Nov
09

Today in Smithsonian History: November 9, 1977

The Victoria-Transvaal Diamond, cut from a 240-carat rough stone found at the Premier Mine in Transvaal, South Africa, in 1951. (Photo by Chip Clark)

The Victoria-Transvaal Diamond, cut from a 240-carat rough stone found at the Premier Mine in Transvaal, South Africa, in 1951. (Photo by Chip Clark)

November 9, 1977 The Victoria-Transvaal Diamond, at that time the largest and most valuable gem gift to the Smithsonian since the Hope Diamond, goes on display. The gift of Leonard and Victoria Wilkinson, the  pear-shaped gem weighs 67.89 carats, and is set into a yellow gold necklace containing 108 diamonds. The Wilkinsons also donated seven other large diamonds.

The Victoria-Transvaal Diamond was cut from a 240-carat rough stone found at the Premier Mine in Transvaal, South Africa, in 1951. The diamond, with a champagne-color, was originally cut to 75 carats, but then later recut to 67.89 carats for better proportions. Total weight of the 106 diamonds in the necklace is approximately 45 carats. The Victoria-Transvaal diamond was worn in the 1952 movie, “Tarzan’s Savage Fury.”

52-poster

Courtesy of Smithsonian Institution Archives


Posted: 9 November 2017
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