Monday Mystery Part 2: The Koh-I-Noor Diamond

koh-i-noor diamond
The Koh-I-Noor Diamond is Believed to Have Originated in India

We launch into the second part of our Monday Mystery series with the famed Koh-I-Noor diamond, who has been blamed for numerous misfortunes including violence, murder, and treachery, particularly among men.
Once known as the largest diamond in the world (it was originally 793 carats), this 105.6 carat beauty is believed to have originated in India. The name Koh-I-Noor means “Mountain of Light” in Persian and although the first historical mention of the diamond is in 1526 in the memoires of Barbur, the diamond was most likely mined in the 12th or 13th century.
The curse associated with the Koh-I-Noor stems from a 14th century Hindu text stating “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.” This curse is said to have come from the legend that the diamond was stolen from the god Krishna while he was sleeping.
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The Koh-I-Noor diamond was passed around between various Mogul emperors’ hands through a serious of rebelling and bloodshed, mostly instigated by sons trying to overturn their fathers. In the 17th century emperor Shah Jahan (the same one who built the Taj Mahal) had the diamond set in his Peacock Throne. In 1639 a violent struggle for the empire between Shah Jahan’s four sons strove to murder and torture their fellow brothers in order to take the throne. In 1665, Jean Baptiste Tavernier (yes, the same one who had the Hope Diamond) recorded his viewing of the diamond.
Shah Jahan with the Peacock Throne
Shah Jahan with the Peacock Throne

One hundred years after the bloody struggle between sons the King of Persia, Nadir Shah, invaded the Mogul empire and store the Koh-I-Noor diamond. Nadir Shah is currently credited with giving the diamond its name. In 1747, Nadir Shah is assassinated and the diamond is passed on to his successors, each of which were eventually overthrown and ritually blinded.
Nadir Shah King of Persia
Nadir Shah King of Persia

In the empire’s weakened state, India was conquered by Britain in 1858. The British Governor-General Lord Dalhousie gain possession of the Koh-I-Noor and arranges to have the last successor of the Indian empire to present the diamond to Queen Victoria, Empress of India, in a symbol of surrender. Queen Victoria had the diamond cut down from 186 carats to its current size.
James Broun-Ramsay, 1st Marquess of Dalhousie
James Broun-Ramsay, 1st Marquess of Dalhousie

As for the curse of the koh-I-noor diamond, some people still hold stock to its verity. After the diamond was passed onto England, the only monarchs to wear the Koh-I-Noor were Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth. In the circumstance of the Koh-I-Noor being passed on to a male monarch, the diamond was immediately given to his wife. The diamond was set in 1911 into the coronation crown of the Queen consort, securing its female possession.
Queen Mother to Elizabeth wearing crown with Koh-I-Noor Diamond
Queen Mother to Elizabeth wearing crown with Koh-I-Noor Diamond

You can find Part 1 of our Monday Mystery Series here.
Established in 1912, the King family has owned and operated King Jewelers for five generations while building an outstanding reputation steeped in quality, value, and first-class service. Today, King Jewelers has brick-and-mortar stores located in Miami and Nashville both of which have won numerous regional and national awards of distinction. Offering a magnificent selection of fine jewelry collections including the hottest Italian designs, estate jewelry, colored gemstones and fancy-colored diamonds, as well as luxury European timepieces, King Jewelers prides itself in being one step ahead of the trend. In addition, King Jewelers offers on-site jewelry and watch repairs, custom design services, appraisals, estate buying, and corporate gift programs. For more information, visit www.kings1912.com.

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