The Kohinoor diamond
The Koh-i-noor, which means “Mountain of Light” in Persian, is a 105 carat diamond (in its most recent cut) that was once the largest known diamond in the world.
It originated in the state of Andhra Pradesh in India along with its double, the Darya-i-noor (the “Sea of Light”). It has belonged to various Hindu, Mughal, Persian, Afghan, Sikh and British rulers who fought bitterly over it at various points in history and seized it as a spoil of war time and time again. It was finally seized by the East India Company and became part of the British Crown Jewels when Queen Victoria was proclaimed Empress of India in 1877.
India has claimed the diamond and have said that the Kohinoor was taken away illegally and it should be given back. In a July 2010 interview, David Cameron stated that the gem could not be returned to India as the move would set an unworkable precedent: “If you say yes to one you suddenly find the British Museum would be empty.” The gem remains the property of the British Crown and is kept in HM Tower of London. It is a popular attraction.
Story: The Telegraph | Photo: Bloomberg