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Lost? The Great Mogul…

Nov 29th, 2012

Lost? The Great Mogul…

The Great Mogul diamond is the largest diamond ever found in India. It was discovered as a 787 carat rough stone in the Golconda mines in 1650 and subsequently was cut by the Venetian lapidary Hortentio Borgis.

The French jewel trader Jean-Baptiste Tavernier first described it on November 1st 1665, he was calling on Aurangzeb at the palace in Delhi, India and was shown “the great diamond which is rose cut, round and very high on one side.” In another note he described it as having, “the form of an egg cut in half.” It is apparent that Tavernier was looking at a diamond that had been somewhat cut and polished. He said that the Great Mogul diamond weighed 280 carat when he saw it, but it weighed 793 carat in the rough.

There is an intriguing story related to the disparity between these two carat weights. Found in the mine at Gani, India around 1650, the diamond was presented to (the great mogul) Shaw Jehan in 1655.  Jehan kept the rough crystal intact but his son, Aurangzeb, hired Hortensio Borgio to cut it. To remove some internal flaws, Borgio ground away almost two-thirds of the original weight. Aurangzeb, angry about all the waste, refused to pay Borgio and instead, fined him 10,000 rupees for his lack of cutting skill.
Nidar Shaw looted the Indian treasury in 1739 and he most likely took the Great Mogul back to Persia with him. In 1747 Nidar Shaw was assassinated and his Persian treasures soon disappeared. A documented sighting of the Great Mogul, since that time, has yet to surface. It is thought that the Great Mogul was recut to avoid detection. The Darya-I-Nur, the Nur-ul-Ain and the Taj-E-Mah have a distinct association with the Great Mogul and rumors also exist relevant to the Orloff and even the Koh-I-Noor.

No one really knows.

Sources:
Britannica
Wikipedia
International Diamond Center

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