The Millennium Dome referred to as The Dome, is the original name of a large dome-shaped building used to house the Millennium Experience, a major exhibition celebrating the beginning of the third millennium. It is the ninth largest building in the world by usable volume. Located on the Greenwich Peninsula in South East London, the exhibition was open to the public from 1 January to 31 December 2000; the project and exhibition was political and in spite of excellent customer feedback attracted half the 12 million customers its sponsors forecast, so was deemed a failure by the press. All the original exhibition elements were dismantled. In a 2005 report, the cost of selling the Dome and surrounding land and managing the Dome until the deal was closed was £28.7 million. The value of the 48 acres occupied by the Dome was estimated at £48 million, which could have been realised by demolishing the structure, but it was considered preferable to preserve the Dome; the structure itself still exists, it is now a key exterior feature of The O2.
The Prime Meridian passes the western edge of the Dome and the nearest London Underground station is North Greenwich on the Jubilee line. The dome is one of the largest of its type in the world. Externally, it appears as a large white marquee with twelve 100 m-high yellow support towers, one for each month of the year, or each hour of the clock face, representing the role played by Greenwich Mean Time. In plan view it is 365 m in diameter, it has become one of the United Kingdom's most recognizable landmarks. It can be identified on satellite images of London, its exterior is reminiscent of the Dome of Discovery built for the Festival of Britain in 1951. The architect was Richard Rogers and the contractor was a joint venture company, McAlpine/Laing Joint Venture formed between Sir Robert McAlpine and Laing Management; the building structure was engineered by Buro Happold, the entire roof structure weighs less than the air contained within the building. Although referred to as a dome it is not one as it is not self-supporting, but is, in fact, a giant Big Top, the canopy being supported by a dome-shaped cable network, from twelve king posts.
For this reason, it has been disparagingly referred to as the Millennium Tent. The twelve posts represent the twelve months of the year, another reference to time in its dimensions, alongside its height and diameter; the canopy is made of PTFE-coated glass fibre fabric, a durable and weather-resistant plastic, is 52 m high in the middle – one metre for each week of the year. Its symmetry is interrupted by a hole through which a ventilation shaft from the Blackwall Tunnel rises; the critic Jonathan Meades has scathingly referred to the Millennium Dome as a "Museum of Toxic Waste", apart from the dome itself, the project included the reclamation of the entire Greenwich Peninsula. The land was derelict and contaminated by toxic sludge from East Greenwich Gas Works that operated from 1889 to 1985; the clean-up operation was seen by the Deputy Prime Minister Michael Heseltine as an investment that would add a large area of useful land to the crowded capital. This was billed as part of a larger plan to regenerate a large, sparsely populated area to the east of London and south of the River Thames, an area called the East Thames Corridor but latterly marketed as the "Thames Gateway".
The Dome project was conceived on a somewhat smaller scale, under John Major's Conservative government, as a Festival of Britain or World's Fair-type showcase to celebrate the third millennium. The incoming Labour government elected in 1997 under Tony Blair expanded the size and funding of the project, it significantly increased expectations of what would be delivered. Just before its opening Blair claimed the Dome would be "a triumph of confidence over cynicism, boldness over blandness, excellence over mediocrity". In the words of BBC correspondent Robert Orchard, "the Dome was to be highlighted as a glittering New Labour achievement in the next election manifesto", but criticised in the 2001 Conservative Party manifesto as "banal and rootless", lacking "a sense of Britain’s history or culture". However, before its opening, The Dome was excoriated in Iain Sinclair's diatribe, Sorry Meniscus – Excursions to the Millennium Dome, which forecast the hype, the political posturing and the eventual disillusion.
