The first precious stone was taken by the British monarchy, which remain in the possession of Queen Elizabeth.
In the more than a century that has passed since the Cullinan diamond was found the industry has undergone seismic shifts and is currently struggling under the weight of a global price slump.
The tiny mining town of Cullinan is in the news after an enormous diamond was discovered at the site that produced the largest gem-quality rough diamond ever found.
The diamond industry’s suffering has been driven in part by a lower demand for the gems in both the jewelry and industrial sectors and concerns over the trade of conflict diamonds which even major traders have been implicated in.
The discovery comes as a welcome boost to the Petra mining company, who saw their shares soar up over 7 percent as news of the discovery broke, helping the miners recover from a 16-year low.
A release issued on Petra Dimaonds website read: “Petra Diamonds Limited is pleased to confirm that it recovered a 425.10 carat D colour Type II gem quality diamond earlier today at its Cullinan Diamond Mine.
“This recovery further demonstrates the prevalence of these types of stones in the Cullinan orebody as well as the ability of the mine’s plant to recover the full spectrum of diamonds. The stone is expected to be sold during Q4 FY 2019.
“The Company will report production and sales results for the quarter ending 31 March 2019 on Monday 15th April.”
The company are hopeful that the find, which suggests there are more extraordinarily large stones to be found at the site, will encourage investors to channel funds into their mines.
The original Cullinan diamond was cut into several stones, the largest two of which were set into the crown jewels of the English monarchy. The Cullinan diamond was originally intended for commercial sale but after two years on the market had gone unsold. At that time the colonial government that controlled the Transvaal decided to present the stone to King Edward VII, King of the United Kingdom, who had it cut by Asscher Brothers in Amsterdam.
The Cullinan produced 9 major stones of 1,055.89 carats in total, and 96 minor brilliants weighing 7.55 carats.