Wednesday, July 25, 2012

The Legendary History of the Koh-i-Nur (Koh-i-Noor) Diamond (part 1)

Koh-i-Noor Diamond
Mounted in Upper Maltese Cross
Queen Mother's Crown
Photo Credit: Royal Exhibitions
by Angela Magnotti Andrews


In the Tower of London, nestled in the Maltese cross atop the elegant and beautiful crown belonging to Elizabeth I, the Queen Mother, the Koh-i-Nur diamond rests comfortably and beautifully.

After a long and tumultuous history, the large but somewhat unattractive diamond deserves this quiet repose. The Koh-i-Nur boasts the longest documented history of all the famous diamonds, and its history is filled with brutal battles, intense bloodshed, and monumental struggles for power, likely resulting in the superstitious curse it carries. It is said that any man who wore the diamond would lose his kingdom, and it is said that it will bring bad luck to any man who wears it now. However this same diamond is purported to hold a blessing of fortune for the woman who wears it.

Since being handed over to the British Empire by the East India Company in 1846, the legendary diamond has served as a crowning jewel for only the women of the wise empire of Great Britian. Queens Victoria, Mary, and Elizabeth I have all worn it in their coronation crowns during its 166-year respite in the United Kingdom. Likely for fear of the curse, no man has ever worn the jewel in the land.

I leave it to you to decide if it has truly brought good fortune to the Empire. Although the crown has been secure in the hands of the monarchy throughout these past generations, it is not nearly fair to say that the Koh-i-Nur brought any other kind of good fortune to a Queen whose life before and after the diamond was pocked with loss and grief. Perhaps certain talismans lose their power when pitted against other powers of evil.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

1. Wikipedia. "Golkonda." Accessed July 23, 2012. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golkonda#Diamonds.
2. Mughal History. "First Battle of Panipat from Baburnama." Accessed July 23, 2012. http://www.mughalhistory.com/panipatbattle1.htm.
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12. Sikh Institute. Maharaja Duleep Singh: The King in Exile. Appendix: Koh-I-Noor Diamond--Its History. Accessed July 23, 2012. http://sikhinstitute.org/duleepsingh/appendix.pdf.
13. Kaur, Harpreet. "Koh-i-noor, a Mountain of Light." Dance with Shadows. Accessed July 23, 2012. http://www.dancewithshadows.com/society/kohinoor-diamond-india.asp.
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20. Rushby, Kevin. “Chasing the Mountain of Light: Across India on the Trail of the Koh-i-Noor Diamond.” Great Britain: Constable and Company Limited, 1999.
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22. Wikipedia. "Alexandra of Denmark." Accessed July 23, 2012. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexandra_of_Denmark.
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25. ReoCities. "The Memoirs of Babur." Accessed July 23, 2012. http://www.reocities.com/SoHo/Studios/8611/babur.html.


*Clip art courtesy of The Graphics Fairy

1 comment:

  1. ......a slight correction to your fascinating article. Elizabeth the Queen Mother was Queen Elizabeth but not Elizabeth I, as she was not Queen in her own right only Queen Consort (the wife of the King). Elizabeth I was the daughter of Henry VIII (ruled 1558-1603).

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