Boodles & The Cullinan Mine

Where did your diamonds come from?

No, we don’t simply mean which boutique — or whether you picked them up (or they were picked out for you) in Mayfair or Harrods.
We mean where on earth — or more precisely where in the earth — were they discovered? Wouldn’t it be fascinating to know?

Unfortunately, most stones don’t carry a birthmark. Their purity is part of their charm.  But we think this kind of thing matters. After all, jewellery is intrinsically personal.
And as we say, there is Always a Story… So it’s a great pleasure to announce our new partnership with Petra Diamonds.
And in particular, with their world-famous Cullinan Mine in South Africa.

Unfortunately, most stones don’t carry a birthmark. Their purity is part of their charm.  But we think this kind of thing matters. After all, jewellery is intrinsically personal. And as we say, there is Always a Story… So it’s a great pleasure to write about our new partnership with Petra Diamonds.

And in particular, with their world-famous Cullinan Mine in South Africa.

The Cullinan Mine external shot
The Cullinan Mine, South Africa

The Cullinan mine is very special to Boodles. It’s a place visited by our Chairman’s father, the late Anthony Wainwright, during one of his many expeditions overseas in search of fine stones. He found it magical, laden with mysteries — and shared tales of the jewels in its depths with his grandson, Jody, when Jody Wainwright was just a small boy.

When Anthony died, his son Nicholas followed on in his footsteps, visiting the mine in the mid-1990s. He returned equally enchanted — and his experience of the Cullinan Mine inspired Jody with a new suite of legends.

The Cullinan Mine external shot
The Cullinan Mine, South Africa

The Cullinan mine is very special to Boodles. It’s a place visited by our Chairman’s father, the late Anthony Wainwright, during one of his many expeditions overseas in search of fine stones. He found it magical, laden with mysteries — and shared tales of the jewels in its depths with his grandson, Jody, when Jody Wainwright was just a small boy.

When Anthony died, his son Nicholas followed on in his footsteps, visiting the mine in the mid-1990s. He returned equally enchanted — and his experience of the Cullinan Mine inspired Jody with a new suite of legends.

So it’s no surprise that today, as Boodles Director of Precious Gemstones, Jody Wainwright has established a lasting connection with the
Cullinan Mine that his father and his grandfather would be very proud of.

So it’s no surprise that today, as Boodles Director of Precious Gemstones, Jody Wainwright has established a lasting connection with the Cullinan Mine that his father and his grandfather would be very proud of.

In diamond-lore, the Cullinan Mine is a true legend. Not only is it the most important active source of very rare blue diamonds, it’s also where the Cullinan Diamond was found in 1905; still the largest rough gem diamond ever discovered, at a staggering 3,106 carats.

That stone — named after Thomas Cullinan, the Johannesburg prospector who discovered these diamond fields in 1898 — was presented to King Edward VII in 1907 as a 66th birthday present and symbol of South Africa’s loyalty to the Crown. It was cut into nine major stones and 96 smaller ones; the greatest, aptly named the Great Star of Africa (and weighing in at slightly over 530 carats) found a home in The Sovereign’s Sceptre, to which it was added in 1910 for George V. While the Lesser Star of Africa — at ‘only’ 317 carats — was set in The Imperial State Crown in 1937.

The Great Star remains the largest top quality white diamond in the world. (You can see them both in the Tower of London.)

The Cullinan Diamond
The Cullinan Diamond
The Cullinan Diamond
The Cullinan Diamond

In diamond-lore, the Cullinan Mine is a true legend. Not only is it the most important active source of very rare blue diamonds, it’s also where the Cullinan Diamond was found in 1905; still the largest rough gem diamond ever discovered, at a staggering 3,106 carats.

That stone — named after Thomas Cullinan, the Johannesburg prospector who discovered these diamond fields in 1898 — was presented to King Edward VII in 1907 as a 66th birthday present and symbol of South Africa’s loyalty to the Crown. It was cut into nine major stones and 96 smaller ones; the greatest, aptly named the Great Star of Africa (and weighing in at slightly over 530 carats) found a home in The Sovereign’s Sceptre, to which it was added in 1910 for George V. While the Lesser Star of Africa — at ‘only’ 317 carats — was set in The Imperial State Crown in 1937.

The Great Star remains the largest top quality white diamond in the world. (You can see them both in the Tower of London.)

And the significance?
By working closely with our friends at Petra Diamonds, we are able to offer
Boodles customers beautiful stones that we can categorically say come from the Cullinan Mine.

And the significance?
By working closely with our friends at Petra Diamonds, we are able to offer Boodles customers beautiful stones that we can categorically say come from the Cullinan Mine.

NIcholas and Jody Wainwright
Nicholas and Jody Wainwright assessing the rough stones
Boodles rough diamonds
Rough and polished Cullinan Mine diamonds

So whether in a ring, a necklace, some earrings or a bracelet — if you see the word ‘BOODLES ’ and the letter ‘ C ’ beside it, you know you’re looking at a diamond with a very special pedigree. One that comes from the same source as some of the most important Crown Jewels; a place famous for yielding truly fabulous diamonds, including ‘ the whitest diamond ’ we at Boodles have ever seen.

Thanks to our new partnership, you won't have to go further than a Boodles showroom to find a Cullinan Mine diamond of your own. And as far as the stones themselves are concerned, after a billion or so years underground, what lovelier place to turn up?