Apr 2, 2014 12:02 pm
As irresistible and desirable as diamonds may be, have you ever wondered what the biggest diamond ever discovered is? Well, get ready for your eyes to sparkle and your jaws to drop, because even till’ this day… there’s no other rough diamond that’s bigger than what you are about to feast your eyes on!
On January 25, 1905, a man named Frederick Wells went 18 feet under the earth and into the Premier Mine in Pretoria, South Africa for a routine inspection when he spotted a flash of starlight embedded in the wall. Wells quickly scaled the wall and extracted from the ground what appeared to be a large crystal. Tests after test, it proved to be the largest gem-quality diamond ever discovered; weighing at 3,106 carats or 1.33 lbs.!!!
** World’s Largest Rough Diamond: 3,106 carats = 1.33 lbs. **
Frederick Wells presented the rough diamond to Sir Thomas Cullinan (who was the owner of the mine) which the rough diamond was named after. Frederick sold the diamond to the Transvaal provincial government, which presented the stone to Britain’s King Edward VII as a birthday gift.
**publicity photo of the Cullinan crystal being handed from Wells (right) to McHardy, who then hands it to Sir Thomas Cullinan (left) **
The Cullinan was insured for $1,250,000 when it was sent to England. Worried that the diamond might be stolen in transit from Africa to England, King Edward arranged to send a phony diamond aboard a steamer ship with detectives; meanwhile the real Cullinan was sent to England in a plain box.
Joseph Asscher, head of the Asscher Diamond Company of Amsterdam, studied the diamond for six months before attempting the cut. On Feb. 10th, 1907, Mr. Asscher placed the steel cleaver’s blade in a previously prepared v-shaped groove and tapped it once with a heavy steel rod. On his first attempt, the steel blade broke but luckily, the diamond didn’t even have a scratch! On the second attempt, the diamond shattered exactly as planned and Asscher then fainted from nervous exhaustion…(Can you blame him?!) A second cleavage in the same direction produced three principle sections which would produce nine major gems and 96 smaller brilliants, and 9.50 carats of unpolished pieces. (See picture below)
These rough diamonds were cut to look like…
(This picture above is just a copy of the real Cullinan diamonds but we get the point…)
It’s beautiful, it’s BIG, & most of these diamonds are mostly in the possession of the Royal Family or mounted on the British Crown Jewels.