In January of 1905, the superintendent of the Premier Mine in South Africa came across what he thought was a large piece of glass glinting in the sunlight. The “glass” was tested and proved to be the largest gem-quality diamond ever found. It weighed 3,106-carats, or about one and one-third pounds! Named for Sir Thomas Cullinan, the man who opened the mine, this amazing gem was presented as a sixty-sixth birthday gift to King Edward VII, of England, in 1907. King Edward shipped the gem out to Amsterdam to be cut. The cutter yielded nine major gems, which all remain in the British Crown Jewels (or are owned personally by the royal family), as well as ninety-six smaller — but still sizeable! — Gems, and nine diamonds of a half-carat or less.
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