Akbar Shah Diamond

 

The name of the Mongol ruler Akbar Shah (1556-1605) is engraved in the diamond, therefore its name. Apparently, the name was engraved in a later time when the power was given to his son. The diamond has the name engraved with the Muslim year 1028 which is 1619 AC. That means the diamond was processed after the time of Akbar Shah, maybe as a way to commemorate his ruling. Out of all the monarch rulers, it appears that Akbar Shah is one to remember. He believed in the unity of all religions and created a dialogue between religions in his court. Some refer to him as one of the most enlightened monarchs in history. At a later era 2 more phrases were engraved on the diamond: The name of Shah Jahan in 1039 to Muslim counting and Shepherd Stone, even later, which probably was a person that bought the diamond in Turkey. But how did the diamond reach Turkey and the west?

Historians believe that the diamond was a part of the peacock crown of Shah Jahan and passed in heritage until looted by Nadir Shah – it was 1739, during the ruling time of Muhammad Shah. Nadir Shah fought him and during the war, he conquered Agrah and Delhi and looted all of the king’s possessions, including the Akbar Shah Diamond and many more famous diamonds. Nadir Shah was murdered by his bodyguards ten years later and his possessions were stolen, some were never found. Some say the murder happened due to a curse resting on the diamonds.

A century passed until the diamond showed up in Istanbul under the name – Shepherd Stone. It was in 1866 and Turkey was known as a gate to the west, regarding Indian originating diamonds (legally and illegally). The diamond was presented to a man named George Blog who purchased the diamond and took it to London. He knew this diamond probably has some good historical value.  George Blog cut the diamond again but made sure to create replicas of what was engraved on the diamond for future researchers. During the cutting, the stone that weighed 119 carat became a stone weighing 73.60 carat.

The polished stone was purchased by the ruler of Bruda, a nation in India, for 350 thousand Rupees. Later in 1926, the ruler of Bruda asked Jack Cartier to embed the diamond in a platinum jewel, a popular material at the time. Apparently, the diamond remains in possession of the ruler’s family, the Gaekwad family.

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