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Indian Jewelry

Legendary Diamonds From History

The famous saying about diamond is that “Diamonds are forever” because a diamond symbolizes eternal love, purity and strength. Diamonds were formed at least 990 million years ago, although some are estimated to be as many as 4.25 billion years old. A diamond is known by its 4 C’s. There are four different characteristics- the Carat, the Color, the Cut and the Clarity. A number of large or extraordinary diamonds have gained fame, both as exquisite examples of the beautiful nature of diamonds, and because of the famous people who wore, bought, and sold them. A list of most famous diamonds in history follows.

10. Tiffany Yellow Diamond
Tiffany Yellow Diamond
The Tiffany Yellow Diamond is one of the largest yellow diamonds ever discovered; it weighed 287.42 carats in the rough when discovered in 1878 in the Kimberley mine in South Africa. Founded by Charles Lewis Tiffany in 1837, Tiffany & Co. came to the fore among diamond merchants during the second half of the 1800s. During the political disturbances in Paris in 1848, which cumulated in the overthrow of King Louis Philippe, the firm bought a large quantity of jewels. At the sale of the French Crown Jewels in 1887, Tiffany’s bought a great diamond necklace of Empress Eugénie, considered at the time to have been the finest single item to go on sale.
9. Centenary Diamond
Centenary Diamond
On March 1, 1988, De Beers was having a big bash to celebrate their 100 years in business. Chairman Julian Oglivie capped off his speech with a little tidbit that stunned the crowd – De Beers’ Premier Mine had recently uncovered a diamond that was perfect in color and weighed 599 carats. It had been found nearly two years before; the company kept it quiet for the sole purpose of flaunting it at their 100th anniversary. It didn’t get to keep all 599 of those carats, though – it had to be cut down to remove some cracks around the edges and it took 154 days to cut 50 carats away. That was just the beginning of the stone’s overhaul – when all was said and done, the Centenary ended up weighing 273.85 carats with 247 facets. It was on loan to the Tower of London for a number of years (have any of you seen it?), but it’s rumored that the stone has since been sold. De Beers remains mum on the subject, saying they respect their clients’ anonymity.
8. Hope Diamond
Hope Diamond
The Hope Diamond is a large, 45.52 carats (9.10 g), deep-blue diamond, housed in the Smithsonian Natural History Museum in Washington, D.C. The Hope Diamond is blue to the naked eye because of trace amounts of boron within its crystal structure. It is famous for supposedly being cursed. The legend holds that the original form of the Hope Diamond was stolen from an eye of a sculpted idol of the Hindu goddess Sita and the specific legends about the Hope Diamond’s “cursed origin” were invented in the early 20th century to add mystique to the stone.
7. Orlov Diamond
Orlov Diamond
The Orlov (sometimes spelled Orloff) is a large diamond that is part of the collection of the Diamond Fund of the Moscow Kremlin. The origin of this resplendent relic – described as having the shape and proportions of half a hen’s egg – can be traced back to 18th century in southern India. The particulars of the Orlov’s story have been lost with time, but it is widely reported that the diamond once served as an eye of the statue in a temple in southern India. The man held responsible for its removal was a French deserter, a grenadier from the Carnatic wars who apparently died after touching the gem. The Orlov is a rarity among historic diamonds, for it retains its original Indian rose-style cut. Its colour is widely stated as white with a faint bluish-green tinge.
6. Klopman Diamond
Klopman Diamond
The Klopman diamond is a fabulous, legendary and huge diamond, said to have a curse associated with it.

The Klopman diamond was originally the subject of a traditional joke, a typical version of which is:
A businessman boarded a plane to find, sitting next to him, an elegant woman wearing the largest, most stunning diamond ring he had ever seen. He asked her about it. “This is the Klopman diamond,” she said. “It is beautiful, but it’s like the Hope diamond; there is a terrible curse that goes with it.” “What’s the curse?” the man asked. She said “Mr. Klopman.”
Due to the use of the name “Klopman” and the somewhat dark humor, and the fact that it was one of Myron Cohen’s standards, this joke is sometimes characterised as Yiddish in origin. Some commentators maintain that names other than Klopman would not be as funny, and point to the fact that this joke has survived essentially unaltered for decades.