The post-exhibition plan had been to convert The Dome into a football stadium which would last for 25 years: Charlton Athletic at one point considered a possible move but instead chose to redevelop their own stadium. Fisher Athletic were a local team interested in moving to the Dome, but they were considered to have too small a fan base to make this feasible; the Dome was planned to take over the functions performed by the London Arena, after its closure. This is the function. After a private opening on the evening of 31 December 1999 the Millennium Experience at the Dome was open to the public for the whole of 2000, contained a large number of attractions and exhibits; the interior space was subdivided into 14 zones: Who we are: Body, sponsored by Boots, supported by L'Oréal and Roche Mind, sponsored by BAE Systems and Marconi Faith comprised 5 sections: History of Christianity, Making of Key Life Experiences, How Shall I live?, Night Rain and Faith Festivals Calendar (Eva Jiricna Archite
A diamond cut is a style or design guide used when shaping a diamond for polishing such as the brilliant cut. Cut does not refer to shape, but the symmetry and polish of a diamond; the cut of a diamond affects a diamond's brilliance. In order to best use a diamond gemstone's material properties, a number of different diamond cuts have been developed. A diamond cut constitutes a more or less symmetrical arrangement of facets, which together modify the shape and appearance of a diamond crystal. Diamond cutters must consider several factors, such as the shape and size of the crystal, when choosing a cut; the practical history of diamond cuts can be traced back to the Middle Ages, while their theoretical basis was not developed until the turn of the 20th century. Design creation and innovation continue to the present day: new technology—notably laser cutting and computer-aided design—has enabled the development of cuts whose complexity, optical performance, waste reduction were hitherto unthinkable.
The most popular of diamond cuts is the modern round brilliant, whose facet arrangements and proportions have been perfected by both mathematical and empirical analysis. Popular are the fancy cuts, which come in a variety of shapes, many of which were derived from the round brilliant. A diamond's cut is evaluated by trained graders, with higher grades given to stones whose symmetry and proportions most match the particular "ideal" used as a benchmark; the strictest standards are applied to the round brilliant. Different countries base their cut grading on different ideals: one may speak of the American Standard or the Scandinavian Standard, to give but two examples; the history of diamond cuts can be traced to the late Middle Ages, before which time diamonds were employed in their natural octahedral state—anhedral diamonds were not used in jewelry. The first "improvements" on nature's design involved a simple polishing of the octahedral crystal faces to create and unblemished facets, or to fashion the desired octahedral shape out of an otherwise unappealing piece of rough.
This was called the point cut and dates from the mid 14th century. By the mid 15th century, the point cut began to be improved upon: a little less than one half of the octahedron would be sawn off, creating the table cut; the importance of a culet was realised, some table-cut stones may possess one. The addition of four corner facets created the old single cut. Neither of these early cuts would reveal. At the time, diamond was valued chiefly for its adamantine superlative hardness. For this reason, colored gemstones such as ruby and sapphire were far more popular in jewelry of the era. In or around 1476, Lodewyk van Berquem, a Flemish polisher of Bruges, introduced the technique of absolute symmetry in the disposition of facets using a device of his own invention, the scaif, he cut stones in the shape known as briolette. About the middle of the 16th century, the rose or rosette was introduced in Antwerp: it consisted of triangular facets arranged in a symmetrical radiating pattern, but with the bottom of the stone left flat—essentially a crown without a pavilion.
Many large, famous Indian diamonds of old feature a rose-like cut. However, Indian "rose cuts" were far less symmetrical as their cutters had the primary interest of conserving carat weight, due to the divine status of diamond in India. In either event, the rose cut continued to evolve, with its depth and arrangements of facets being tweaked; the first brilliant cuts were introduced in the middle of the 17th century. Known as Mazarins, they had 17 facets on the crown, they are called double-cut brilliants as they are seen as a step up from old single cuts. Vincent Peruzzi, a Venetian polisher increased the number of crown facets from 17 to 33, thereby increasing the fire and brilliance of the cut gem, properties that in the Mazarin were incomparably better than in the rose, yet Peruzzi-cut diamonds, when seen nowadays, seem exceedingly dull compared to modern-cut brilliants. Because the practice of bruting had not yet been developed, these early brilliants were all rounded squares or rectangles in cross-section.
