Koh-Í-Noor is one of the most famous diamonds in the world, alongside twelve others, among them are the Star of Africa, the Eye of the Idol and the Blue Hope. Currently the Koh-Í-Noor belongs to the British Crown and since 1937 decorates a crown specially made for the Queen Mother, for the day of her husband’s coronation, King George VI.
A unique diamond It is a unique diamond, not only for its commercial value, but also for its emotional and cultural value, as it is enveloped in legends and myths. It is safely locked in the Tower of London, leaving only on very special occasions, such as the crowning of a new English monarch. One of the last public appearances of the diamond was in 2002, at the funeral of the Queen Mother, when it was on top of her coffin during the funeral procession.
The Story The story of Koh-Í-Noor – a name that means Mountain of Light – is full of mysteries. One of the beliefs says that Koh-Í-Noor brings bad luck and even death to men who have it, being harmless to women. Its date records from 1304, but some believe that the stone was found more than five thousand years ago, taking into account some Hindu religious texts. In 1304, the diamond was widely mentioned in the accounts of Babur, founder of the Mogul Empire. According to these records, the diamond weighed 793 carats and after being cut and polished by a jeweler named Borgio, its final size was 186 carats. Still unsatisfied, the Mughal emperor at the time would have condemned Borgio to death. It is also believed that the diamond may have been set on Shah Jehan’s famous peacock throne (who had the Taj Mahal built) as one of the peacock’s eyes.
Mountain of Light Although it was never sold, the Mountain of Light passed through several owners. In 1850, when Great Britain annexed India to the Empire, and Queen Victoria was declared Empress of India, she received the Koh-Í-Noor from Lord Dalhousie. Today, this famous gem weighs 108.8 carats. After being cut by the jewelers of the British Crown, it became very brilliant when it lost 40% of its initial volume. In the game “Assassins Creed Rogue”, published by Ubisoft in 2014, Koh-Í-Noor is fictionalized as one of the “pieces of Eden”, showing its importance to the popular creative imagination.