What is Kohinoor Diamond?

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What is Kohinoor Diamond? Blog Image


India will soon begin a diplomatic campaign to reclaim the Kohinoor diamond and thousands of other treasures taken by Britain during their centuries-long colonial exploits in the Indian subcontinent.

About Kohinoor Diamond:

  • The Kohinoor/Koh-i-Noor diamond (also Koh-i-Nur or Kūh-e Nūr) is one of the largest and most famous cut diamonds in the world.
  • The name of the stone is Persian, meaning ‘Mountain of Light’ and refers to its astounding size.
  • The diamond originally weighed 191 carats, but it was recut to 105.6 carats to enhance its fire and brilliance in 1852 by Garrard of London, the royal jeweller.
  • History:
    • It is believed that the diamond was first mentioned more than 5000 years ago in a Sanskrit script, where it was called the Syamantaka.
    • After this first written mention, for over 4,000 years, the diamond is not mentioned.
    • Up until 1304, the diamond was in the possession of the Rajas of Malwa.
    • In 1304, it belonged to the Emperor of Delhi, Allaudin Khilji.
    • In 1339, the diamond was taken back to the city of Samarkand, where it stayed for almost 300 years.
    • In 1526 the Mogul ruler Babur mentioned the diamond in his writings, Baburmama. The diamond was gifted to him by Sultan Ibrahim Lodi.
    • From Babur, the diamond passed to Shah Jahan and Aurangzeb before coming into the possession of his grandson, Sultan Mahamad.
    • In 1739, the Persian general Nadir Shah defeated Sultan Mahamad to conquer Delhi – and the diamond. It was Nadir Shah that gave the diamond its current name.
    • In 1747, Nadir Shah was assassinated, and the diamond got to one of his generals, Ahmad Shah Durrani.
    • A descendant of Ahmad Shah, Shah Shuja Durrani brought the Koh-i-noor back to India in 1813 and gave it to Ranjit Singh (the founder of the Sikh Empire). In exchange, Ranjit Singh helped Shah Shuja get back the throne of Afghanistan.
    • In 1849, after the conquest of the Punjab by the British forces, the properties of the Sikh Empire were confiscated.
    • The Koh-i-Noor was transferred to the treasury of the British East India Company in Lahore.
    • Since 1849, the Koh-i-Noor has been part of the British crown jewels.


Q1) What is a Diamond Cut?

Cut refers not to a diamond's shape (e.g. round, oval, pear, etc.) but to a diamond's proportions, symmetry and polish. The beauty of a diamond depends more on cut than any other factor.

Source: India’s PM Modi eyes return of Kohinoor, thousands of other treasures from Britain