Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Was the Syamantaka Mani the Mysterious Great Mogul Diamond?

Tavernier's Line Drawing, circa 1676
Photo Credit: Museum Diamonds

In my own quest to solve this mystery, I read still other theories that suggest that the Great Mogul diamond, whose whereabouts are unknown at this time, was the stone that actually caused Krishna so much trouble. One corroborating theory states that the Koh-i-Noor was at some point cut from the larger Syamantaka mani.

This theory may have some merit, as there are reports that the Great Mogul once weighed 780 carats and that both the Koh-i-Noor and Orlov diamonds were cut from this larger diamond at one time. (The Orlov diamond is now on exhibit at the Kremlin Diamond Fund.) Unfortunately, these reports are unverifiable, as it seems the only person to ever record seeing this large diamond was Jean Baptiste Tavernier, the French tradesman.

He noted in 1672 that the then 275.65-carat diamond appeared "as of an egg cut in two." The stone is never again mentioned in recorded history, though in one account I read that Alexander Fersman, noted Russian gem expert, believes the Orlov to have been the other half of the Great Mogul diamond that Tavernier drew in his notes. In still another account, though, it is said that Fersman believes the Orlov is the Great Mogul.

These discrepant accounts allow for the possibility that the Koh-i-Nur and the Orlov were at one time one great stone, The Great Mogul. It also allows for the possibility that this one great stone was the Syamantaka mani.

Of all the theories I’ve read, I believe this is the most credible...that the Syamantaka parented both the Koh-i-Nur and the Orlov diamonds. This would explain why the Great Mogul has otherwise been lost to the record.

As I said in the beginning, scholars and historians may never come to a solid conclusion on the matter. However, it is highly possible that a portion of the Syamantaka mani may reside today in the Tower of London (as the Koh-i-Noor diamond) and/or the Kremlin (as the Orlov diamond). Of course, it may actually reside in the Smithsonian Institute (as the Hope Diamond). Or it may be in the hands of an unknown Indian relative.

What do you think?

If you’re ready to decide, leave me a comment below with your choice.

If you’re still undecided, follow me this way to read the arguments in favor of the Hope Diamond.

Or follow me this way to read the arguments in favor of the Koh-i-Nur diamond.


1. IndiaDivine. "Syamantaka or Shyamantaka??" Last modified September 10, 2005. Accessed August 15, 2012.
2. ________, Michael. "The Hope Diamond Design Change." The Natural Sapphire Company. Last Modified September 15, 2009. Accessed August 15, 2012.
3. India Child Name. "Meaning of Syamantak." Accessed August 15, 2012.
4. International Colored Gemstone Association. "Ruby." Accessed August 15, 2012.
5. Museum Diamonds. "Great Mogul." Accessed August 15, 2012.
6. 24hGold. "The Orloff." Published May 29, 2009. Accessed August 22, 2012.

*Clip-art courtesy of The Graphics Fairy


  1. i understand, the syamantaka is described as a red stone which would either be a ruby or a red fluorescing diamond, but the kohinoor is white with a bluish glow. i guess we can never know with any certainty.

    1. Yes, exactly! These ancient stones are really hard to trace for sure! The mystery is both maddening and comforting to me.

  2. It is white in fact I have one gemstone that has all the characteristics of kohinoor but everybody had told me it is fake I think it is real because I bought all kinds of crystals on the web and none of them like my gemstone
    It has ancient , Egyptian hieroglyphics it’s unique and it weights 59.42 grams and it’s beautiful.