Thursday, 11 October 2018

Koh-i-noor Diamond - ‘mountain of light’

These four men seem to have little in common. Yet they were all connected through one of the most famous gemstones in the world—the Koh-i-noor diamond. The 186-carat diamond probably came from Golconda.

An ancient Indian script speaks of a curse on it, “He who owns this diamond will own the world, but will also know all its misfortunes. Only God, or a woman, can wear it freely”.
The diamond eventually came to the Mughal emperors, who ruled over most of India. After Aurangzeb’s death in 1707, the Mughal Empire went into decline. In 1739, Nadir Shah swept in from Persia. When Nadir Shah was done stripping Delhi of her vast riches and was about to leave with treasure, he learned that Emperor Mohammad Shah had hidden away a 186-carat diamond in the folds of his royal turban. On his way out, Nadir Shah insisted that the two kings exchange turbans to show ‘friendship’. When he saw the magnificent diamond, he is said to have exclaimed “Koh-i-noor!”, meaning ‘mountain of light’.

The British East India Company took the now mythical diamond as spoils of war for Queen Victoria. She took the diamond’s curse seriously, and her will commands that the Koh-i-noor could only be worn by a woman.
The stone was used in various British crowns.
See ----->The Imperial State Crown