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Curse or not, the diamond was gifted by the Sultan Ibrahim Lodi to Babur Muhammad, founder and first Emperor of the Mughal dynasty. One of Babur’s descendants, protected the diamond and passed it on to his heirs.
Sadly, the dynasty was weakening and in 1739, the Persian general Nadir Shah went to India intending to conquer the throne. The reigning sultan lost a decisive battle and surrendered to Nadir. It was Nadir who first called the diamond Koh-i-noor, meaning Mountain of Light. After his assassination in 1747, he lost the “Light,” and Generals, Ahmad Shah Durrani became the next owner. In 1813, his descendants, Shah Shuja Durrani took the stone back to India and gave it to Ranjit Singh, Maharaja of Punjab and founder of the Sikh Empire.
Prince Albert undertook the task of making the stone more attractive to the western eye. He called in experts to examine the diamond and eventually chose a Dutch firm. In 1843, Queen Victoria made the House of Garrard the court’s Crown Jewelers. First, a small steam engine was assembled there, the cutters arrived from Holland, and the Duke of Wellington rode up on a white charger to watch. The engine driving the grinding wheel was fired up. The protective wrap made of lead was removed to reveal the first bit of the stone that was to be ground off. The price put the gem on the diamond Scaife grinding machine and the first angle was made.
facebook Karla Stover