The Koh-I-Noor diamond, meaning Mountain of Light and its double Danya-I-Nur * meaning Sea of Light were at one time the largest diamonds in the world.
Both these diamonds originated in the state of Andhra Pradesh in India.
The Koh-I-Noor today is a part of the British Crown Jewels and is 105 carats--its original size was an amazing 793 carats. The East India Company seized it for Queen Victoria in 1851.
Before the 18th century this diamond was traditionally known as Madnayak or the King of Jewels. Afghan’s Ahmad Shah Abdali renamed it Kohinoor.
In its history, various Hindu, Mughai, Turkic, Afghan, and Sikh rulers have owned the Koh-i-Noor. Most took possession of it as part of the spoils of war.
It is said this diamond brought them all misfortune. A written record from 1304, when Barbur was the leader of the Mogul Empire, first mentions the stone being cursed.
“He who owns this diamond will own the world, but will also know all its misfortunes. Only God, and women can wear it with impunity.”
It was during Barbur’s time the diamond was cut to just 186 carats. The man who did this was severely punished. When the British took ownership of the stone Prince Albert had it cut once more--to 105 carats.
|Koh-I-Noor's original setting.|
Whether one believes in curses or not this diamond has always been associated with bad luck. All these rulers while in possession of the Koh-I-Noor experienced violence, murders, mutilations, torture and treachery.
Many lost their thrones and a few even lost their lives.
|Queen Alexandra wearing|
Koh-I-Noor in her
The British royal family knowing of this curse has wisely made sure it is given to the wife of the male heir to the throne.
In contrast to this curse, it is believed the Koh-I-Noor actually protests woman who wear it.
* The Danya-I- Nur is the oldest diamond in the Iranian Crown Jewels--it is 186 carats today.