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The Kohinoor Diamond: Tales of Legends, Folklore, and an Enigmatic Curse

The Kohinoor Diamond: Tales of Legends, Folklore, and an Enigmatic Curse

24 May, 2023 | Gemstone | Gem Selection

Derived from the Persian language, the term "Koh-i-Noor" signifies "Mountain of Light." Its name aptly describes the monumental dimensions of the gem, which was initially 186 carats, resembling the size and weight of a hen's egg.

The Indo-British Mess

Maharaja Ranjit Singh, the final Indian possessor of the Kohinoor diamond, reigned as a just and inclusive king over Punjab, known as the Land of Five Rivers, with its capital in Lahore. In 2020, the BBC World Histories Magazine hailed him as the greatest ruler of all time. Following his demise in 1839, his young son Duleep Singh assumed the throne. The British East India Company, akin to a vigilant vulture, observed and ultimately seized control of the Sikh Empire through deceitful means. In a mere six months, the company's representatives pillaged the kingdom's vast riches and disrupted the socioeconomic fabric of the state.

Intriguingly, four years prior to his exile, in 1849, Lord Dalhousie had ordered the 11-year-old Duleep to surrender the Kohinoor diamond to Queen Victoria. This legendary diamond had traveled a distance of 6700 km from India to London aboard a ship. According to a popular belief associated with the Kohinoor, it is said to bring misfortune to its possessors. This superstition, known as the curse of Kohinoor, suggests that those who owned the diamond lived lives plagued by bloodshed, violence, and betrayal.


The Kohinoor's Journey and Demands for Repatriation

For many years, the Kohinoor diamond was housed in a tower within the London jewel house. However, numerous appeals have been made to return the diamond to its place of origin, leading to ongoing debates.

 The Kohinoor was discovered in the Kollur Mines in the Golconda region, which was the sole location in the world where diamonds were found during the 18th century. In 1725, diamond mines were also uncovered in Brazil.

 The first documented reference to the Kohinoor is found in the writings of Mughal emperor Zahirudin Babar in 1526, where he describes it as a diamond worth half the world's daily expenses. It is believed that Babar obtained the diamond as a tribute for his victory in the Battle of Panipat. Shahjahan's mention of the Kohinoor in 1628 occurred when he commissioned the renowned Peacock Throne, a project that took seven years to complete and cost four times as much as the Taj Mahal. The introduction of the Kohinoor into the Mughal Empire was believed to contribute to the decline of its rule due to the perceived curse attached to the diamond. Subsequently, the diamond came into the possession of the Sikh Empire, meeting a similar fate, followed by the Afghan kings who also encountered the curse associated with the diamond.

Ownership Disputes and the British Empire

Multiple countries, including India, Pakistan, Iran, and Afghanistan, have asserted their claim to ownership of the Kohinoor diamond. However, the UK government has consistently denied these claims, stating that the diamond was obtained legally. With the arrival of the Kohinoor in the British Empire, its hold over its colonies, India included, progressively weakened. This has intensified curiosity surrounding the diamond and its alleged curse, leaving the question unanswered as to whether it is truly cursed or not.

Is the Curse True?

Does the Kohinoor diamond possess an actual curse? The notion lacks scientific substantiation, as there is no empirical evidence to support such a claim. Instead, it appears more probable that the curse surrounding the diamond is a narrative constructed to rationalize the misfortunes encountered by its various owners.

Following the same belief that utilizing previously owned gemstones, such as the renowned Koh-i-Noor, diminishes their positive aura. It is suggested that as these gemstones pass from one person to another, they accumulate negative energy. This notion stems from the idea that gemstones carry inherent energies and vibrations that can be influenced by their history and interactions with individuals. Consequently, the more a gemstone is used by different people, the more it allegedly absorbs negative energy. Hence, proponents of this belief advocate for the use of fresh gemstones to ensure the preservation of their positive vibrations and spiritual properties.

This is one prime reason why Khanna Gems never takes back their sold gems, as they don't want our valuable clients to get affected by any kind of negative energy.

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