Queen jewellery: A look at ‘Granny’s Chips’ worth over £50million

BBC reports on tributes to Queen for Platinum Jubilee

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To mark a staggering 60 years on the throne, the Queen pulled out all the stops with her jewellery for the Buckingham Palace balcony appearance in 2012. The Queen wore an ice blue outfit which she perfectly accessorised with two fittingly enormous diamonds, the Cullinan III and the Cullinan IV, which, when worn together as a brooch, are known fondly by the monarch as ‘Granny’s Chips’.

Queen Mary wore the Cullinan III and Cullinan IV diamonds for her coronation at Westminster Abbey in 1911.

And in light of her granddaughter’s coronation in 1953, Mary gifted her the diamonds. The Queen has since worn them on several key occasions.

Daniel O’Farrell; Founder, Bespoke Jeweller and Diamond Expert at DC Jewellery, told Express.co.uk the two diamonds are “worth over £50million”.

He said: “In 1910, the South African government gifted Queen Mary Cullinans III and IV, as well as the rest of the collection of the nine big Cullinan diamonds and all the small chippings.

“Ever the innovator when it came to jewellery, Queen Mary set Cullinans III and IV on to her 1911 coronation crown, later on to her Delhi Durbar Tiara, used them as pendants on her Coronation Necklaces and her Ladies of India emerald necklace and wore them as a brooch to numerous important family functions, including the wedding of the then Princess Elizabeth.

“Queen Elizabeth, who inherited this astounding brooch from Queen Mary, fondly nicknamed it ‘Granny’s Chips’.

The Cullinan Diamond is the largest gem-quality rough diamond ever found.

The huge stone took eight months to be cut, despite workers toiling for 14 hours a day.

Cullinan I, the largest stone cut from the gem, is also known as the Great Star of Africa and it is set in the Sovereign’s Sceptre with Cross. It weighs an astonishing 530.2 carats.

Cullinan II, or the Second Star of Africa, takes pride of place in the Imperial State Crown and it weighs in at 317.4 carats.

When worn together, ‘Granny’s Chips’ weigh in excess of 150 carats.

Mr O’Farrell added: “The original Cullinan Diamond was discovered in 1905 in a mine in South Africa.

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“Initially dismissed as a worthless crystal, further inspection revealed it to be the largest rough diamond ever found, weighing 3106 carats and measuring nearly four inches long and more than two inches in width and height.

“Numerous experts believe that it was actually part of a much bigger diamond that was never discovered, as indicated by the stone having one flat side.

“The rough diamond was presented to King Edward VII, who commissioned Asscher’s of Amsterdam to cut up the stone.

“It ended up as nine mesmerising diamonds, 96 small brilliants and around 10 carats of smaller unpolished stones.”

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