Kohinoor Diamond

Kohinoor Diamond is the king of diamonds and the diamond of kings. Its legendary origin is believed to be before the time of The Mahabharat, more than 5,000 years ago. Historians record its origin from the ancient mine of Kolar, on the right bank of the Krishna river of Karnataka. It is also believed to have been discovered from the bed of the lower Godavari River, near Machilipatnam in central India or from Golconda mines in Andhra Pradesh.

The original name of this diamond was ‘Samantik Mani’ (literally meaning prince and leader among diamonds), which was changed by Nadir Shah, the King of Persia, who invaded India during 1739. He renamed it as "Koh-i-Noor", literally meaning “Mountain of Light" in Persian language.

Raja of Malwa was the first owner of Kohinoor. Later, it was claimed by Babur who passed it on to his descendants. Afterwards Nadir Shah of Persia seized the diamond. Till the beginning of the 19th century it was passed on or seized by the successive rulers. In 1849, the diamond was brought to England, under the Treaty of Lahore and handed over to Queen Victoria. Now it is kept in the Tower of London with the rest of the Royal Family’s crown jewels.

Its original weight in Indian cutting was 186-116 of the old carats (191.10 metric carats). It was resized in England in 1852 and its weight was reduced to 108.93 carats.

Tradition states that its owner will rule the world. It is never known to have been brought or sold. It has always changed hands during different invasions.

Updated on 7th June, 2005


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