Saturday, June 20, 2009

The Darya-ye Noor Diamond

History of The Darya_ye Noor Diamond
The world's largest uncut diamond - "Darya-ye Noor" in Persian means "The Sea of Light". This is the sister diamond to the world's largest cut diamond, the "Kooh-e Noor" which is its Persian name and means "The Mountain of Light". The Kooh-e Noor diamond which now sits in the London Tower, belonged once to Iran, hence its Persian name, but was looted by a certain Ahmed Beg upon the asassination of Nader Shah of Iran in 1747. Ahmed Beg took the Kooh-e Noor diamond along with other valuable jewels of the Iranian Crown Jewels and left Iran. The gem was later taken to England where the East India Company took possession of it. In 1850 it was presented to Queen Victoria. At present it is kept in the Tower of London

The Darya-ye Noor meaning "Sea of Light" in Persian, is one of the largest diamonds in the world, weighing 182 carats (36.4 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. It is considered one of the oldest known diamonds to man.

Darya-ye Noor Diamond is recognized as the possession of the first Mogul emperor of India and is ranked as the most eminent diamond among the Iranian Crown Jewels.

The history behind the Darya-ye Noor reveals a lot of facts. The extraction of this diamond was in India at the Golconda mine, which is in the southern India. The diamond was a precious possession of the Mughal knights. In 1739, the adventurer Nader Shah of Persia invaded India and sacked Delhi; the booty he garnered from the mughal treasury included the Darya-i-noor, in addition to the Kohinoor and the Peacock throne. All of these treasures were carried to Persia by Nader Shah and the Darya-i-noor has remained there ever since.

After Nader Shah's death, the Darya-ye Noor was inherited by his grandson, Shahrokh Mirza. It then passed into the possession of Alam Khan Khozeimeh, and later, of Lotf Ali Khan Zand, a member of Iran's Zand dynasty. Agha Mohammad Khan, founder of Qajar dynasty, defeated the Zands, and thus the Darya-e-noor came into the possession of the Qajars.

Fath Ali Shah Qajar had his name inscribed on one facet of the diamond. Later, Nasser-al-Din Shah Qajar often wore it on an armband. He apparently believed that this diamond had been one of the those adorning the crown of Cyrus the Great. When armbands fell from royal fashion, he wore the diamond as a brooch.

On occasion, the gem would be left in the care of high personages of the land, as a sign of honor. It was eventually kept hidden in the Golestan Palace treasury museum until Mozzafar-al-Din Shah Qajar's time -- this monarch wore it as a hat decoration while visiting Europe in 1902.

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