How’s this for a tough gift to beat: on November 9, 1907, King Edward VII received the Cullinan diamond, the largest rough gem-quality diamond ever found, as a present for his 66th birthday.

The diamond was found by a miner named Thomas Evan Powell in Cullinan, South Africa in January 1905. It was purchased by the Transvaal government, which presented it to King Edward. He, in turn, sent it off to Asscher Brothers in Amsterdam, who cut it first into three large parts, and then into nine large gem-quality stones and a number of smaller fragments. The largest of the gems, Cullinan I, was dubbed the Great Star of Africa and was the largest polished diamond in the world until the Golden Jubilee Diamond was discovered in 1985. Cullinan I was mounted in the Sceptre with the Cross. The second largest diamond, Cullinan II, found its way onto the Imperial State Crown, which is worn ever year by the Queen during the State Opening of Parliament.

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