E-commerce means diamonds are now within everyone's grasp. Only the so-called super diamonds are reserved for the lucky few. The Koh-i-Noor diamond, which was set in Queen Elizabeth's crown, belongs in this category. With a price tag of at least €140 million, this diamond is of inestimable value.

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What is the Koh-i-Noor diamant?

The Koh-i-Noor diamond is one of the most important diamonds in the world and forms part of the United Kingdom's Crown Jewels. This 186 carat super diamond originated in India, but fell into Queen Victoria's hands. She in turn had it cut into a stunning 109 carat brilliant. The Koh-i-Noor diamond has only been worn by queens and is currently set in Queen Elizabeth's crown. It can be admired at the Tower of London.

Where did the Koh-i-Noor diamond originate from?

The Koh-i-Noor diamond was discovered seven centuries ago in the village of Kollur (India). It was owned by the ruling maharajahs until the 14th century. Often following a bloody war, the diamond successively ended up in the hands of various Sikh, Mogul and Persian rulers. In 1739 the Persian commander, Nadir Sjah, ousted the Mogul tsar, Muhamed Shah, and appropriated his turban.
Upon noticing the unique precious stone in the turban, Persian commander Nadir Sjah cried 'Koh-i-Noor', or 'mountain of light'.

How did this super diamond end up in British hands?

The Koh-i-Noor diamond set in the Crown Jewels
On 31 December 1600 Queen Elizabeth I founded the British East India Company, which over 150 years grew into one of the most powerful commercial enterprises in the world. The last Sikh Maharaja, Dalip Singh, found this out first-hand when he was forced to abdicate in 1849. The British took countless Royal Persian possessions back with them to England as spoils of war. So the Koh-i-Noor ended up in British possession.

The mythical powers of the Koh-i-Noor diamond

Myths and stories are attributed to many legendary diamonds, such as the Sancy diamond and the Hope diamond . And so to the Koh-i-Noor too. Some Hindus believe the Koh-i-Noor diamond is a gift from the sun god Surya to Earth; others believe it was stolen from the god Krishna whilst he was asleep. Tradition has it that its owner will rule the world, but also that the stone would bring misfortune to any man wearing it.

How much is the Koh-i-Noor diamond worth?

The Koh-i-Noor compared to other important diamonds

The Koh-I-Noor’s value isn’t exactly known, but it is estimated to be worth €140 to €400 million. It is one of the most important diamonds in the world and is a part of the United Kingdom’s Crown Jewels. The Koh-I-Noor’s diamond has a total weight of 109 carats.
Originally, the Koh-I-Noor’s weighed 186 carats. The queen was dissatisfied with the stone's luster and had it recut to in 1852 by renowned Coster Diamonds in Amsterdam. It is on display, along with the other British Crown Jewels, at the Tower of London, where the renowned Cullinan diamonds are also exhibited.

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Discover other famous diamonds

The Koh-i-Noor certainly isn't the only one of its kind. Besides this particular super diamond there are other stunning stones, such as the Sancy Diamond, Hope Diamond and The Heart of the Ocean. Find out more about the rich narratives behind the super diamonds below.
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