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History of Kohinoor Diamond

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The Kohinoor is one of the oldest and most famous diamonds in the world. The history of the Kohinoor goes back in history to more than 5000 years ago. The current name of the diamond, Koh-i-noor is in Persian and means “Mountain of Light”. It was mined at Kollur Mine, in the present state of Andhra Pradesh in India and was 790+ caret when mined.  The diamond was originally owned by the Kakatiya dynasty, which had installed it in a temple of a Hindu goddess as her eye.The diamond changed hands between various feuding factions in the region several times over the next few hundred years. In 1852, Albert the Prince Consort ordered it cut down from 186 carats to 105 Carets.



Summary of Diamond  

Weight 105.6 carats or 21.1 gram

Color: Finest White

Origin: Kollur Mine, AP, India 

Original Owner as per Record: Kakatiya Dynasty

Current Owner: British Royal Family 


History of Diamond

1. In Posession of Kakatiya Dynasty till 13th Century.

2. Until 1304 the diamond was in the possession of the Rajas of Malwa.

3. In 1304, it belonged to the Emperor of Delhi, Allaudin Khilji.

4. In 1339, the diamond was taken back to the city of Samarkand, where it stayed for almost 300 years. (as per the popular myth it is about 1306 a curse is placed on the men who will wear the diamond: “He who owns this diamond will own the world, but will also know all its misfortunes. Only God, or a woman, can wear it with impunity.”)

4. In 1526 the diamond came into the possession of Mugul ruler Babur (gifted to him by the Sultan Ibrahim Lodi). He was the one who put the price of the diamond as equal to half-day production costs of the world. It was in the mugal possession  till 1739.

5. The Persian general Nadir Shah went to India in 1739. The Sultan of Delhi lost the decisive battle and had to surrender to Nadir and Diamond was given to Nadir in cap exchanging ceremony. It was the Nadir who gave the diamond its current name, Koh-i-noor meaning “Mountain of light”.

6. In 1747 he was assassinated and the diamond got to one of his generals, Ahmad Shah Durrani.

7. A descendant of Ahmad Shah, Shah Shuja Durrani brought the Koh-i-noor back to India in 1813 and gave it to Ranjit Singh (the founder of the Sikh Empire). In exchange Ranjit Singh helped Shah Shuja get back the throne of Afghanistan.

8In 1849, after the conquest of the Punjab by the British forces, the properties of the Sikh Empire were confiscated. The Koh-i-noor was transferred to the treasury of the British East India Company in Lahore. The diamond was handed to Queen Victoria in July 1850 by Maharaja Dileep.

9. After the diamond was handed to Queen Victoria, it was exhibited at the Crystal Palace a year later. But the “Mountain of Light” was not shiny as the other cut gemstones of that era and there was a general disappointment regarding it.

10. In 1852 the Queen decided to reshape the diamond and it was taken to a Dutch jeweler, Mr Cantor who cut it to 108.93 carats.


posted Nov 20, 2015 by Madhavi Latha

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