UK’s Crown Jewel
One of the most valuable, precious, and famous gems in the world is the UK’s Crown Jewel collection. It is also known as the Koh-i-Noor. Not only is this gem beautiful, but it is also enormous. The massive diamond is worth over $1 billion. According to the Royal family, the diamond was given to them as a gift. This isn’t the whole story behind the Koh-i-Noor. It is said to be cursed, and it has a bloody past.
Mountain Of Light
The name, Koh-i-Noor, translates to Mountain of Light. Queen Elizabeth doesn’t wear the massive diamond. In fact, the Royal family barely ever sees it. It remains in a vault which is heavily guarded. The diamond is only taken out on very special occasions. It is so rarely seen that you would have a better chance of seeing a unicorn than setting eyes on this diamond.
The Jewel House
The Royal family keeps the massive jewel in a box that is bombproof. There is no way that anyone can damage the diamond. It doesn’t sit alone. It is kept beside the Tudor Crown and St. Edward’s Crown in the Tower of London’s vault that is known as the Jewel House. The British Royal family wasn’t the first owners of this large gem. It actually has a complicated and bloody past, that paints a very poor picture of the Royal family.
The Koh-i-Noor diamond was first seen in 1628. Nestled inside the heart of a peacock, the jewel was the prominent focal point of the Mughal emperor, Shah Jahan’s, Peacock Throne. At the time, the massive gem wasn’t the most sought after jewel associated with the throne. The Mughals were more impressed by the Timur Ruby, which was fiery red. Later, it was determined that the gem wasn’t a ruby. It was actually a red spinel.
Power Hungry Nations
While the Mughal rules were sitting on the jewel-encrusted throne, the empire was flourishing. This caused power-hungry nations to want a piece of the pie. In 1769, the Persian emperor, Nader Shah stormed the city of Delhi. He seized power, and along with that came the Peacock Throne. When he spotted the Koh-i-Noor, he realized that is was a massive, one-of-a-kind diamond. He took the stone from the throne, believing that the stone was so rare that it should be shown off. He also took the Timur Rudy. The two incredible gems found a new home on the arm of Nader’s coat.
For the next 70-years, the gem went from ruler to ruler, between India and Afghanistan. In 1813, the diamond made it to India, into the hands of the Sikh ruler, Ranjit Singh. According to a historian and journalist named Anita Anand, this was the moment that the people stopped looking at the Koh-i-Noor as a jewel and thought of it as a symbol of capability. According to Anita, it became like the ring in the Lord of the Rings. One ring to rule them all. The gem’s security in India was short-lived. After Ranjit Singh died in 1839, the next rulers left the diamond open to threats.
The British were eyeing the diamond and wanted to add it to their collection. They waited until a 10-year-old boy named Duleep Singh took the crown in 1849 to make their move. According to history books, the British got the jewel as a gift. However, the story that is not in the history books says that the token was stolen during a bloody battle.
According to the story, British forces ambushed the young king, and they kidnapped his mother, Rani Jindan. They talked the young king into giving up the diamond and handing over his claim to the Punjabi throne. This was when he was forced to sign the Treaty of Lahore. Before anyone could do anything about it, the diamond was taken to London, where it was given to Queen Victoria.
The Great Exhibition
When the Royals had their hands on the diamond, they decided that it was too incredible to keep hidden. In 1851, they decided to put it on display at the Great Exhibition. People from all over the world came to the Great Exhibition to see the exhibits. When people saw the Koh-i-Noor, they didn’t overthink it. To many people, it looked just like a common piece of glass. Prince Albert decided to revamp the diamond. He ordered it to be recut and shined so brightly that it would put a disco ball to shame. This reduced the size of the diamond by half. Queen Victoria loved it, and she affixed it to a brooch. Eventually, it was placed in a crown.
The Last Appearance
The last time the diamond was seen was during the funeral of the Queen Mother in 2002. The crown was placed on the casket. Since the funeral, it has been in the Tower of London. This is the untold story of the ‘cursed’ crown jewel that the Royal Family refuses to give back. They are sticking to the story that it was a gift, even though others strongly disagree.