Dates in History of the Kohinoor - Timeline & History of Kohinoor Diamond (aka Koh-i-Noor)
1200 - 1300's There were many dynasties who owned the Kohinoor diamond including the Slave dynasty (1206-90), the Khilji dynasty (1290-1320), the Tughlaq dynasty (1320-1413), the Sayyid dynasty (1414-51), and the Lodi dynasty (1451-1526)These were all brief reigns ending with war and violence
1306 In 1306 the Rajah of Malwa was forced to give the diamond to the rulers of the Kakatiya Empire.
In 1323, the Kakatiya Empire fell after a rule stretching from 1083 to 1323. The diamond was taken by Muhammad bin Tughluq who became the Sultan of Delhi from 1325 to 1351.
1323 - 1526 The diamond came into the possession of the Delhi Sultanate which consisted of many Muslim dynasties that ruled in India to 1526. During the Delhi Sultanate Muslim armies consisting of Mongol, Turkic, Persian, and Afghan warriors invaded India.
1526 In 1526 the Kohinoor Diamond passed to the Mughal Empire when the Timurid Prince Babur defeated Ibrahim Lodi, the last of the Delhi Sultans.
Babur mentions in his memoirs, the Baburnama, that the diamond had belonged to an un-named Rajah of Malwa.
The Mughal Empire ruled most of the Indian subcontinent for two hundred years and the Kohinoor passed from one Mughal Emperor to the next. Violence and bloodshed followed these years often marked by the sons of the Emperors rebelling and overtaking their fathers
The Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan (1592 – 1666), who was famous for building the Taj Mahal, had the Kohinoor Diamond placed into his ornate Peacock Throne
1639 The Koh-i-Noor changed ownership several more times until the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan took the throne. In 1639 a struggle for the Empire started between his four sons - Dara Shikoh, Shah Shuja, Aurangzeb and Murad Baksh when brother killed brother. Shah Shuja executed his brother Dara Shikoh and in then 1658 Aurangzeb defeated Shuja and Shuja who was tortured to death together with all his family.
1665 In 1665 Jean-Baptiste Tavernier (1605 – 1689), French traveller and pioneer of jewelry and diamond trade with India, recorded his experiences in which he describes a great Mughal diamond said to be the biggest in the world. It was called the "Great Mogul" by Tavernier.
1739 In 1739 the Persian King Nadir Shah invaded the Mughal Empire defeating their Emperor and stole the great Koh-i-Noor diamond (Nadir Shah is credited with giving the diamond the name it is known by today). The Koh-i-Noor Diamond was taken to Persia.
1747 In 1747 the empire of Nadir Shah quickly disintegrated after he was assassinated - the Curse of the Kohinoor strikes again? After Nadir Shah's assassination, the diamond passed to his successors, each were dethroned and ritually blinded (Blinding was used to render an enemy powerless and make him a burden on his community.)
1800 1800 - Ranjit Singh took the Empire and possession of the Kohinoor diamond. Rajah Ranjit Singh died in 1839 and his successors lacked his bravery and vision
The Sikh kingdom became weak and the British conquered India which became part of the British Empire and the British Raj or rule gained control of India from 1858 - 1947
The British Governor-General of India, Lord Dalhousie, was responsible for the British acquiring the Koh-i-Noor
1851 1851 - Dalhousie arranged that the Kohinoor diamond should be presented by Ranjit Singh's successor, Duleep Singh, to Queen Victoria, the Empress of India
1851 1851 - The Great Exhibition was staged in Hyde Park in London when the Koh-i-Noor was put on view by the British public
1852 In 1852 Prince Albert ordered that the Koh-i-Noor diamond to be re-cut from 186 carats to its current 105 carats thus increasing its brilliance. The Koh-i-Noor diamond was mounted in a tiara with more than two thousand other diamonds
The Koh-i-Noor diamond was then used as the centre piece of the crowns of the Queen consorts to the British Kings. The Queen Consorts Queen Alexandra and Queen Mary wore the crowns
1936 In 1936, the stone was set into the crown of the wife of King George VI, Queen Elizabeth (later known as the Queen Mother), wife of King George VI
The British Royal family were obviously aware of the Curse of the Kohinoor - "He who owns this diamond will own the world, but will also know all its misfortunes. Only God, or a woman, can wear it with impunity." And from the reign of Queen Victoria the Kohinoor diamond has always gone to the wife of the male heir to the British throne
Friday, May 29, 2009
According to some sources, the Koh-i-noor diamond was found in the Godavari river in central India 4,000 years ago. Tradition associated with it states that its owner will rule the world, but that to possess it is dangerous for any but a woman.
The authentic history of this jewel begins in the 14th century. when it was reported to be in the possession of the rajas of Malwa. It later fell into the hands of Baber, who founded the Mogul dynasty in 1526. During the next two centuries the diamond was one of the most prized items in the treasure of the Mogul emperors.
When Nadir Shah of Persia invaded India and all of the treasures of the Moguls fell into his hands except the great diamond. Nadir Shah was told by one of the emperor's harem women that the stone was hidden in the emperor's turban. The conqueror then invited the conquered to a feast and offered to exchange turbans as a gesture of friendship. The emperor had no choice but to agree. Later, in the privacy of his tent, Nadir Shah unrolled the turban, the gem fell out, and Nadir is supposed to have exclaimed "Koh-i-noor", mountain of light.
The stone continued in the possession of the Persian dynasty, although many attempts were made to gain ownership of it. The Persian king was assassinated, and his son Shah Rukh, was deposed. In an effort to discover the whereabouts of the diamond Shah Rukh´s eyes were put out, and boiling pitch was poured on his head, but he refused steadfastly to reveal its hiding place. Later, a Persian king fled with it to the Sikh court, and Ranjit Singh, the Lion of the Punjab, took the stone and wore it as a decoration. It was later placed in the Lahore treasury. After the Sikh wars, it was taken by the East India Company as part of the indemnity levied in 1849, and was subsequently presented to Queen Victoria at a sparkling levee marking the company's 250th anniversary.
The jewel was displayed at the Great Exhibition of 1851 where it was thought to display insufficient fire. It was decided to recut it from its original Indian form, and a member of the Amsterdam firm of Costar was called to London to cut the stone. The cutting took 38 days, but did not add much to the stone's brilliance. It was rather believed that the historical value of the diamond was diminished by the cutting. Queen Victoria continued to wear it as an ornament, then left it to Queen Alexandra, who wore it at Edward VII´s coronation. In 1911, the jewel was used in a crown made for Queen Mary, and in 1937, in another made to be worn by Queen Elizabeth at the coronation of her husband, King George VI in 1937. At present the crown with the Koh-i-noor is in the Tower of London.