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Comment 29 JUNE 2012

Queen's diamonds go on display

In honour of her Jubilee year, the Queen has helped select more than 10,000 diamonds for a dazzling exhibition at Buckingham Palace.

On Saturday, the doors will open on the special display which includes many of the monarch’s personal jewels.

It also features gems used and worn on state occasions by different sovereigns over the last three centuries.

The impressive collection includes pieces made from the Cullinan Diamond – the world's largest – which weighed 3,106 carats as an uncut stone.

It was discovered in South Africa in 1905, and was so large a clerk working at the mine initially threw it away, assuming it was a worthless crystal.

Jewellery containing seven of the nine principal stones cut from the diamond are reunited for the first time in one exhibition.

They include the Cullinan III and IV Brooch, worn by the Queen at the National Service of Thanksgiving for her 60 year reign, at St Paul's Cathedral earlier this month.

The public will also be able to see jewellery commissioned by Queen Victoria – the only other monarch to celebrate a Diamond Jubilee – including her coronation necklace.

The necklace was also worn by Queen Alexandra, Queen Mary, Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, and Queen Elizabeth II at their coronations.

Queen Victoria’s crown is also included in the display, which despite its small size includes more than 1,100 diamonds.

The monarch was frequently pictured wearing it, including in her official Diamond Jubilee portrait.

Diamonds: A Jubilee Celebration will run from June 30 until July 8, and then from July 31 until October 7.

Caroline de Guitaut, curator of a new exhibition at Buckingham Palace, in which jewels collected by six monarchs over three centuries will go on display to mark the Queen's Diamond jubilee this summer.

They include Queen Victoria's Small Diamond Crown which was the most recognisable jewel of Queen Victoria's old age. 

The Diamond Diadem Tiara, worn by The Queen on British and Commonwealth stamps, which also features on some issues of coinage and bank notes 

Caroline de Guitaut, Curator of Royal Collections, holds the Delhi Durbar Tiara, which was loaned to the Duchess of Cornwall in 2005 

A closer look at the Girls of Great Britain and Ireland tiara 

A Commonwealth Broach on display 

The emerald and diamond stomacher designed for the Delhi Durbar 

The Cullinan V brooch 


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