Places to Visit in Pretoria: Cullinan Premier Diamond Mine

by GuidesFinder Team

The Premier Mine is an underground diamond mine owned by Petra Diamonds. It is situated in the town of Cullinan, 40 kilometres east of Pretoria, Gauteng Province, South Africa. Established in 1902, it was renamed the Cullinan Diamond Mine in November 2003 in celebration of its centenary. The mine rose to prominence in 1905, when the Cullinan Diamond — at the time the largest gem diamond ever — was discovered here. It is also the only significant source of blue diamonds in the world.

De Beers, the world's biggest diamond producer, said on Thursday 22 November 2007 it had sold its historic Cullinan mine to a consortium led by Petra Diamonds.

The Cullinan Diamond is the largest rough gem-quality diamond ever found, at 3,106.75 carats (621.35 g).[1] It was found by Frederick Wells, surface manager of the Premier Diamond Mining Company in Cullinan, Gauteng, South Africa, on January 25, 1905. The stone was named after Sir Thomas Cullinan, the owner of the diamond mine.

In May 2008, a sparkling shield-shaped 101.27 carats (20.25 g) diamond (about the size of a pingpong ball) mined from the Premier Mine sold for more than $6.2 million at Christie's in Hong Kong. Cut from a 460 carats (92 g) rough, the shield-shaped gem boasts 92 brilliant facets. While internally flawless, the stone has a slight imperfection on the surface that is imperceptible to the human eye, the auction house said. It is the largest colourless diamond to appear on the auction market in the last 18 years, Christie's said. Only three colourless diamonds of more than 100 carats (20 g) have appeared at auction. All were sold in Geneva. Naming rights were granted to the new owner.[1]

In September 2009, a 507-carat (101 g) diamond was found, and is ranked as one of the 20 biggest high quality diamonds ever discovered.[2][3] Petra Diamonds sold the 507-carat (101 g) diamond for $35.3 million on February 26, 2010, breaking a record as the highest price ever paid for a rough diamond