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Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

Department of Mineral Sciences

Carmen Lúcia Ruby

Cullinan Blue Diamond Necklace
      Photograph by Chip Clark. Gift of Stephen Silver, Stephen Silver Fine Jewelry, 2010.

The Cullinan Blue Diamond Necklace features a double-ribbon bow motif with nine sparkling and extremely rare blue diamonds. Along with the total of 5.57 carats of blue diamonds, 243 colorless diamonds were used to craft this "consolation" gift from the legendary South African diamond magnate, Thomas Cullinan, to his wife, after he promised to find for her the largest diamond in the world. Although he did discover the massive, nearly flawless 3,106-carat Cullinan Diamond in 1905, which was given to England’s King Edward VII, he instead created the strikingly beautiful Cullinan Blue Diamond Necklace that he presented to his wife, Annie.

In the years that followed, the necklace was passed down to the first daughter in each successive generation, ending with Thomas Cullinan’s great-granddaughter, Anne Robinson. In 1992 she sold the family heirloom to Stephen Silver of Stephen Silver Fine Jewelry, Menlo Park, CA, whose aspiration was to see the necklace as a part of the National Gem Collection. This goal was realized Sept. 27, 2010, when the Cullinan Blue Diamond Necklace went on exhibit in the Harry Winston Gallery, adjacent to the Hope Diamond at the National Museum of Natural History.

"I'm proud to have given this gift to the National Gem and Mineral Collection, to allow visitors to the Museum the opportunity to view and learn the history of this extraordinary necklace," said Silver. The Cullinan Blue Diamond Necklace will remain on public view in the Winston Gallery through the spring of 2011 before moving to its home in the National Gem Gallery.

Cullinan Blue Diamond Necklace
Photograph by Chip Clark.

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