Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Queen of diamonds

Stunning jewels created from the largest diamond ever found are to be collected together in public for the first time in a unique exhibition at Buckingham Palace. They include a brooch containing gems weighing 94.4 carats and 63.3 carats and another heart-shaped piece featuring an 18.8 carat jewel. The total weight of the gems cut from the Cullinan was 1,055.8 carats.

Diamond Queen: Her Majesty wears the Imperial State Crown and
holds the Sovereign's Sceptre, both of which contain stones cut
from the Cullinan Diamond in this picture from her Coronation.

The two largest cuts from the Cullinan Diamond were set into
the Sovereign's Sceptre, left, and the Imperial State Crown, right. 

The third and fourth largest of the gems - a pear-shaped drop of 
94.4 carats (III) and the cushion-shaped 63.3 carat IV. As well as
the brooch, the 11.5 carat Cullinan VI has been used in a number 
of pieces including a diadem.(right) 

Cullinan V Brooch This heart-shaped stone weighs 18.8 carats and
is mounted in a fine radiating platinum web with a scrolling millegrain 
and pave-set border of brilliant diamonds.

Cullinan IX The smallest of the nine stones, weighing 4.4 carats, was 
set into a platinum ring for Queen Mary in 1911. 

A glass model replica of the Cullinan diamond in its original rough state. 

The diamond was also cut to produce this Cullinan III and IV Brooch, commissioned by Queen Mary in 1911, and the Delhi Durbar 
Necklace and Cullinan Pendant.

The Coronation necklace and earrings, worn by the Queen on her 
Coronation in 1953, left, and right, the South Africa necklace and 
bracelet, a gift from the Government of South Africa to the then 
Princess Elizabeth on her 21st birthday. 

This small diamond crown, as worn by Queen Victoria for her 
official Diamond Jubilee portrait in 1870, will also go on display. 
Made by Garrard, the crown was not made from the Cullinan Diamond. 

She has worn the Imperial State Crown throughout her 60-year reign
on occasions such as the state opening of parliament. 

The Queen's favourite tiara, given to her from her grandmother, 
Queen Mary, will be in the exhibition. Here, she is pictured 
wearing it in on state visits in 2011, left, and 1989, right.

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