Cullinan Diamond Mine – Surface Tour
Cullinan Diamond Mine has given the world some of the most remarkable stones ever discovered.
Located in the Victorian town named after it's most famous resident, Cullinan is a breathtaking 45-minute drive from South Africa's capital, Pretoria.
Renowned as a source of large, high-quality gem diamonds, including Type II stones, as well as being the world’s most important source of very rare blue diamonds.
Cullinan earned its place in history with the discovery of the Cullinan diamond in 1905, the largest rough gem diamond ever found at 3,106.75 carats was found only a mere 9 m from the surface.
The jewel was named after the mine's owner and sold to the South African government who presented it to King Edward VII on his 66th birthday. The largest diamond the world has ever known was cut into nine major stones and approximately 96 smaller diamonds.
Many of the world’s most famous diamonds herald from Cullinan, and it continues to produce world-class diamonds.
Since the discovery of diamond pipes in the world, it was established that the Cullinan Diamond Pipe is the oldest pipe in the world.
This is the only working diamond mine in the world that allow visitors the opportunity to visit underground operations.
Join us on either the surface tour or a underground tour of the mine.
ABOUT THE SURFACE TOUR
- After being collected from your Hotel we make journey to Cullinan.
- Starting in the display room with a 10 min introduction video.
- Viewing replicas of famous diamonds.
- Mock-up tunnel-guide explains construction of tunnels underground.
- Then we are transported around the surface of the mine for a in depth overview of the mining operations.
- We will view shafts in operation - where kimberlite rock is hoisted from 500 m underground to the surface.
- A look out point of the big hole where volcanic eruptions took place.
- After finishing the surface tour of the mine, you will get the opportunity to visit the Cullinan Diamond Mine Jeweler for an unforgettable diamond and jewelry shopping experience.
Cullinan Diamond Mine, originally owned by Sir Thomas Cullinan in 1903.
Owned by a three way partnership consortium, lead by London-listed group Petra Diamonds, black economic empowerment group Thembinkosi Mining Investments and Saudi-based investment company Al Rajhi Holdings, the Cullinan Diamond Mine is expected to produce one million carats per year over the next several decades.
Historically, Cullinan Diamond Mine has generated 25% of the worlds diamonds over 400 carats. This famous landmark is the source of the most famous diamond ever unearthed – the 3 106 carat Cullinan Diamond found in 1905. The stone was so large it was cut into nine major pieces and 96 smaller brilliant cut diamonds. These diamonds have since gone on to create their own legends.
The main piece of the polished gem, named Cullinan I, or The Great Star of Africa, was the biggest of the collection and weighed an astonishing 530.2 carats. The Great Star of Africa is displayed in the head of England's royal Scepter while the Lesser Star of Africa, or Cullinan II weighing 317.4 carats, forms part of the British crown jewels' Imperial State Crown. Both South African-mined diamonds are exhibited at the Tower of London.
Sir Thomas Major Cullinan remained involved with operations after the significant discovery until 1923 when he resigned as Chairman and as a prominent board member, selling his shares to move on to other ventures. Cullinan died in 1936 but his mine continued to unearth the largest and most famous gems ever known. In 2003, to commemorate the world's most famous diamond mine, the 100-year-old mine was officially renamed the Cullinan Diamond Mine. To this day, the Cullinan Diamond Mine remains a major diamond producer.
Polished Gem – 530.20 Carats
The Cullinan Diamond is the world's greatest diamond ever found. At 3,106.75 carats it remains the largest clean white diamond known to-date. The stone produced nine primary gems and 96 smaller stones. The Cullinan I, or The Great Star of Africa, weighs 530.2 carats and is displayed in the head of England's royal Sceptre. The South African-mined diamond is exhibited at the Tower of London.
Polished Gem – 317.40 Carats
Better known as the Lesser Star of Africa, the Cullinan II weighs a remarkable 317.4 carats and is considered the second largest top-quality polished stone in the world. The diamond forms part of the British crown Jewels' Imperial State Crown and is on display at the Tower of London.
The Golden Jubilee Diamond
Rough Weight – 755.50 Carats | Polished Gem – 545.65 Carats
Discovered in the late 1980′s, The Golden Jubilee is the second largest rough stone produced by Cullinan Diamond Mine. Named after the 50th anniversary ascent of Thailand's royal couple, King Bhumibol and Queen Sirakit, the golden yellow gem resides at the Royal Museum at Pimmimak, Bangkok.
The Jonker Diamond
Rough Weight – 726.50 Carats | Polished Gem – 126.65 Carats
Johannes Makani, a working hand for 62-year-old poor diamond digger Johannes Jacobus Jonker changed the family's fortune in 1934 when he uncovered a 726 carat stone. The blue-white Jonker Diamond was bought a year later by famous New York jeweller, Harry Winston. The designer polished the gem into 13 pieces. The Jonker I, the biggest of the 13 pieces.
The Centenary Diamond
Rough Weight – 599.00 Carats | Polished Gem – 273.85 Carats
The discovery of this diamond in 1986 was kept a secret for nearly two years before being announced at the diamond producer's 100-year celebratory banquet in 1988. The Centenary Diamond was only revealed in its final, modified, heart-shaped form in 1991. The flawless stone is one of the largest top-colour diamonds ever found, surpassed only by the Cullinan I and the Cullinan II.
The Niarchos Diamond
Rough Weight – 426.50 Carats | Polished Gem – 128.25 Carats
Millionaire Stavros Niarchos purchased the Cullinan Diamond Mine's next discovery in 1954 for his wife at an extravagant $2,000,000. Before the 426,5 carat gem was fashioned into a sizeable pear-shaped stone and two smaller stones by Harry Winston's Chief Cutter, Bernard de Haan. The craftsman nicknamed the larger of the trio the Ice Queen. He claimed that the rough stone would have been hard to spot in a bucket of ice cubes.
The Taylor-Burton Diamond
Rough Weight – 240.80 Carats | Polished Gem – 69.42 Carats
In 1966, a sizeable 240,8 carat rock was recovered from the Cullinan Diamond Mine. The rough diamond was sent to New York to be polished by jeweller, Harry Winston, into two pieces. The larger 162 carat pear-shaped diamond, which had been set by Cartier into a neck piece, went up for auction in 1972 where legendary star, Richard Burton successfully bid for it. The diamond necklace was to be a 40th birthday gift for his wife, Elizabeth Taylor. The Taylor-Burton is currently owned by Lebanese diamond dealer, Robert Mouawad.
The Premier Rose Diamond
Rough Weight – 353.90 Carats | Polished Gem – 137.02 Carats
The 1978 Premier diamond was acquired by Jacob Mouw from the Mouw Diamond Cutting Works and called the Premier Rose after his wife Rose. The diamond was one of the largest colourless stones in the world before it was cut into three spectacular pieces. The larger of the three, at 137,02 carats retained the Premier Rose name, while the 31,48 carat stone was renamed Little Rose and the 2,11 carat gem was renamed Baby Rose – together, the diamonds are known as the Premier Rose Family.