Given the general name of cushion—what are known today as old mine cuts—these were common by the early 18th century. Sometime the old European cut was developed, which had a shallower pavilion, more rounded shape, different arrangement of facets; the old European cut was the forerunner of modern brilliants and was the most advanced in use during the 19th century. Around 1900, the development of diamond saws and good jewelry lathes enabled the development of modern diamond cutting and diamond cuts, chief among them the round brilliant cut. In 1919, Marcel Tolkowsky analyzed this cut: his calculations took both brilliance and fire into consideration, creating a delicate balance between the two. Tolkowsky's calculations would serve as the basis for all future brilliant cut modifications and standards. Tolkowsky's model of the "ideal" cut is not perfect; the original mo
De Beers Group is an international corporation that specialises in diamond exploration, diamond mining, diamond retail, diamond trading and industrial diamond manufacturing sectors. The company is active in open-pit, large-scale alluvial and deep sea mining, it operates in 35 countries and mining takes place in Botswana, South Africa and Canada. Until the start of the 21st century, De Beers had total control over the diamond market as a monopoly. Competition has since dismantled the complete monopoly, though the De Beers Group still sells 35% of the world's rough diamond production through its global sightholder and auction sales businesses; the company was founded in 1888 by British businessman Cecil Rhodes, financed by the South African diamond magnate Alfred Beit and the London-based N M Rothschild & Sons bank. In 1926, Ernest Oppenheimer, an immigrant to Britain and South Africa who had earlier founded mining company Anglo American plc with American financier J. P. Morgan, was elected to the board of De Beers.
He built and consolidated the company's global monopoly over the diamond industry until his death in 1957. During this time, he was involved in a number of controversies, including price fixing and trust behaviour, was accused of not releasing industrial diamonds for the U. S. war effort during World War II. In 2011, Anglo American took control of De Beers after buying the Oppenheimer's family stake of 40 percent for US$5.1 billion and increasing its stake to 85 percent, ending the 80-year Oppenheimer control of the company. In 2018, De Beers became the first diamond company to announce that it would track its diamonds using blockchain technology, though this technology has not yet been rolled out; the name'De Beers' was derived from the two Dutch settlers and brothers Diederik Arnoldus De Beer and Johannes Nicolaas De Beer, who owned a South African farm named Vooruitzicht near Zandfontein in the Boshof District of Orange Free State. After they discovered diamonds on their land, the increasing demands of the British government forced them to sell their farm on July 31, 1871, to merchant Alfred Johnson Ebden for £6,600.
Vooruitzicht would become the site of the Big Hole and the De Beers mine, two successful diamond mines. Their name, given to one of the mines, subsequently became associated with the company. Cecil Rhodes, the founder of the British South Africa Company, got his start by renting water pumps to miners during the diamond rush that started in 1869, when an 83.5 carat diamond called the'Star of South Africa' was found at Hopetown near the Orange River in South Africa. He invested the profits of this operation into buying up claims of small mining operators, with his operations soon expanding into a separate mining company, he soon secured funding from the Rothschild family. De Beers Consolidated Mines was formed in 1888 by the merger of the companies of Barney Barnato and Cecil Rhodes, by which time the company was the sole owner of all diamond mining operations in the country. In 1889, Rhodes negotiated a strategic agreement with the London-based Diamond Syndicate, which agreed to purchase a fixed quantity of diamonds at an agreed price, thereby regulating output and maintaining prices.
The agreement soon proved to be successful — for example, during the trade slump of 1891–1892, supply was curtailed to maintain the price. Rhodes was concerned about the break-up of the new monopoly, stating to shareholders in 1896 that the company's "only risk is the sudden discovery of new mines, which human nature will work recklessly to the detriment of us all"; the Second Boer War proved to be a challenging time for the company. Kimberley was besieged as soon. Rhodes moved into the city at the onset of the siege in order to put political pressure on the British government to divert military resources towards relieving the siege rather than more strategic war objectives. Despite being at odds with the military, Rhodes placed the full resources of the company at the disposal of the defenders, manufacturing shells, defences, an armoured train and a gun named Long Cecil in the company workshops. In 1898, diamonds were discovered on farms near Transvaal. One led to the discovery of the Premier Mine.
The Premier Mine was registered in 1902 and the Cullinan Diamond, the largest rough diamond discovered, was found there in 1905. However, its owner refused to join the De Beers cartel. Instead, the mine started selling to a pair of independent dealers named Bernhard and Ernest Oppenheimer, thereby weakening the De Beers stronghold. Francis Oats, who became Chairman of De Beers in 1908, was dismissive of the threats from the Premier mine and the finds in German South West Africa. However, production soon equalled all of the De Beers mines combined. Ernest Oppenheimer was appointed the local agent for the powerful London Syndicate, rising to the position of mayor of Kimberley within 10 years, he understood the core principle that underpinned De Beers' success, stating in 1910 that "common sense tells us that the only way to increase the value of diamonds is to make them scarce, to reduce production". During World War I, the Premier mine was absorbed into De Beers; when Rhodes died in 1902, De Beers controlled 90% of the world's diamond production.
