Located 20 minutes from Pretoria, the enchanting mining town of Cullinan is home to the Premier Diamond Mine, also known as the Cullinan Mine, which was discovered in 1890.
In 1905 the largest rough gem diamond ever to be found was discovered here - weighing in at 3,106.75 carats. The diamond was cut into many stones including 2 very large diamonds known as the Great Star of Africa and the Second Star of Africa which were given to King Edward VII on his 66th birthday in 1907. These two diamonds form part of the Crown Jewels of Britain.
The mine is also the only site in the world where blue diamonds have been found. In June 2014 a rare 122.52 carat blue diamond was found here - a magnificent example of the large, high quality diamonds for which the mine is known.
Its functioning open pit is four times larger than the well-known Big Hole in Kimberley. Today it remains a fully operational mine and produces 25 % of the entire world’s production of gem quality diamonds. It has a surface area of 42 hectares (equal to the size of about 40 soccer fields).
Experienced guides lead visitors on a walking surface tour that covers the history of the mine, how diamonds are extracted from the ground, the big hole, mine shaft and hoist room. Visitors will also view how diamonds are cut and polished. There is also an underground tour for the more adventurous visitors, where you will be fitted with safety clothes and equipment and transported 763m underground.
It is the only outlet in the world where visitors can buy the Cullinan Star Cut diamond, which is an unique 66 facet cut.
Cullinan village is quirky and quaint with a Victorian charm. It is lined with jacaranda trees, cottages with intricate wrought-iron work and picket fences, restaurants, museums and bric-a-brac shops all which make it a fascinating place to visit.