The world's biggest diamond is owned by Queen Elizabeth II

Anita Durairaj
The rough cut Cullinan diamondCredit: Unknown person; Public Domain

Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom is the owner of the Cullinan diamond which is the world's biggest diamond.

The Cullinan diamond was the largest gem-quality rough diamond that was ever found. It was first discovered in Cullinan, South Africa in 1905 and named after Thomas Cullinan, the owner of the diamond mine.

As a rough, uncut diamond, the stone weighed 3,106.75 carats. The diamond was so large that it was just under 4 inches long, over 2 inches wide, and more than 2.5 inches high.

The diamond came into the hands of the British monarch in 1907 when it was presented as a gift to King Edward VII by the Government of Transvaal.

The diamond was sent to Amsterdam to be cut by famed jeweler Joseph Asscher. The diamond was cut into more than 10 separate stones. Altogether, after cutting, there were 9 large stones, 96 smaller brilliants, and 9.50 carats of unpolished gems.

The 9 large Cullinan diamonds were numbered in Roman numerals as Cullinan I to Cullinan IX. The largest of these is the Cullinan I (also called the Star of Africa) which is 530.40 carats. It is set in the Sovereign's Sceptre with Cross. The Cullinan I is still the largest-cut, fine-quality colorless diamond in the world

The Cullinan II is 317.40 carats while the Cullinan III is 94.40 carats. Cullinan IV to Cullinan IX range in size from 63.60 to 4.30 carats.

All 9 major Cullinan stones are set in the British Crown Jewels and the smaller stones are also in the possession of the Queen and the British Royal Family.

Due to their history and status, jewelry experts estimate that the total worth of all the Cullinan diamonds may be as high as $2 billion.

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Trained with a Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of Cincinnati, I write unique and interesting articles focused on science, history, and current events.


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