Ernest Oppenheimer took over the chairmanship of the company in 1929, after buying shares and being appointed to the board in 1926. Oppenheimer was concerned about the discovery of diamonds in 1908 in German South West Africa, fearing that
Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Floyd Joy Mayweather Jr. is an American professional boxing promoter and former professional boxer. He competed from 1996 to 2007 and 2009 to 2015, made a one-fight comeback in 2017. During his career, he held multiple world titles in five weight classes and the lineal championship in four weight classes, retired with an undefeated record; as an amateur, Mayweather won a bronze medal in the featherweight division at the 1996 Olympics, three U. S. Golden Gloves championships, the U. S. national championship at featherweight. Mayweather is a two-time winner of The Ring magazine's Fighter of the Year award, a three-time winner of the Boxing Writers Association of America Fighter of the Year award, a six-time winner of the Best Fighter ESPY Award. In 2016, Mayweather was ranked by ESPN as pound for pound, of the last 25 years, he remains BoxRec's number one fighter of all time, pound for pound, as well as the greatest welterweight of all time. Many sporting news and boxing websites, including The Ring, Sports Illustrated, ESPN, BoxRec, Fox Sports, Yahoo!
Sports, ranked Mayweather as the best pound for pound boxer in the world twice in a span of ten years. He is referred to as the best defensive boxer in history, as well as being the most accurate puncher since the existence of CompuBox, having the highest plus–minus ratio in recorded boxing history. Mayweather has a record of 26 consecutive wins in world title fights, 23 wins in lineal title fights, 24 wins against former or current world titlists, 12 wins against former or current lineal champions, 2 wins against International Boxing Hall of Fame inductees. Mayweather is one of the most lucrative pay-per-view attractions of all time, in any sport, he topped the Forbes and Sports Illustrated lists of the 50 highest-paid athletes of 2012 and 2013, the Forbes list again in both 2014 and 2015, listing him as the highest paid athlete in the world. In 2006, he founded his own boxing promotional firm, Mayweather Promotions, after leaving Bob Arum's Top Rank. Mayweather has generated 23.8 million PPV buys and $1.67 billion in revenue throughout his career, surpassing the likes of former top PPV attractions including Mike Tyson, Evander Holyfield, Lennox Lewis, Oscar De La Hoya and Manny Pacquiao.
Floyd Joy Mayweather Jr. was born Floyd Joy Sinclair on February 24, 1977, in Grand Rapids, into a family of boxers. His father, Floyd Mayweather Sr. was a former welterweight contender who fought Hall of Famer Sugar Ray Leonard. His uncles Jeff and Roger Mayweather were professional boxers, with the latter—Floyd's former trainer—winning two world championships, as well as fighting Hall of Famers Julio César Chávez, Pernell Whitaker, Kostya Tszyu. Mayweather was born with his mother's last name, but his last name would change to Mayweather shortly thereafter, his maternal grandfather was born in Jamaica. He attended Ottawa Hills High School before dropping out. Boxing has been a part of Mayweather's life since his childhood and he never considered any other profession. "I think my grandmother saw my potential first," he said. "When I was young, I told her,'I think I should get a job.' She said,'No, just keep boxing.'" During the 1980s, Mayweather lived in the Hiram Square neighborhood of New Brunswick, New Jersey, where his mother had relatives.
He said, "When I was about eight or nine, I lived in New Jersey with my mother and we were seven deep in one bedroom and sometimes we didn't have electricity. When people see what I have now, they have no idea of where I came from and how I didn't have anything growing up." It was common for the young Mayweather to come home from school and find used heroin needles in his front yard. His mother was addicted to drugs, he had an aunt who died from AIDS because of her drug use. "People don't know the hell I've been through," he says. The most time that his father spent with him was taking him to the gym to train and work on his boxing, according to Mayweather. "I don't remember him taking me anywhere or doing anything that a father would do with a son, going to the park or to the movies or to get ice cream," he says. "I always thought that he liked his daughter better than he liked me because she never got whippings and I got whippings all the time." Mayweather's father contends. "Even though his daddy did sell drugs, I didn't deprive my son," the elder Mayweather says.
