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The Red Cross is a canary yellow cushion-shaped diamond weighing 205.07 carat. It is said to have weighed 375 carat in the rough and to have come from one of the Kimberly mines in 1901.
The largest rough found that year weighed only 307 carat, but two more weighing 337½ and 363 carat, had been discovered at the De Beers Mine in 1899. Whichever may be correct – the date of the discovery or the rough weight – there is no doubt that the Red Cross Diamond is a typical South African stone.
The original group of firms who bought the output of the De Beers presented the diamond as a gift to the art sale held in London by Christies in 1918, on behalf of the British Red Cross Society and the Order of St. John. The gem had been cut in Amsterdam.
The cutting style is what is known as a ‘Stellar Brilliant’ due to the eight needle-like facets on the pavilion of the stone, pointing outward from its culet facet.
The Regent, the Tiffany Yellow, the Polar Star, the Koh-I-Noor and the Wittelsbach, among others are all examples of ‘Stellar Brilliant’ cuts, and all of them (save for the Koh-I-Noor and Wittelsbach which are slightly oval in shape) are cushion-shaped diamonds.