The Golden Jubilee Diamond and the Cullinan Diamond are two of the most famous diamonds in the world. Mined in South Africa in 1905, the Cullinan Diamond is the largest gem quality diamond ever mined, originally weighing 3,106.75 carats. It was gifted to King Edward VII of England and subsequently divided into a number of jewels, the largest nine of which remain with the British royal family. The Golden Jubilee Diamond is the world’s largest faceted diamond. It too hails from South Africa, and was unearthed in 1985. Originally a 755.5 carat rough, it now measures 545.67 carats.
Of these diamonds, the Golden Jubilee and three of the nine Cullinan jewels diamonds are cushion cut diamonds. The cushion cut was chosen for the Golden Jubilee in part because its rough was a dark unappealing brown. Fire from its new cut transformed the jewel into a saturated tawny hue. Cushion cuts were likely chosen for the three Cullinans as a way to impart brilliance while sacrificing as little rough as possible.
The remaining six Cullinan diamonds, including the largest, were shaped into pear cut diamonds, with the rest heart shaped or marquise cut diamonds. These styles are known as fancy brilliants, which promote the internal brightness of a diamond in shapes other than round. The largest of the diamonds, the Cullinan I, is 530.4 carats, making it the biggest faceted colorless diamond in the world.