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Latest Articles - Luxury

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Legendary Diamonds

Thursday, 11 June 2009

legendary diamonds KohinoorEach outstanding diamond has its mystic and magic effect on the surrounding; it really costs a lot to people who have passion to diamonds. The giant Cullinan is one of the most famous and the largest diamonds in the world. The Cullinan weighed a massive 3,106 carats as a rough diamond crystal. It was named after Thomas Cullinan (later Sir Thomas) who was a South African businessman, before a successful Johannesburg building contractor and amateur geologist.

Thomas became interested in the area because of the alluvial diamonds that were being found in nearby stream. The Cullinan diamond was discovered at the Premier Diamond Mine in 1905. Mr. Frederick Wells, the superintendent of the Premier Mine found the crystal when he was making a routine inspection of the mine, eighteen feet below the ground. Specialists suppose that the diamond is the part of the bigger stone. Yet, nothing was determined and the diamond was presented it to King Edward VII on his 66th birthday and the masters were brainstorming on what to do with the stone. Finally they decided to cut it into several finer parts. The largest part, called ‘Star of Africa' is set in the Royal Scepter.

Unfortunately, the second largest known diamond in the world is Excelsior that was just broken into pieces. The jewelers explained that ridiculous event by the wrong shape of the diamond. Finally, this magnificent diamond was cut into 21 separate stones.

The other magnificent stone called ‘Great Mogul' was also cut into several pieces by the fault of inexperienced jeweler who failed to do the cutting. Shah Jahan forced the jeweler to pay the great compensation for the broken stone.

The owners of treasures were also folowed in other way. Thus, in 1739 the Iranian troops attacked Delhi. One of the purposes of that attack was the wonderful pink diamond ‘Delia-Nur'.  Since that time, the diamond was in the treasury of the Iranian shahs incrusted in the Crowns of the Rulers. The diamond was last displayed to wide public in 1967 during crowning of the last shah of Iran and in twenty years the shah had to leave his country escaping from the Islamic revolution.

The legendary ‘Kohinoor' is known from the year 1304. It belonged to the father of the Great Mogul Dynasty and decorated the ceremonial throne of Shah Jahan, the builder of Taj Mahal. Crowned owners of ‘Kohinoor' died one after another. Once the diamond arrived to Afghanistan with the bodyguard to Nodir Shah who escaped with the stone after the shah was killed.  Finally, the diamond came to East Indies Company that presented the stone to Victoria, The Queen in 1850. The Queen used the diamond as a broche and later on it was fixed in the center of the frontal cross of the State Crown. Later the whole world enjoyed that diamond at the coronation of Her Majesty Elizabeth, The Queen. Now ‘Kohinoor' is kept in the London Tower together with other royal jewels.

But it is not only the British Queen who can show off wearing marvelous jewels. The well-known diamond ‘Orlov' stored in the treasury of the Diamond Fund is one of the outstanding diamonds in history and from esthetical point of view. The stone has its initial Indian cutting made in the form of the Indian rose with a huge number of layered facets. First the diamond belonged to Shah Jahan and was put in the eye of the Indian God Brahma statue in Madras. In the early XVIII century a French soldier, the guard to the temple, stole the diamond and sold to a British captain. Yet, the diamond appeared in Amsterdam after all adventures where he was bought by the Duke Grigoriy Orlov for the fortune. And the only person in Russia who could afford such a jewelry was an Empress of Russia, and thus, the diamond ‘Orlov' was presented to her. The gem was mounted in the carved silver and put in the upper part of the Russian Supreme Scepter.

The fate of the reputed ‘Sancy' is unknown till now somewhat belonged to the Russian manufacturer Pavel Demidov. The Sancy was kept in the treasury of the Indian rules for a long time and then it appeared in Europe. Under the legend, the bearer of the gem was invulnerable to the weapons, and one of the owners, Carl Brave, caused the gem to be installed into his helmet. Alas, but the helmet was lost in one of battles and the day after the Duke was killed. The Swiss soldiers sold the diamond for a gulden since they did not have an idea of its real value.

Finally, the gem was acquired by the Marquis de Sancy to have its name. Once the diamond was hardly stolen, though the faithful servant swallowed the gem scarifying his life. Soon after the diamond went to the French king and for a long time the agraffe of Louis XIV - the Sun King. During the French Revolution ‘Sancy' was stolen again. The Great Napoleon ordered to find the gem but the searches were unsuccessful. Though Pavel Demidov succeeded in that. He acquired the diamond for his wife who widowed soon after that. After her death ‘Sancy' was found in the treasury of the Lord Astor and later it magically went to Elizabeth Taylor. Though nobody is confident on what happened to the diamond and where it is today.

One of the unhappy and powerful stones was the famous blue ‘Hope Diamond'. They say that earlier the gem decorated the forehead of the Indian God and longs to return to the place. In 1792 during the revolution it was lost from the treasury of the French kings and was later put to London auction. It was permanent in changing owners. One of them, Eveline Walsh took the diamond to the church to clear the gem. It did not help, her husband was put to psychiatric hospital, her bother died young, and her little son was killed in the car crash, her daughter died from over-dosing of medication. Even after Mrs. Maclinn died, the damnation worked to the further generation and her granddaughter Evelyn died at the age of 25. In the end, the last owner of the gem took it to the Smithson Institute where the diamond is kept till now.

Nevertheless, the rich and famous are not really anxious with the fate of their antecedents. Elisabeth II owns so many diamonds that she had to take a separate room in the Buckingham Palace to keep them. And only personal jewels are kept in that room. The treasuries of the British Crown are kept in the secure Tower and are provided to Her Majesty if and when necessary. The total cost of the personal collection of stones belonging to Elisabeth II is estimated to reach 57 million US dollars. And the majority of diamonds were presented to her. One of the prominent jewels of the royal collection is the diamond necklace by the Queen Mary. Also the Queen possesses some pieces of cut Cullinan stone. It is known behind the scene that Elisabeth called them ‘grandmother's stones'.

Elisabeth Taylor, the Queen of Hollywood Show-biz competes with the British Queen. The former has in her collection ‘Krupp' diamond (33,19 carat) and ‘Taylor-Barton' diamond (69,42 carat). Her husband, Richard Barton, copying the generous gesture of the Shah Jahan, presented his wife with a magnificent heart-shaped yellow diamond.

The other billionaire, Aristotle Onassis, presented his wife-to-be Jacqueline Kennedy marvelous diamond jewels as his wedding present that cost $ 5 million USD. The church ring was estimated by experts to cost $2 million USD.

However, all these celebrities are far and away to wonderful Muna-al-Rashid whose collection is estimated to cost $100 million USD. It is no wonder since the women of the East can take their jewels away in case of divorce. And nobody can ever guess what treasures belong to these small figures wrapped in modest shawls.  It is only well-known that almost all Indian actresses are crazy about jewels. On the top of it, they secretly compete on who is richer, and so far Rekha, splendid actress, and beautiful Shridevi are in the top winners. They are told to keep a special guard for the jewels since a small diamond necklace they wear may cost over $6 million USD.

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