"The drugs I sold, he was a part of it. He had plenty of food, he had the best clothes and I gave him money. He didn't want for anything. Anybody in Grand Rapids can tell you that I took care of my kids". Floyd Sr. says he did all of his hustling at night and spent his days with his son, taking him to the gym and training him to be a boxer. "If it wasn't for me he wouldn't be where he is today," he maintains. "I raised myself," Mayweather says. "My grandmother did. When she got mad at me I'd go to my mom's house. My life was ups and downs." His father says he knows how much pain his incarceration caused his son, but insists he did the best he could. "I sent him to live with his grandmother," he says. "It wasn't like I left him with strangers." In the absence of his father, boxing became an outlet for Mayweather. As the elder Mayweather served his time, his son put all of his energy into boxing and dropped out of high school. "I knew that I was going to have to try to take care of my mom and I made the decision that school wasn't that important at the time and I was going to have to box to earn a living," he said
Millennium Dome raid
The Millennium Dome raid was an attempted robbery of the Millennium Dome's diamond exhibition in Greenwich, South East London occurring on 7 November 2000. A local gang planned to ram-raid the De Beers diamond exhibition, being held in the dome at the time; the gang had planned to escape via the Thames in a speedboat. The De Beers diamond exhibition had a number of jewels on display, including the Millennium Star, a flawless 203.04 carats gem with an estimated worth of £200 million and considered one of the most perfect gems in the world. On display were priceless blue diamonds; the attempted robbery was foiled by the Flying Squad of the Metropolitan Police Service, as a result of information from Kent Police Serious Crime who had the gang members under surveillance for their suspected roles in a number of unsuccessful armoured vehicle robberies. The operation to foil the robbery was the biggest operation undertaken in the Flying Squad's history and at trial the judge in the case commended the way it was carried out.
If the heist had succeeded with a haul of £350 million worth of diamonds, it would have become one of the biggest robberies in history. In the summer of 2000, the Flying Squad became aware of a major armed robbery plot after a tip-off was received; the location of this robbery was unclear, but the identities of some of the robbers were known to the police. The police spent a number of months developing intelligence on the plot and set up an operation that they codenamed Operation Magician. During the intelligence gathering the location of the robbery was found to be the Millennium Dome in Greenwich. In February 2000, armed men tried to pull off a £10 million raid on a security van in Nine Elms, South London; the gunmen had stopped the security lorry by blocking off both ends of Nine Elms Lane. They had planned to use their own lorry, carrying Christmas trees, as a battering ram; this lorry had a huge metal spike covered by the foliage. The gang planned to split the security lorry's rear doors with the ram.
The gang's plan failed when a motorist, late for work removed the keys from the ignition of the unattended Christmas tree van. The robbers, left with no choice, made their escape in an inflatable speedboat towards Chelsea, it was attempted again on 7 July in Kent. This time, the gang got closer to the cash, with the metal spike being rammed into the van, they were seconds from taking the money. Detective Superintendent Jon Shatford stated that this attempted robbery brought to his attention a gang, capable of carrying out a robbery with this level of planning. Fifteen months after this attempted robbery, there was another case where a gang tried to pull off another robbery using similar techniques; this unsuccessful attack provided the police with important clues and led them to track some of the vehicles that were used in the raid to two isolated farms in rural Kent. After this unsuccessful robbery the police received a tip-off about the Dome raid from an informer. At a meeting between detectives to discuss the Nine Elms Lane attempted robbery and the information that the informer had provided about the Dome raid, one detective who had visited the dome quipped, "Maybe they are after the Millennium jewels?"
It was this comment. On 1 September 2000, the team identified three of the suspected robbers – Lee Wenham, Raymond Betson and William Cockram – at the Dome, it was found that every time they had visited the attraction, the Thames was at high tide. They were observed visiting the exhibition and recording video footage, leading the police to suspect that the exhibition could be a target; the surveillance on the men was increased and the Dome was placed under close watch. The precautions taken by the Flying Squad included replacing the priceless gems with replicas of the same size, allowing the originals to be stored elsewhere, as well as installing a false wall inside the exhibit room, behind which 20 police were waiting in full tactical gear. Due to an increase in surveillance, the police discovered other members of the gang; these included Terry Millman, tasked with obtaining the getaway speedboat, to be used for the escape. Cockram and Betson were observed filming the surrounding river and jetty.
