Trusting the Post

This is from yesterday’s I newspaper:

110 years ago, a huge diamond was found at the Premier 2 mine near Pretoria. It weighed over 600g, the largest ever found and named after the mine’s owner Thomas Cullinan. The Transvaal government bought it for £150,000 and voted to present it to Edward VII. To get it safely to its destination, it was taken by armed detectives to Cape Town, then extra men guarded it on the ship. Or that was the official story.

The real diamond was posted to London in a simple box with a 3 shilling stamp, then taken secretly to Amsterdam in the pocket of Dutch diamond expert Joseph Asscher to be cut into 9 stones. The Cullinan I, II, III and IV now form part of the British crown jewels.


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