• The exciting story of the world's most famous diamond

The Koh-i-Noor originally comes from South Asia and is one of the largest diamonds in the world, originally polished in India and later cut in an unusual oval diamond shape. It was supposedly stolen by British colonialists and shipped to London. Since then, India has been trying to reclaim the Koh-i-Noor from the Queen. However, there are other countries that claim the diamond as well...

The Koh-i-Noor, fit for a Queen

The Koh-i-Noor has a staggering carat weight of 109 and has been a part of the English Crown since 1937. As it is one of the largest known diamonds in the world, the Koh-i-Noor currently resides in the Tower of London, among the other crown jewels of Queen Elisabeth II.  It has been set in the lower part of the Maltese Cross on the British Crown, accompanied by many other precious stones. Experts estimate its value to be at least one billion euros, probably even more. But it is only one of the many priceless jewels in the possession of the British Royal Family.

South Asia reclaims the diamond

Legal proceedings are currently underway in India, Pakistan and London to initiate the return of the Koh-i-Noor. The proceedings were initiated by private individuals and NGOs, or non-governmental organizations.

The British, however, received the precious Koh-i-Noor in 1849 from Daleep Singh, the 14 year old son of Maharajah Ranjit Singh. The Maharajah's seat of power at the time was in Lahore, which is now part of Pakistan. Although the diamond was probably found several centuries ago in Andhra Pradesh, a region in the south of India, the exact location can no longer be reconstructed today, making its origins a controversial issue between Pakistan and India.

History of the Koh-i-Noor - intrigues, betrayal and robbery

The Koh-i-Noor, which can be translated as "The Mountain of Light", is one of the most famous precious stones in the world. Both India and Pakistan are trying to reclaim the diamond today, a dispute that has huge political symbolism.

The origin of the Koh-i-Noor as well as its journey throughout history tells an interesting tale about betrayal, robbery and intrigue. But also about a curse: all male owners or bearers of the Koh-i-Noor shall meet a sorrowful fate. Could there be a grain of truth to this tale? After all, the previous male owner were either tortured, murdered, blinded, discharged from office, or they died of strokes or even cholera.

The lawsuit seems to be a thing of the past

The British Queen Elisabeth II was being sued by her former colony India for the return of the Koh-i-Noor diamond. It may sound like a typical black British comedy, but it is bitterly serious for India. The initiative to return the Koh-i-Noor states that the diamond is not only extremely valuable, it is also an important part of Indian history and should therefore be returned.

Recently, India seems to have changed its mind however. It has now declared that the Koh-i-Noor was presented to Great Britain as a gift in the 18th century and that Ranjit Singh had voluntarily handed over the diamond in gratitude for support in the Sikh war. The Koh-i-Noor is therefore no longer a stolen object!

Does diamond jewellery and its history fascinate you? Would you like to buy your own piece of jewellery? Let the experts at BAUNAT advise you in your choice!

Share on:
SANDER MICHIELS