When the very first incision was attempted in the Cullinan Diamond back in 1908, the blade broke but the diamond remained intact, such was its size and strength. In fact, the man who discovered what would become the world’s most famous (and still the largest, at a whopping 3,106 metric carats) raw diamond thought his colleagues were playing a practical joke due to its unprecedented size. The raw diamond was gifted to King Edward VII and, once split into smaller stones, would end up in several iconic pieces in The Royal Collection, including two large diamonds that take centre stage in the Royal Sceptre – known as the Great Star of Africa and still the largest clear-cut diamond in the word – and the Imperial State Crown.
While the general public may only get a passing glimpse of the Crown Jewels from time to time (while under heavy surveillance), heritage British jeweller Boodles is bringing you one step closer with an extra-special High Jewellery showcase. The Peace of Mined collection is the result of a ‘long-held ambition’ of Boodles: to launch a range of diamond jewellery sourced from the prestigious Cullinan mine.
The luxury British jewellery brand first paid a visit to the world-famous Cullinan mine in 1977 (the year of the Queen’s Silver Jubilee), headed by chairman of the business, captain Anthony Wainwright. In February 2022, Anthony’s son, Michael Wainwright, and granddaughter, Honour, literally followed in his footsteps when they visited the mine and returned with some rather fabulous stones that would make up the touring Peace of Mined collection.
‘The designs [in the collection] weave together inspiration from the British Crown Jewels, Boodles’ own heritage and the facet patterns of a brilliant-cut diamond to create a unique aesthetic,’ commented Rebecca Hawkins, head of design at Boodles.
Boodles is renowned for its technical skill – especially when it comes to diamonds – and magnificent, often whimsical designs. The beauty of the Peace of Mined collection is that it is a subtle nod to the Platinum Jubilee, while retaining Boodles’ high jewellery aesthetic, with the added benefit of using diamonds sourced directly from the prestigious South African mine.
The designs – which include bracelets, rings, earrings and statement necklaces – take inspiration from the Crown Jewels, in particular the Queen Mary Fringe Tiara, worn by Her Majesty on her wedding day in 1947. This magnificent diamond tiara was loaned to the Queen by her mother as her “something borrowed”, and it was originally commissioned by Queen Mary in 1919, resetting diamonds that she had received in a necklace as a wedding gift from Queen Victoria.
Continued Rebecca: ‘The individual motifs of the Fringe Tiara offer remarkable modernity, which, when layered with the geometric patterns of a brilliant-cut diamond, creates a look which is both fresh and timeless.’
The Peace of Mined collection will be touring Boodles stores, including The Royal Exchange. Keep an eye on @boodlesjewellery for more information.