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A silver and gold-lined diadem with an openwork frame set transparent with diamonds; narrow band edged with pearls, surmounted by four crosses-pattée, the front cross set with a pale yellow brilliant, and four sprays representing the national emble

Dazzling pieces of jewellery, insignia and other works of art

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The Cullinan Diamond

RCIN 2800279

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The magnificent Cullinan Diamond – the largest ever found – was discovered near Pretoria in South Africa on 26 January 1905. In its uncut state, it weighed 3,106 metric carats and boasted a size of 10.1 x 6.35 x 5.9 cm. This scale, coupled with its extraordinary blue-white colour and exceptional clarity, made it the most celebrated diamond in the world. It was presented to King Edward VII in 1907 by the Government of the Transvaal, as a symbolic gesture to heal the rift between Britain and South Africa following the Boer War.  Over eight months, three men worked for 14 hours a day to cut and polish nine large stones from the original diamond. Today, stones I and II are incorporated into the Crown Jewels, set in the Sovereign's Sceptre and Imperial State Crown respectively.