- What historical value does the Koh-i-Noor have?
- What mystical value does the mountain of light have?
- How did the diamond end up in British hands?
- What did the Brits do with the Koh-i-Noor?
Even though the diamond market is accessible to everyone, only a happy few own a real super diamond. The Koh-i-Noor is one of these. This stone was used in the extensive collection of British crown jewels, the British crown to be more precise. The price of the diamond? The gemstone is of such inestimable value that it can’t even be insured. We’ll take a moment to take a closer look at its value.
What historical value does the Koh-i-Noor have?
The Koh-i-Noor was found in the Indian village of Kollur more than 700 years ago and belonged to the ruling raja’s until the 14th century. Various Sikh, Mughal and Persian rulers managed to get their hands on the diamond, only to subsequently lose it again. The stone often formed part of war loot. The price of the diamond could also easily be expressed in torture and killings ...
The Persian General Nadir Sjah captured the diamond in 1739 by exchanging turbans with the deposed Mogol Emperor Muhamed Shah. When he noticed the extraordinary stone in the turban, he called out ‘Koh-i-Noor’, Persian for ‘mountain of light’.
What mystical value does the mountain of light have?
As is the case with other legendary gemstones, we can certainly find numerous conflicting stories about the Koh-i-Noor. For example, some Hindus believed the stone was a gift for the earth from the sun god Surya. Other Hindus believed it had been stolen from the god Krishna whilst sleeping.
Yet another legend stated that the owner of the Koh-i-Noor would rule the world. But the stone could also bring bad luck if a man were to wear it. So does this mean it’s no coincidence the diamond has been used in the British Queen’s crown?
How did the diamond end up in British hands?
The British East India Company was founded by Queen Elizabeth I on 31st December 1600 by Royal Decree. The Company developed into one of the most powerful commercial companies during the 250 years which followed. It took the Sikh Empire in 1849 and the last Sikh Emperor, Dalip Singh, was forced to abdicate.
The royal possessions were sent to England or auctioned off by the Brits. The Koh-i-Noor also formed part of these possessions and this was gifted to Queen Victoria as part of the war loot.
What did the Brits do with the Koh-i-Noor?
The Koh-i-Noor weighed 186 carat at the time when the Brits took ownership of the diamond. However, the Brits were disappointed about the stone’s shine and the Queen therefore decided to have the diamond recut to its current 109 carat in Amsterdam in 1852. The diamond ended up in various different pieces of crown jewellery and currently still forms part of the crown which is on display in the Tower of London.
And the current value? Depending on the source, the price of the diamond is estimated between 140 million and 400 million euro. In other words, utterly unaffordable. But India attaches a great deal of importance to its historical value and is still demanding for the stone to be returned.
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