A later joke of Myron Cohen, similar in nature, goes as follows:

The very same Mrs. Klopman was told by her doctor that she had a fatal condition and would never outlive her husband. She immediately commissioned a world-famous portrait artist to paint her portrait, which was to be hung above the mantel in the living room. As she posed for the portrait, she asked the artist “When you’re done…if you have some paints left….I vant you should add some things to the painting….. I vant you should paint on my wrist a three-tiered diamond tennis bracelet,” she said. “Also, paint on Tahitian black pearl earrings the size of grapes.” She continued in this vein, asking him to paint several rings on her fingers and a ruby and diamond tiara for good measure. The artist did as he was told, and turned out a dazzling portrait. When the job was finished, before he left, the artist said, “May I ask you a question, Mrs. Klopman?” “Sure, go ahead,” she replied. “Well,” said the artist, “painting the Klopman diamond was easy, but I had a heck of a time dreaming up all the other jewelry you wanted me to add on. Tell me, why did you want it?” A crafty gleam lit Mrs. Klopman’s eyes as she explained, “because when I’m dead and my husband brings the next Mrs. Klopman into this house, I want her to look at my portrait and go crazy trying to find all that stuff!”

5. Spoonmaker’s Diamond
Spoonmaker’s Diamond
The Spoonmaker’s Diamond the pride of the Topkapi Palace Museum and its most valuable single exhibit as part of the Imperial Treasury, it is an 86 carats (17 g) pear-shaped diamond.

Various stories are told about the Spoonmaker’s Diamond. According to one tale, a poor fisherman in Istanbul empty-handed along the shore when he found a shiny stone among the litter, which he turned over and over not knowing what it was. After carrying it about in his pocket for a few days, he stopped by the jewelers’ market, showing it to the first jeweler he encountered. The jeweler took a casual glance at the stone and appeared disinterested, saying “It’s a piece of glass, take it away if you like, or if you like I’ll give you three spoons. You brought it all the way here, at least let it be worth your trouble.” What was the poor fisherman to do with this piece of glass? What’s more the jeweler had felt sorry for him and was giving three spoons. He said okay and took the spoons, leaving in their place an enormous treasure. It is for this reason they say that the diamond’s name became the “Spoonmaker’s Diamond”.

4. The Sancy Diamond
The Sancy Diamond
55 Carats, it was cut in a pear shape and was first owned by Charles the Bold, Duke of Burgundy, who lost it in battle in 1477. The stone is in fact named after a later owner, Seigneur de Sancy, a French Ambassador to Turkey in the late 16th century. He loaned it to the French king, Henry III who wore it in the cap with which he concealed his baldness. Henry IV of France also borrowed the stone from Sancy, but it was sold in 1664 to James I of England. In 1688, James II, last of the Stuart kings of England, fled with it to Paris. It disappeared during the French revolution.
3. The Great Star of Africa
The Great Star of Africa
The Great Star of Africa a.k.a Cullinan diamond is the largest rough gem-quality diamond ever found, at 3,106.75 carats (621.35 g), was discovered in 1905 in South Africa. It was named after the owner of the mining company.

It was cut into 105 gems. Cullinan I, 530 carats is the largest of the cuts and is know as the Great Star of Africa. In 1907 this diamond was given to King Edward VII of England and set into the Royal Scepter. It is kept, along with the other British Crown Jewels, in the Tower of London.

2. Darya-ye Noor Diamond
Darya-ye Noor Diamond
The Darya-ye Noor “Ocean of Light”; weighing an estimated 182 carats (36 g). Its colour, pale pink, is one of the rarest to be found in diamonds. The Darya-ye Noor presently forms part of the Iranian Crown Jewels and is on display at the Central Bank of Iran in Tehran.

In 1739, Nader Shah of Persia invaded Northern India, occupied Delhi and then massacred many of its inhabitants. As payment for returning the crown to the Mughal emperor, he took possession of the entire fabled treasury of the Mughals, including the Darya-i-noor, in addition to the Koh-i-noor and the Peacock throne. All of these treasures were carried to Iran by Nader Shah and the Darya-i-noor has remained there ever since.

1. Koh-i-Noor Diamond
Koh-i-Noor Diamond
The K?h-i N?r that means “Mountain of Light” is a 105 carat (21.6 g) diamond that was once the largest known diamond in the world. It is of great historical significance. It belonged to great Mughal Kingdom of Indo-Pakistan Subcontinent. Hindus, Mughals, Persian, Afghan, Sikh and British rulers fought bitterly over it at various points in history and seized it as a spoil of war time and again. It was finally seized by the East India Company and became part of the British Crown Jewels when Queen Victoria was proclaimed Empress of India in 1877.

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