII weighs 8.8 carats and like Cullinan VI is also a marquise cut, and it often makes an appearance on Queen Mary’s Delhi Durbar necklace.

And the last big diamond weighing 4.39 carats is the Cullinan IX, which is a pear cut stone and has been set in a ring.

Sarah C. Figueiredo