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April 12, 2016 4:13 pm  #1

TBF-QM-38 The Cullinan Necklace

38. The Cullinan Necklace

   The cutting of the Cullinan stone by Asscher in 1908 produced some 96 smaller stones and fragments,[1] which have become known as the “cleavings”,[2] which were also presented to Queen Mary by the Government of South Africa in 1910. Some of stones were used in the scrolling foliate frames of ‘The Cullinan V Brooch’ and ‘The Cullinan VIII’ brooch. Those that were not used in these brooches were set into this necklace, in the form of a platinum pendant and chain.

   It was worn on occasion by Queen Mary,[3] and has since been inherited by The Queen, although Field states that she has never worn this necklace as “it gets in the soup”.[4]

1. Roberts, The Queen’s Diamonds, p. 161
2. Field, The Queen’s Jewels, p. 72 – 77
3. Roberts, The Queen’s Diamonds, p. 170; Field, The Queen’s Jewels, p. 77
4. Field, The Queen’s Jewels, p. 77


July 10, 2016 12:56 am  #2

Re: TBF-QM-38 The Cullinan Necklace

38. The Cullinan Necklace
   It has been assumed that Queen Mary received all the "cleavings" or "chippings" from the Cullinan. Ian Balfour in his book Famous Diamonds (5th edition) has written otherwise.

   "One of the 96 small brilliants cut from the Cullinan was exhibited in London in June 1932. It was named the 'Romyn' after Jacob Romijn (later Romyn) who had worked in Amsterdam, first as a cleaver then as a diamond broker; in the latter capacity he came into contact with many of the leading firms including Messrs I. J. Asscher. Jacob Romijn was one of the joint founders of the first trade union in the diamond industry. Subsequently, he became involved in the diamond industry in South Africa as well as in that country's political situation in which he had dealings with General Louis Botha."[1]
   "Later two others, a marquise weighing 2.5 carats and a brilliant weighing 1.5 carats, were displayed at the exhibition 'The Jewel Box 1966' arranged in Johannesburg by De Beers to commemorate the centenary of the discovery of diamonds in South Africa. They had been a gift to General Botha. Presumably the General must also have received a third gem because in April 1977 a marquise weighing 1.58 carats, mounted in a plain gold ring, which he had presented to his daughter Helena, the late Mrs de Waal, on her seventeenth birthday, was auctioned in Johannesburg. Known as the De Waal diamond,  it was bought by a Johannesburg jeweller for 25,000 rand--more than three times the estimated price. An official of the De Beers diamond laboratory was able to examine the stone and described it as being 'without a shadow of doubt the purest form of diamond I have ever encountered'."[2]
   At the time of writing no primary sources have been discovered as to how the "chippings" were used by Queen Mary.
1. Balfour, Ian. Famous Diamonds, 5th edition. Woodbridge, Suffolk: Antique Collectors Club, 2009,  p. 75
2. Ibid.


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