A History of the Famous Kohinoor Diamond

Kohinoor diamond
Kohinoor diamond

Kohinoor diamond is the most controversial diamond ever in the history and it is believed to be mined from Kollur mines of Andhra Pradesh state in India, during the Katikiya Dynasty that ruled India in the 13th century. Kohinoor diamond is also known as Koh-I-Noor diamond and Mountain of Light diamond. Back then, it was the largest diamond ever mined at 793 carats when uncut. Today, this same diamond weighs in at 21.6 grams or 105.6 carats.

The Katikiya Dynasty placed this diamond in a Hindu temple where it stayed during their reign. This precious diamond was consequently acquired by different conquering armies and dynasties until it was eventually acquired by the British. The Sikh empire of the Punjab area of India was founded by Maharaja Ranjit Singh. During his reign, he wrote a will bequeathing the Koh-I-Noor diamond to a Hindu temple in Puri. Unfortunately, his will was not executed and instead, the region became a British colony. The British then acquired this precious jewel which, at the time, was considered a valuable acquisition and part of the spoils of colonialism. The colonial head of India at the time was Lord Dalhousie. He showed extreme interest in the Kohinoor diamond and continued to do so all his life.

The Koh-I-Noor was then shipped off to England on a tumultuous sea journey. At the time, it was valued at 1,000,000 British pounds which is equivalent to 290,000,000 GBP today. When the Kohinoor diamond finally arrived in the UK, it was set for an exhibition at Hyde Park in London. This was in 1851. The diamond was later cut by some of the best diamond cutters in the world to give it a new polish and shine. It became very brilliant, shiny and dazzling. It is today part of England’s royal family’s jewels and is safely stored at Windsor Castle.
The British royal family still believes the diamond could be cut and polished further to give it a better appearance and to look more glamorous. Upon the passing on of Queen Victoria, the Kohinoor was set in Queen Alexandra’s diamond crown. She wore this crown at her husband’s King Edward’s VII coronation. It is said that Alexandra was the first Queen to use the Kohinoor on her crown. She was later followed by Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth. In recent years, Indians in India and the UK have requested the Kohinoor be handed back, but these requests have been blatantly refused.