Friday, July 22, 2022

Kohinur: in which country are dimand found?

  Kohinur: in which country  are dimand found?


The Koh-i-Noor diamond (also Koh-i-Nur or Kūh-e Nūr) is one of the largest and most  popular cut diamonds in the world. It was most likely found in southern India between 1100 and 1300. The name of the stone is Persian meaning ‘Mountain of Light’ and refers to its astounding size - originally 186 carats (today 105.6).

In its long history, the stone has changed hands many times, almost always into the  ownership of male rulers. Like many large gemstones, the Koh-i-Noor has acquired a  character of mystery,

curses, and bad luck, so much so, it is said that only a female owner will avoid its aura of ill omen. The stone is claimed by both India and Pakistan, amongst others, but, for the moment, the Koh-i-Noor remains  temping to its present owners, the British royal family.

Discovery & Early Ownership

The early history of the Koh-i-Noor is very far from being as clear as the interior of the stone itself. The diamond may even be referenced in Mesopotamian Sanskrit texts of the late 4th millennium BCE but scholars are not in agreement on this. One of the problems with the Koh-i-Noor’s history is the temptation to identify it as any large diamond mentioned in ancient texts connected with events of the Indian subcontinent. The more traditional view is that the stone was most likely found in the Golconda mines of the Deccan between 1100 and 1300, although its first appearance in written records is when it belonged to Babur (1483-1530), founder of the Mughal Empire and descendant of the Mongol emperor Genghis Khan (c. 1162/67-1227). The diamond is mentioned in the Mughal emperor’s memoirs which he wrote in 1526 and was likely acquired as a spoil of war, a fate it would endure several more times over its long history and association with rulers. Babur described the stone as "worth half of the daily expense of the whole world" (Dixon-Smith, 49).

Nader Shah & the ‘Mountain of Light’

By the 18th century we are on firmer ground in tracing the stone’s history. When the Persian leader Nader Shah (l. 1698-1747) attacked and captured Delhi in 1739, he acquired the diamond despite the then Mughal emperor trying to hide it in his turban. When he first saw the stone, Nader Shar described it as a Koh-i-Noor or 'mountain of light', and the name has stuck ever since. When Nader Shah died in 1747, the precious stone was claimed by his foremost general Ahmad Shah (l. c. 1722-1772) who founded the Durani Dynasty of rulers in Afghanistan. The Durani eventually lost their grip on power, and Shah Shujah (l. 1785-1842) was obliged to flee to India in 1813 when he gave the diamond as a gift to the ruler of the Punjab, Maharaja Ranjit Singh (1780-1839). Maharajah Duleep Singh (l. 1838-1893) inherited it when only five years old, but he was to be the last ruler of the Punjab and Sikh Empire as the tentacles of the British Empire stretched forth into northern India.

The British Crown Jewels

Now part of the British Crown Jewels, the Koh-i-Noor diamond has appeared in  many crowns but because of its reputation as a bringer of bad luck for male wearers, it has only ever been set in the crowns of queen consorts. It was worn in the crown of Queen Alexandra (l. 1844-1925) for her coronation in 1902 and was reset in a new crown for the coronation of Queen Mary (l. 1867-1953) in 1911. Today, the diamond sparkles in the centre of the band of the Crown of Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother (l. 1900-2002), the late mother of the present queen, Elizabeth II (r. 1952-). The Queen Mother wore this crown at her coronation in 1937. The diamond is set in a detachable mount made of platinum, the same material the rest of the crown is made from. The crown is set with another 2,800 diamonds, including the 17-carat diamond given to Queen Victoria by the Sultan of Turkey in gratitude for help during the Crimean War (1853-56). Although this square-cut stone is impressive in its own right, it is dwarfed by the massive Koh-i-Noor set directly above it. The Queen Mother wore this crown at the State Opening of Parliament each year and at the coronation of her daughter Elizabeth II in 1953. The crown and the Koh-i-Noor can be seen today alongside other items of the Crown Jewels in the Jewel House inside the Waterloo Barracks of the

International Calls for a Return

There have been repeated calls from the Indian government for the return of the Koh-i-Noor to its homeland. The first such request came in 1947 as the stone became a symbol of the country’s independence from British rule, which had been  attain in the same year.

Another player entered the debate in 1976 when the prime minister of Pakistan, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, called for the return of the stone to his country. Iran and Afghanistan have also laid claim to the gemstone. The calls for the Koh-i-Noor’s return to the subcontinent have by no means died down, and in 2015, a group of Indian investors even launched a legal process to have the diamond returned. As of today, though, the British royal family remain reluctant to part with this most famous and desirable of diamonds.

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