The Cullinan Diamond
weighed 3106 carats.
In 1902, Thomas Cullinan,
master builder and prospector, discovered and founded the
Premier Diamond Mine near Pretoria in South Africa. Less than two
years later, on 26th January 1905 the largest gem diamond ever found,
the regal Cullinan Diamond, was discovered at his mine. At its centenary,
the mine was renamed the Cullinan Mine in his honour.
The mighty Cullinan Diamond weighed 3106 carats
and was of exceptional purity, D in colour, flawless in cut form
and a rare type Ha. The Cullinan is still to this day three times
larger than any other gem diamond discovered, the next largest being
the "Excelsior" diamond at 995 carats discovered at Jagersfontein
The Premier Mine near Pretoria covered a surface area
of 28 hectares, three times the size of hte "Big Hole"
in Kimberley which was consolidated by Cecil John Rhodes in the
late 1800's. Consequently the Premier Mine had a dramatic impact
on the diamond production and the diamond market at the time. A
marvel of naturethe Premier diamond "pipe" was created
by a volcanic eruption dated at 1.2 billion years ago, whereas by
comparison, the Kimberley mines are dates at a 'mere' 90 million
Sir Thomas Cullinan was knighted for his services
to industry, not only for the discovery of the mine, but as one
of the co-founders and chairman of what became the Transvaal Chamber
of Industries, and a member of the Transvaal Legislative Assembly
and the first Union Parliament of 1910.
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