Fit For Royalty
The Real Deal Crown Jewel
Of course the worlds most valuable jewel is one relegated to royalty only. It would seem to keep with past traditions to have such rare objects be in the custodian of ruling monarchs rather than the privately wealthy. The stones previous history, however, is not unlike many of the aforementioned glittering icons in this series. Like many similar stones, the Koh-I-Noor diamond has gone through several versions over the 5,000 years it has been passed throughout the world
There are some reports saying that the stone weighed 793 carats when it was first discovered. It now weighs 105.6 carats and is still one of the largest cut diamonds in the world.
The 1852 re-cutting is responsible for the stones size and appearance today. Carried out by Gerrard & Co and under the supervision of Prince Albert and the Duke of Wellington. The queen's mineralogist, James Tennant, provided technical direction. The process took 38 days and reduced the stone from 186 carats to its current weight of 105.6 carats.
Several flaws including one that was significantly large were responsible for the notable loss in weight. Many experts agree that the decision to cut away the flaws was correct despite Prince Alberts dissatisfaction with the huge loss.
The stone was surrendered to Queen Victoria as a coveted spoil of war in 1849 continuing its long history of comparable transfers throughout the diamonds history. Because its past involves a great deal of fighting between men, the Koh-i-Noor acquired a reputation within the British Royal Family for bringing bad luck to any man who wears it. Since arriving in the UK, it has only been worn by female members of the family. It currently sits atop the queen's coronation crown.