WORLD'S FAMOUS DIAMONDS
Gemology Instructor, SDI
- KOHINOOR: This 105 carat diamond once belonged to Rana Ranjit Sing of Punjab. It was purchased by the Shah of Iran in 1739 from the Raja with the help of the Britishers who had started spreading their wings in India then. Later it was procured by the East India Co. which presented it to Queen of England. It was later fixed in the crown of the Queen Mary. At present it is in the custody of London Tower. India Govt. has asked for the stone back, as it was taken forcefully.
Queen Alexandra's Crown with Kohinoor Diamond
- HOPE: The Hope originated from India in Golconda where it was mined at the Kollur mine. According to the legend the diamond was stolen from a statue of the Hindu goddess Sita. It weighed in rough 112 carets and was first known as the "Tavernier Blue"as it was aquired by Jean- Baptiste Tavernier (1605-1689), the French traveller and pioneer of jewellery and diamond trade with India. The French Blue was then passed from one ruling French King to the next until the French Revolution when it was stolen. What happened next was a bit of a mystery but in 1839 an entry of a fabulous Blue Diamond was entered in the gem collection catalog of Henry Philip Hope,the man from whom the diamond now takes its name. It passed through several owners before an American heiress named Mrs. Evalyn Walsh McLean brought it to the United States. She added its current setting- it is now surrounded by 16 white diamonds and hangs on a chain of 45 diamonds. It was said that "Bad Luck and Death not only for the owner of the diamond but for all who touched it". Possession of the Hope Diamond led to violent deaths, disaster and debt leading to stories, myths and legends of the Curse of the Hope Diamond. It is currently Housed in the Smithsonian National History Museum in the USA.
Hope Diamond on Display at Smithsonian National History Museum
- SHAH: This 88.7 carat weighing diamond was also procured from Indian mine. It was very lightly polished. It changed hands many times and ultimatly reached the Shah of India and was retained by him for a long period. In 1829 the Shah presented it to Tsar Nicholas the First. At present it is lying in Kremlin (MOSCOE).
- CULLINAN I: This 530.20 carat weighing diamond was cut, trimmed and polished from the 3106 carat weighing diamond, perhaps the heaviest diamond so far taken out. It has got its name from Sir Thomas Cullinan, the chairman of the main company. This diamond adorns London Tower at the present. It is also Star of Africa.
Sovereign's Royal Sceptre of the British Crown Jewels
- NASSAK: This diamond was looted by the Britishers from the Shiv Temple in Nassak in 1818. Then it weighing 43.38 carat. It was trimmed. At present it is owned by some Rich American.
- DRESDEN: It was acquired from a mine in India. This 41 carat diamond was bought by Duke Augusta in 1700. It is at present in the Green Hall of Dresden.
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