Discovery of the Cullinan Diamond


On Jan. 26, 1905, the largest diamond known to man was found in Pretoria, South Africa. Called the "Cullinan," the stone weighed an amazing 3,106 carats. Even Elizabeth Taylor couldn’t have worn it around her neck.

Joseph Asscher, a legendary diamond cutter in Amsterdam, was chosen to split the giant stone. He studied the diamond for six months before trying to divide it. On the appointed day, he asked to have a doctor standing by, in case he made a blunder.

After nearly shattering the diamond on his first hit, he succeeded on his second blow. The diamond fell neatly into two pieces. Asscher was so relieved he promptly fainted.

The Cullinan was ultimately cut into 106 separate diamonds. The largest is the 530-carat "Star of Africa," which is reputed to be the largest fine quality colorless diamond in the world. The gem was presented to King Edward VII by Transvaal Province, South Africa, and now rests in the Tower of London, along with the other Crown Jewels.

—Chip Wood

Bob Livingston

founder of Personal Liberty Digest™, is an ultra-conservative American author and editor of The Bob Livingston Letter™, in circulation since 1969. Bob has devoted much of his life to research and the quest for truth on a variety of subjects. Bob specializes in health issues such as nutritional supplements and alternatives to drugs, as well as issues of privacy (both personal and financial), asset protection and the preservation of freedom.