Cutting the Cullinan Diamond
The King entrusted the cutting of the rough diamond to Abraham and Joseph Asscher who owned the famous Royal Asscher Diamond Company in Amsterdam. The skill of diamond cutting is complicated work consisting of cutting, polishing, setting and cleaving. The Asscher brothers studied the giant sized rough diamond for three months before making the final decision of where the diamond should be cut. On February 10, 1908 Joseph Asscher prepared himself for the greatest responsibility of his life - the cleaving of the giant Cullinan rough diamond. The tension, pressure and stress on Joseph Asscher can hardly be imagined. He was responsible for cutting the biggest and most expensive diamond in the world and a mistake in this task would, literally, cost a fortune. Joseph Asscher placed the cleaving blade at the prearranged point of the diamond and struck the blade with his hammer. To his horror the cleaving blade broke. Thankfully, the diamond was unharmed. A special, extra large, cleaving blade was obtained. The second attempt was understandably even more tense than the first. Failure was unthinkable. Joseph Asscher struck the rough diamond again but this time it split perfectly into three large sections. These sections were closely studied and then divided into nine principal diamonds. The skill of the Asscher brothers ensured that each of the diamonds had a suitable cut and shape to give the most beautiful results in respect of their lustre, transparency, refraction and dispersion of light. The Polishing process began on March 3, 1908 and took a period of eight months to complete.
Information about the Premier Diamond Mine
The Premier Diamond Mine is a South African underground diamond mine which was established at the end of Second Boer War (South Africa War 1899-1902) in 1902.The land was originally part of the Cornelis Minnaar Farm. Thomas Cullinan (later Sir Thomas) bought the farm for the sum £52,000. His company was first registered on 6th November 1902 as the Premier Syndicate but re-registered on the 1st December 1902 as the Premier (Transvaal) Diamond Mining Company Ltd. The village of Cullinan lies 40 kilometres east of Pretoria in the Gauteng Province of South Africa and was established in 1903 to provide mine housing and services for Premier Mine. The famous Cullinan Diamond was found at the Premier Diamond Mine in 1905. In 1917, the De Beers Consolidated Mines acquired a controlling interest in the Premier mine.