How to Send a 3,106 Carat Diamond by Post!

The world's largest diamond was mailed to England to avoid being stolen

By on July 13th, 2007 13:03 GMT
If you're thinking of sending a huge diamond around the world without worrying that it might get stolen, you might not consider the post your first choice. But this is how the world's largest diamond was transported from South Africa to England.

It's true, it happened in 1905, but would one really consider this an option? Well, the British Royal Family... The Cullinan Diamond, the largest one ever discovered on Earth, was sent undercover from where it was found to where is was cut into 11 large stones and a number of smaller ones by Joseph Asscher, one of the most famous jewelers in the world.

First of all, do you know what 3,106 carats mean? Let's put it this way: the carat weight measures the mass of a diamond. One carat is defined as 200 milligrams (about 0.007 ounce avoirdupois). If you already calculated this, you must be impressed. If not, I'll tell you the result: 621 grams.

That's how much the largest diamond in the world weighed before it was cut. It was transported by mail, in an ordinary box, to avoid attracting the attention of possible thieves. This stunt was orchestrated by the British Intelligence, who even staged an official shipment to attract attention. They escorted a fake stone with all the honors and the guards to a steamer ship, which supposedly brought it to England.

The Cullinan was purchased for $800,000.00 as a present for King Edward VII's 66th birthday. One of the diamonds cut from it, Cullinan I or the Great Star of Africa, was formerly the largest gem-quality cut diamond at 530.2 carats and was mounted into The Scepter with the Cross - also known as St Edward's Scepter.

The scepter was the symbol of the monarchy and was worn in the right hand at coronations, as it can be seen in many paintings of the kings and queens of England.

Now I'm not sure anyone would attempt repeating this trick today, but on the other hand, no one can say for sure they didn't.

1 Comment