Why One of the Largest Diamonds in the Royal Jewels Won’t Be Part of King Charles’s Crown

as the British royal family King prepares for the coronation of Charles IIIThe public is taking stock of the huge gem collection of the state. The British Royal Family owns some of the most prized gems in the world. However, one of the family’s largest and most famous gems will not be worn or held by Charles during his coronation. This is the reason why royal tradition forbids the king from wearing this particular diamond.

Koh-i-Noor most likely originated in India

Among the Crown’s collection of legendary jewels is the Koh-i-Noor diamond, also known as the Koh-i-Noor, which translates to “Mountain of Light” in Farsi. For three centuries, the world has revered the diamond for both its remarkable size and its cultural significance. according to smithsonian magazineThe history of the jewel dates back a thousand years to the alluvial diamond mines of India. For centuries, Hindus believed that the diamond was revered by the gods. Since then, the jewel has traded countless times as bloodstained spoils of war.

The first recognized written record of the gem comes from 1628 when the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan commissioned a massive jewel-encrusted throne inspired by the mythical throne of Solomon. The throne took seven years to build, which cost the ruler four times more than the Taj Mahal. Apart from the Koh-i-Noor, the throne also contained the famous Timur Ruby.

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Both the Koh-i-Noor and the Taimur Ruby were part of the Mughal Peacock Throne until 1739, when the Persian ruler Nadir Shah invaded Delhi. The Shah plundered the city and removed the prized jewels from the throne, turning them into an armband. For 70 years, the Koh-i-Noor passed from one ruler to another in Central Asia. Several of its owners suffered violent deaths before the diamond was finally returned to India at the hands of the Sikh ruler Ranjit Singh in 1813.

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British Empire captured Koh-i-Noor in 1849

At this point in history, the British East India Company’s influence over Central Asia was growing rapidly. The colonists wanted to become the owners of Singh’s beloved Koh-i-Noor, thinking that this would strengthen their hold on the country itself. After Singh’s death in 1839, the Punjabi throne passed between four different rulers over four years, with ownership over the gem.

In 1849, at the end of a period of turmoil, the only heir to the throne was 10-year-old Dalip Singh. The British took advantage of this vulnerability and the authorities imprisoned the boy’s mother, forcing the young ruler to sign a legal document claiming sovereignty and the Koh-i-Noor diamond with him. As a result, the diamond officially became the property of Queen Victoria.

When the diamond was displayed at the Great Exposition in London in 1851, the British public was awestruck. The press lamented that the diamond was tarnished in appearance, making it difficult to distinguish from an ordinary piece of glass. In response, Victoria’s husband, Prince Albert, had the diamond recut to enhance its shine. This process halved the size of the famous gem.

The Koh-i-Noor is displayed in the Tower of London

There is no doubt that the world’s fascination with the magnificent Koh-i-Noor has resulted in violent sieges, coups and deaths. Because of its cruel heritage, the British believe that the diamond brings bad luck to all men who wear it. This is the reason why the gem is not made into a coronation coat of arms.

Ever since the diamond became part of the Crown Jewels, it has been worn only by women of the royal family. Victoria wore this stone as both a brooch and a circlet. After her death, jewelers set the diamond into Queen Alexandra’s crown in 1901. Then, in 1911, the Koh-i-Noor was molded into Queen Mary’s crown.

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The crown atop the coffin of the Queen Mother at her funeral. Prince Charles and Prince Andrew in the background (Adrian Dennis/AFP via Getty Images)

Finally, court jewelers set the legendary diamond in the Crown of Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother in 1937. The Queen Mother wore the crown on several occasions throughout her lifetime. The Koh-i-Noor made its most recent public appearance in 2002 when the crown was placed over the coffin of the Queen Mother at her funeral. Today, diamonds are displayed with Other Crown Jewels at the Tower of London.

King Charles will not wear the Koh-i-Noor

Of course, given its history, King Charles III is not expected to wear the Koh-i-Noor during his coronation. However, since there is no custom preventing royal women from wearing the gemstone, there has been much speculation that Queen Consort Camilla will don the Queen Mother’s Crown instead.

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Yet there is significant controversy over whether or not the stone should be in the possession of the Crown. The governments of India, Pakistan and Afghanistan claim ownership of the diamond, and all respectively advocate their return. While the British government says the diamond was obtained legally, the stigma of the stone may prevent Camilla from wearing it next year.

However, if you’re keen to see the big diamonds King Charles had, you’re still in for a treat. As part of the traditional coronation regalia, Charles is expected to wear Sovereign’s Scepter with Cross, The piece contains the Cullinan I diamond – the largest colorless cut diamond in the world. Although the Koh-i-Noor may not appear, the historic coronation of Charles III and Camilla is scheduled for May 6, 2023.

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