The Infamous Koh-i-Noor and other Golconda Diamonds
Haven’t we all read stories about the Golconda Diamonds?
From the infamous Koh-i-Noor to the more recent Mirror of Paradise, diamonds mined at the Kollur Mines near Golconda have created a stir throughout history. And with good reason. Throughout this post we’ll shed light on these incredibly brilliant diamonds and why they have carved themselves a niche.
The Koh-i-Noor diamond, which translates to Mountain of Light, is a gem that has been plagued with bad luck throughout history. Not necessarily the gemstone itself but definitely for its owners. Discovered in India, at the Kollur mines in Golconda, the Koh-i-Noor has changed hands numerous times before it finally found a spot as a part of the Crown Jewels in London.
Amongst others, India is synonymous with quality from intricate jewelry, to handicrafts, textiles and spices. But our gemstones and jewelry are unmatched in every way. The age old technique of Kundan techinique where gold is used to create seamless setting for gems. Not forgetting the Meena work where enamel is used to create fine artwork, the workmanship remains unmatched when it comes to details with Indian jewelry.
First recorded in the year 1304, under the ownership of the Raja of Malwa, the glorious diamond has not been stationary since. Originally referred to as Babur’s Diamond, this Golconda diamond was acquired by Nadir Shah from Persia who exclaimed “Koh-i-Noor” (mountain of light) when he saw the stone, thereby getting its name.
India’s most recognised diamond then moved to Pakistan and was brought back by Maharaja Ranjit Singh also known as the “Lion of Punjab”. He treasured the gem and wore the massive rock in an armlet between two smaller diamonds. Succeeded by his son, Maharaja Duldeep Singh after his assasination, who was all of 9 years at that time, the stone was acquired by the East India Company and given to the Queen of England.
The Koi-i-Noor now rests as a part of the Crown Jewels and is open for viewing in the Tower of London.
The Mirror of Paradise
Another set of golconda diamonds that have made it to the headlines, this year. One of my favourites from the Al Thani exhibition is the Mirror of Paradise. A rectangular, step cut gem that weighs 52.58 carats, it is just as its name suggests, an exceptional mirror like gemstone. A timeless choice, this diamonds has mesmerising symmetry.