The surveillance on the gang continued and their visits to the Dome became more frequent. In late September a few members of the gang were spotted testing a speedboat in a harbour in Kent; the Metropolitan Police were able to identify the possible days upon which the raid could take place and communicated this information to De Beers and the Dome's management. Two of the days that the police had identified resulted in aborted attempts; the first aborted attempt occurred in early October and was called off due to the malfunctioning of the speedboat, to be used for the getaway. The second aborted attempt occurred one day before the date of the actual raid, but was cancelled upon the gang discovering the tide was too low to ensure a safe getaway. After this attempt the police suspected the raid was imminent and were convinced the raid would take place the following day; the police replaced all Dome staff with armed undercover officers. On a number of days in October, the gang under surveillance looked as if they were about to commence the raid.
Some members were spotted towing a speedboat to Greenwich and placing the boat in the river opposite the Dome. This activity indicated to the Squad; the delay was
A chemically pure and structurally perfect diamond is transparent with no hue, or color. However, in reality no gem-sized natural diamonds are perfect; the color of a diamond may be affected by chemical impurities and/or structural defects in the crystal lattice. Depending on the hue and intensity of a diamond's coloration, a diamond's color can either detract from or enhance its value. For example, most white diamonds are discounted in price when more yellow hue is detectable, while intense pink diamonds or blue diamonds can be more valuable. Of all colored diamonds, red diamonds are the rarest; the Aurora Pyramid of Hope displays a spectacular array of colored diamonds, including red diamonds. Diamonds occur in a variety of colors—steel gray, blue, orange, green, pink to purple and black. Colored diamonds contain interstitial impurities or structural defects that cause the coloration, pure diamonds are transparent and colorless. Diamonds are scientifically classed into two main types and several subtypes, according to the nature of impurities present and how these impurities affect light absorption: Type I diamonds have nitrogen atoms as the main impurity at a concentration of 0.1%.
If the nitrogen atoms are in pairs they do not affect the diamond's color. If the nitrogen atoms are in large even-numbered aggregates they impart a yellow to brown tint. About 98% of gem diamonds are type Ia, most of these are a mixture of IaA and IaB material: these diamonds belong to the Cape series, named after the diamond-rich region known as Cape Province in North Africa, whose deposits are Type Ia. If the nitrogen atoms are dispersed throughout the crystal in isolated sites, they give the stone an intense yellow or brown tint. Synthetic diamond containing nitrogen is Type Ib. Type I diamonds absorb from 320 nm, they have a characteristic fluorescence and visible absorption spectrum. Type II diamonds have no measurable nitrogen impurities. Type II diamonds absorb in a different region of the infrared, transmit in the ultraviolet below 225 nm, unlike Type I diamonds, they have differing fluorescence characteristics, but no discernible visible absorption spectrum. Type IIa diamond can be colored pink, red, or brown due to structural anomalies arising through plastic deformation during crystal growth—these diamonds are rare, but constitute a large percentage of Australian production.
Type IIb diamonds, which account for 0.1% of gem diamonds, are light blue due to scattered boron within the crystal matrix. However, a blue-grey color may occur in Type Ia diamonds and be unrelated to boron. Not restricted to type are green diamonds, whose color is caused by GR1 color centers in the crystal lattice produced by exposure to varying quantities of radiation. Pink and red are caused by plastic deformation of the crystal lattice from pressure. Black diamonds are caused by microscopic black or gray inclusions of other materials such as graphite or sulfides and/or microscopic fractures. Opaque or opalescent white diamonds are caused by microscopic inclusions. Purple diamonds are caused by a combination of high hydrogen content; the majority of diamonds that are mined are in a range of pale yellow or brown color, termed the normal color range. Diamonds that are of intense yellow or brown, or any other color are called fancy color diamonds. Diamonds that are of the highest purity are colorless, appear a bright white.
The degree to which diamonds exhibit body color is one of the four value factors by which diamonds are assessed. Diamonds have a color grading system; this system goes from D to Z. The more colorless a diamond is, the rarer and more valuable it is because it appears white and brighter to the eye. Color grading of diamonds was performed as a step of sorting rough diamonds for sale by the London Diamond Syndicate; as the diamond trade developed, early diamond grades were introduced by various parties in the diamond trade. Without any co-operative development these early grading systems lacked standard nomenclature, consistency; some early grading scales were. Numerous terms developed to describe diamonds of particular colors: golconda, jagers, blue white, fine white, gem blue, etc. Refers to a grading scale for diamonds in the normal color range used by internationally recognized laboratories; the scale ranges from D, colorless to Z, a pale yellow or brown color. Brown diamonds darker than K color are described using their letter grade, a descriptive phrase, for example M Faint Brown.
