Jacob Diamond

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Jacob Diamond
Weight 184.5 carats (36.90 g)
Color Colorless
Cut Rectangular cushion-cut
Country of origin India
Mine of origin India
Date discovered 1884
Original owner The Nizams of India
Current owner Govt. of India
Estimated value £100 Million (2008)

The Jacob Diamond is a large diamond, ranked fifth in the world,[1] known earlier as the Imperial or Great White Diamond.[2] 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 carats (36.90 g).

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.[3] However, it only came into the possession of India after its amalgamation of the Hyderabad state into the Republic of India.

History[edit]

Before it was sent to Europe to be cut, the uncut diamond is believed to have been over 400 carats (80 g) in weight.

The diamond was put up for sale in 1891 by Alexander Malcolm Jacob, hence 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. 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, and he himself used it as a paper weight for a long time 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 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.

See also[edit]

References[edit]