To wrap up the Cullinan diamond’s incredible story in full splendor, let’s take a closer look at the nine largest diamonds cut from the rough stone.
All these diamonds are part of the Crown Jewels of the United Kingdom and are on display in the Tower of London; so make sure to stop by, next time you vacation in England’s swinging capital!
The Cullinan I
The Cullinan I – also known as the “Star of Africa” – is, at 530.2ct, the largest colorless diamond (D color) in the world!
The pear-shaped Cullinan I adorns the head of the Sovereign’s Sceptre with Cross, which was specifically modified to accommodate the diamond in 1910.
The Cullinan I can also be taken out of the scepter and worn as a pendant, or attached to the Cullinan II to make a brooch.
The Cullinan I adorning the Sceptre with Cross.
The Cullinan II
The Cullinan II, also called the “Second Star of Africa”, is a cushion-shaped diamond, weighing 317.4 carats.
It is set on the front of the Imperial State Crown, and can also be worn as a brooch when attached to the Cullinan I.
The Cullinan II set on the front of the Imperial State Crown.
The Cullinan III & Cullinan IV
The 94.4ct pear-shaped Cullinan III and 63.6ct cushion-shaped Cullinan are smaller versions of the Cullinan I and Cullinan II diamonds, hence their nickname of “Lesser Stars of Africa”.
Initially, the two diamonds had been set on the cross adorning Queen Mary’s new crown which she wore at her coronation ceremony, on June 22, 1911.
However, in 1914, the Queen had the real diamonds removed from the crown and replaced by crystal copies.
Since her death, in 1953, the Crown of Queen Mary has remained unworn, meaning that the Cullinan III and Cullinan IV have not adorned the royal crown in over one hundred years!
The two diamonds can however be hooked to one another and worn as a brooch.
Queen Elizabeth II wore them only on very rare occasions since his accession in 1953, one of them being when she visited the Asscher diamond works while touring the Netherlands, on March 25, 1958. On that special occasion she unpinned “Granny’s Chips” and offered them for examination by Louis Asscher, brother of Joseph Asscher, who had originally cut the Cullinan diamond 50 years earlier. Elderly and almost blind, Asscher was deeply moved by the Queen’s gesture, to be able to see the diamonds again after so many years.
The brooch made from the Cullinan III & Cullinan IV diamonds.
The Cullinan V
The Cullinan V is an 18.8ct heart-shaped diamond, and the centerpiece of a platinum brooch that was part of the diamond and emerald stomacher made for Queen Mary to wear at the Delhi Durbar, in 1911.
The brooch can also be attached to the Cullinan VI and Cullinan VIII diamonds, to form a larger pendant.
Often worn by Queen Mary and now by Queen Elizabeth II who inherited the brooches after Queen Mary’s passing.
The Cullinan V brooch adorning Queen Mary’s stomacher for the 1911 Delhi Durbar.
The Cullinan VI & Cullinan VIII
Attached to the Cullinan V, the 8.8ct marquise-shaped Cullinan VI and the 6.8ct cushion-shaped Cullinan VIII were part of the stomacher of Queen Mary’s Delhi Durbar parure, in 1911.
As such, the brooch is surrounded by 96 smaller diamonds; in reference to the 96 smaller diamonds cut from the Cullinan rough stone?
The Cullinan VI and Cullinan can also form yet another brooch, when clipped together.
Despite this, Queen Elizabeth II, has never been seen wearing this brooch in public, claiming that “it gets in the soup!”
The Cullinan VI and Cullinan VIII brooch, with its 96 smaller diamonds.
The Cullinan VII
The Cullinan VII is a 11.5ct marquise-shaped diamond, which was first given to Queen Alexandra of Denmark by King Edward VII.
After his death, in 1910, Queen Alexandra gave the diamond to Queen Mary, who had it set as a pendant from the diamond and emerald necklace of the Delhi Durbar parure.
The Cullinan VII on the diamond and emerald necklace of Queen’s Mary Delhi Durbar parure.
The Cullinan IX
The Cullinan IX is the smallest of the nine large diamonds cut from the Cullinan rough stone.
The 4.4ct pear-shaped diamond is beautifully set on a platinum ring, known as the Cullinan IX Ring.
The Cullinan IX Ring.