The Koh-i-Noor is a 106 carats diamond which was once the largest diamond in the world. Previously, it has belonged to various rulers in India; today it lies in the hands of the British royal family and is part of the Crown Jewels. Legend says that the diamond is 5000 years old and was referred to in Sanskrit writings as the Syamantaka jewel. The current name of the diamond, Koh-i-noor is in Persian and means “Mountain of Light”. The koh-i-noor diamond price might have been about $12.7 billion.
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The Kohinoor (Koh-i-Noor) originated from India in Golconda at the Kollur mine and was specifically mined from the Rayalaseema diamond mine (meaning Land of Stones) during the rule of the Kakatiya dynasty. It is believed that the diamond was first mentioned more than 5000 years ago in a Sanskrit script, where it was called the Syamantaka. It is worth mentioning that there is only speculation that the Syamantaka and the Kohinoor are the same diamond. Up until 1304, the diamond was in the possession of the Rajas of Malwa, but back then, the diamond was still not named Kohinoor. 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 1306 in a Hindi writing, a curse is placed on the men who will wear the diamond: “He who owns this diamond will own the world, but will also know all its misfortunes. Only God, or a woman, can wear it with impunity”. In 1526 the Mogul ruler Babur mentions the diamond in his writings, Baburmama. The diamond was gifted to him by the Sultan Ibrahim Lodi. He was the one who described the diamond’s value equal to half-day production costs of the world. The Persian general Nadir Shah went to India in 1739. He wanted to conquer the throne, which had been weakened during the reign of Sultan Mahamad. The Sultan lost the decisive battle and had to surrender to Nadir. It was him the one that gave the diamond its current name, Koh-i-noor meaning “Mountain of light”. But Nadir Shah did not live for long because in 1747 he was assassinated and the diamond got to one of his generals, Ahmad Shah Durrani. Ahmad Shah Durrani brought the Koh-i-noor back to India in 1813 and gave it to Ranjit Singh (the founder of the Sikh Empire). In 1849, after the conquest of 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. The properties of the Sikh Empire were taken as war compensations. Even one line of the Treaty of Lahore was dedicated to the fate of the Koh-i-Noor. The diamond was handed to Queen Victoria in July 1850. In 1852 the Queen decided to reshape the diamond and it was taken to a Dutch jeweler, Mr Cantor who cut it to 108.93 carats. Queen Victoria wore the diamond occasionally afterwards. She left in her will that the Koh-i-noor should only be worn by a female queen. If the head of state was a man, his wife would have to carry the diamond. After Queen Victoria’s death, the Kohinoor became part of the Crown Jewels.
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