Diamonds with more depth of color than Z color fall into the fancy color diamond range. Diamond color is graded by comparing a sample stone to a master stone set of diamonds; each master stone is known to exhibit the least amount of body color that a diamond in that color grade may exhibit. A trained diamond grader compares a diamond of unknown grade against the series of master stones, assessing where in the range of color the diamond resides; this process occurs in a lighting box, fitted with daylight equivalent lamps. Accurate color grading can only be performed with diamond unset, as the comparison with master
The Premier Mine is an underground diamond mine owned by Petra Diamonds in the town of Cullinan, 40 kilometres east of Pretoria, Gauteng Province, South Africa. Established in 1902, it was renamed the Cullinan Diamond Mine in November 2003 in celebration of its centenary; the mine rose to prominence in 1905, when the Cullinan Diamond – the largest rough diamond of gem quality found – was discovered there. The mine has produced over 750 stones that are greater than 100 carats and more than a quarter of all the world's diamonds that are greater than 400 carats, it is the only significant source of blue diamonds in the world. The Cullinan Diamond is the largest rough gem-quality diamond found, at 3,106.75 carats. It was found by Frederick Wells, surface manager of the Premier Diamond Mining Company in Cullinan, South Africa, on 25 January 1905; the stone was named after the owner of the diamond mine. There have been various other notable diamonds; these include: The Premier Rose – 353 carats rough The Niarchos – 426 carats rough The De Beers Centenary – 275 carats rough Golden Jubilee Diamond – 755 carats rough Taylor-Burton Diamond – 69 carats polishedThe Cullinan Heritage—507 carats rough—was recovered from the same mine.
In February 2010, it was sold for USD 35.3 million. Until now, this is the highest price on record for a rough diamond. In May 2008, a sparkling shield-shaped 101.27-carat diamond mined from the Premier Mine sold for more than US$6.2 million at Christie's in Hong Kong. Cut from a 460 carats rough, the shield-shaped gem boasts 92 brilliant facets. While internally flawless, the stone has a slight imperfection on the surface, imperceptible to the human eye, the auction house said, it is the largest colourless diamond to appear on the auction market in the last 18 years, Christie's said. Only three diamonds of more than 100 carats have appeared at auction. All were sold in Geneva. Naming rights were granted to the new owner. In September 2009, a 507-carat diamond was found, is ranked as one of the 20 biggest high quality diamonds discovered. Petra Diamonds sold it for $35.3 million on 26 February 2010, breaking a record as the highest price paid for a rough diamond. On 18 April 2013 a 25.5-carat blue rough diamond was recovered by Petra Diamonds at its Cullinan mine.
According to experts it could be worth more than $10m. The find; the mine is famed for its production of blue diamonds. A similar 26.6-carat blue rough diamond recovered by Petra in May 2009 was cut into a near perfect stone and fetched just under $10m at Sotheby's. Another deep-blue diamond from Cullinan was auctioned for $10.8m last year and set a world record for the value per carat. On 21 January 2014, Petra Diamonds announced recovery of a 29.6-carat blue diamond. According to the current CEO, Johan Dippenaar, it is one the "most significant blue diamond" to be recovered by Petra Diamonds. According to Analyst Cailey Barker at broker Numis it "could fetch between $15m and $20m at auction". Decision on what is to be done with the stone will come next week. On 13 June 2014, Petra Diamonds announced that a blue diamond of 122.52 carats was found at the Cullinan mine. The diamond, though not yet appraised, is expected to fetch more than 35 million dollars, the approximate value of the Heritage Diamond found in that mine.
Petra Diamonds says that the diamond will not be put up for auction before their fiscal year ends this month. Cullinan Diamond Mine is a carrot has a surface area of 32 hectares. On 22 November 2007, De Beers, the world's largest diamond producer, sold its historic Cullinan mine to Petra Diamonds Cullinan Consortium, a consortium led by Petra Diamonds. Diamond Mines of South Africa, Premier Diamond mine overview + images by A. R. Williams former general manager of De Beers. De Beers sells South African Cullinan Diamond Mine Official website