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Imperial Great White Jacob Diamond…or something like that

Nov 21st, 2012

Imperial Great White Jacob Diamond…or something like that

The Jacob Diamond is a large diamond, ranked seventh in the world, known earlier as the Imperial or Great White Diamond. It is believed to be the Victoria Diamond, owned by the Nizam of Hyderabad and currently owned by the Government of India.

It is cut in a rectangular cushion-cut, with 58 facets, and measures 39.5 mm long, 29.25 mm wide and 22.5 mm deep. The diamond weighs 184.5 carat.

Unlike the famous Koh-i-Noor, the Jacob diamond can be branded as a nonviolent diamond, one which has changed hands only twice in the history of its existence. However, it only came into the possession of India after its forcible annexation of the Nizam’s state.

It was several years after the death of his father that the last Nizam, Osman Ali Khan, found the Jacob Diamond in the toe of his father’s shoe at Chowmahalla Palace.

Before it was sent to Europe to be cut, the uncut diamond is believed to have been over 400 carat in weight. The diamond was put up for sale in 1891 by Alexander Malcom Jacob, whence the name.

It was offered to Mahbub Ali Khan, the Nizam of Hyderabad. Initially, however, the Nizam was quite uninterested in the diamond and offered a mere 46 lakhs (4 million) Rupees for it. The Nizam was asked to make a good faith deposit if he was to go through with the transaction. The European jewel cutters did not like this offer, but were forced into court when they lost track of the Nizam’s deposit. Ultimately, the Nizam was awarded the diamond for almost half of his original offer, 23 lakhs (2.2 million) Rupees (approx. $50,000 by 2005 rates) when the case was resolved.

Nevertheless, the Nizam still showed little interest in the diamond and for many years was used as a paper weight by the last Nizam. This continued until the diamond’s true value was realized and it was stored away as another of the Nizam’s treasures.

After much litigation, the diamond was forcibly purchased by the government of India from the Nizam’s trust for an estimated $13 million in 1995, along with other Jewels of The Nizams, and is held at the Reserve Bank of India, Mumbai.

As part of the Nizam’s jewellery exhibition in 2002 and 2007, the Jacob diamond was a major attraction at Salar Jung Museum, Hyderabad.

Famous Diamonds

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