The charming little village of Cullinan that has managed to hold on to much of its mine village character, it's historic stone and corrugated iron mine workers houses, offices and churches a throwback to the mining times of the early 1900s it lies 30 kilometres east of Pretoria, and is a must on anyone’s itinerary when in this part of the world.
Cullinan is famous for the discovery of what became known as the Cullinan Diamond – the largest rough gem-quality diamond ever found. The stone was named after Sir Thomas Cullinan who owned the diamond mine at the time. The stone, bought by the then Transvaal government was presented to King Edward VII and then cut into three large parts, an action deemed rather risky and difficult, but one that gave rise to the Great Star of Africa. – the largest polished gem from the stone, also known as Cullinan 1. The second largest gem from the Cullinan stone, known as the Lesser Star of Africa, is the third largest polished diamond in the world and part of the British crown jewels, on display in the Tower of London.
Cullinan's open-cast mine is among the biggest in the world, three times the size of the more famous Kimberley Big Hole.
Tours of this mine can be done as a motorised tour called the “Journey of a Diamond” which follows the route of the diamond from the shaft to the waste dumps. The other tour that you can choose from is the underground tour. This tour is 4 hour in a working mine.
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