Monday, July 2, 2012
Famous Cullinan Diamond stones on show together for 1st time
As part of the Diamond Jubilee celebrations this summer Buckingham Palace will be opening its doors for a rare display of the Queen’s diamonds. Opening on June 30 and running to October 7, priceless jewels including the Queen’s tiaras, crowns and jewellery will be available for the public to see.
The exhibition will also bring together seven of the nine principal stones of the world’s largest diamond, South Africa’s Cullinan Diamond, for the first time in history. The other two remaining pieces are found in the Queen’s crown and sceptre, which are kept in the Tower of London.
The famous diamond was mined in South Africa in 1905. Weighing 3,106 carats in its rough state, its huge size defied its true nature. Clerks believed it was a crystal and so initially disposed of it, not believing that it was possible to get a diamond of that size.
Exhibit curator Caroline de Guitaut described it as “a truly exceptional diamond, both in terms of its size but also in terms of its clarity and colour. It is completely flawless and has a wonderful blue-white colour.”
The diamond was divided into nine principal stones and has been used in various settings over the years, including a pendant as part of the Dehli Durbar Necklace of diamonds and emeralds, a 21st birthday gift given to the Queen in 1947, and also a huge pear-shaped brooch which the Queen wore for the Service of Thanksgiving on 5 June during the Jubilee weekend.
The exhibition, including the Cullinan pieces, will comprise more than 10,000 diamonds worn by six different monarchs over three centuries.