Monday, 2 December 2013

Monday Marvels: The Shah Diamond

The Shah Diamond was found in India around 1450. It has a slightly yellowish tinge, making it not quite of the highest quality. Originally, it is said to have weighed around 95 carats, but when it was cut, it lost 9 carats. Its shape is an elongated octahedron and is often referred to as being coffin-shaped. On three of its original faces are the names of three of its owners, engraved in Persian along with corresponding dates.

The names are:
Nizām Shāh: The original known owner, who ordered his name carved on one of the faces in 1591.
Jahān Shāh: The grandson of the Great Moghul Akbar, ruler of Northern India. He had his inscription carved in 1641.
Fath 'Alī Shāh: The second Qajar Emperor/Shah of Persia. He had the third inscription done in 1826.
A few years later, after the murder of a Russian diplomat, the diamond was given to Russian Tsar Nicholas I, and it remained amongst the crown jewels. The Shah Diamond can currently be found in the Kremlin.

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