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Assorted regalia from the Crown Jewels

The Crown Jewels are the most complete collection of royal regalia in the world

Unknown Person

Mr Asscher using the hammer for the first operation on the Cullinan Diamond February 1908

RCIN 2800275

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After weeks of preparation, Joseph Asscher – the most skilful cleaver in the Asscher firm - clamped the Cullinan Diamond into a specially made holder. He inserted a cleavage knife into a carefully-prepared groove, and then struck the knife with a heavy steel rod, successfully splitting the stone on the second attempt. This method had been chosen since using a saw to cut the diamond was deemed too risky – it might have bent during the procedure and so produced an uneven line.