June 30, 2012

Queen's private diamond collection to go on display in London

The Queen's private diamond collection is to go on display at Buckingham Palace, in what is seen as another marker to her diamond jubilee.

More than 10,000 diamonds will be on show this week to celebrate Queen Elizabeth's 60 years on the throne, culminating in a star studded collection of priceless heirlooms that have been accumulated over her reign.

The exhibition is running from June 30 up until July 8, and then again from July 31 up until October 7, showing pieces of her priceless collection that she has worn in Britain and on tour abroad.

Some of the most famous pieces include Queen Victoria’s small diamond crown which, despite its size, features more than 1,100 diamonds.

A gemstone that was discovered in South Africa in 1905 and was so large that a clerk working at the mine initially threw it away, assuming it was a worthless crystal. An easy mistake to make, of course.

Eventually, though, the stone weighing 3,106 carats in its rough state was presented to King Edward VII who decided to have it cut and polished.

It produced nine principal stones and 96 small brilliant diamonds. The two main gems, the largest colorless and flawless cut diamonds in the world, were set in the Sovereign’s Scepter and Imperial State Crown.

More recently, Queen Elizabeth was gifted the Williamson Diamond in 1947 by Canadian geologist and royalist John Thorburn Williamson, and it is considered the finest pink diamond ever discovered.

For more information on the exhibition, please visit http://www.royalcollection.org/