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The Victoria-Transvaal

Jan 21st, 2013

The Victoria-Transvaal


Chip Clark

Transvaal is not a name you hear very often these days. It used to be known as the Zuid-Afrikaansche Republiek (South African Republic) and after Cecil John Rhodes’  Anglo Boer War, it become the Transvaal Colony for about a decade and when the Union was established, it become known as the Transvaal Province. More recently, it was divided into Gauteng, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, and the eastern part of the North West provinces of the new South Africa.

The Victoria-Transvaal is a 117 facet pear shape weighing 67.89 carat .  It was cut from a 240 carat rough stone found in  Premier Mine in 1951.  The fancy “champagne-colored” diamond was originally cut to 75 carat but then later re-cut to 67.89 carat for better proportions.  The diamond was graded by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) and given a color grade of natural fancy brown-yellow with a clarity grade of VS2.

The yellow gold necklace was designed by Baumgold Brothers, Inc. and consists of 66 round brilliant cut diamonds, fringed with 10 drop motifs, each set with two marquise-cut diamonds, a pear-shaped diamond, and a small round brilliant cut diamond.  Total weight of the 106 diamonds in the necklace is approximately 45 carats. The Victoria-Transvaal diamond was worn in the 1952 movie “Tarzan’s Savage Fury.”

It was donated to the Smithsonian Gem & Mineral Collection by Leonard and Victoria Wilkinson in 1977.



Smithsonian Gem & Mineral Collection

All photographs are © Chip Clark

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