When diamonds for first discovered in South Africa, there was a mad chase. A man sold his farm, started searching for diamonds and in the process lost all hi money. On the other hand, the person who bought his farm, discovered diamonds in that very farm itself and he became rich. Hence, this expression ‘There are diamonds in your backyard.’
Diamonds as precious stones are owned by many royal families for centuries. The famous Kohinoor Diamond, rightfully belonged to India, was taken away by the British to London where it adorned the crown of Queen Victoria. Today, Kohinoor is kept in the Tower of London along with other priceless possessions. The precious Kohinoor was held by many royal families in India beginning from that of King Vikramaditya of Ujjain.
The Sancy Diamond was owned by Nicholas Harlay de Nancy in the late 16th century. It passedthrough many hands and finally came into the possession of a rich Paris merchant, Sir Jamsetjee Jeijeebhoy. Now, it rests with the family of Viscount Astor.
The Liberator Diamond, one of the purest diamonds, was picked up in pit of pebbles in a watercourse in Venezuela, in 1943 by Rafael Solano. He was a prospector looking for diamonds. The Liberator Diamond, was as large as an egg. A New York dealer Harry Winston paid Solano $2,00,000 and bought it.
Another famous diamond is the giant Cullinan Diamond, picked up in a South American mine by the manager in 1905. It proved to be world’s larget diamond weighing 3.106 carats. The diamond was called the Cullinan in honor of Tomas Cullinan, President of the mining company. It was cut into four fragments and the pieces are now in the crown jewels of Britain, the largest piece weighing 530 carats.
Another Indian-cut diamond, the Great Moghul from the Kollur mines, was seen by the great French gem dealer Tavernter at the court of Aurangzeb in Delhi, in 1666. Other large Indian diamonds-the Great Table, the Sea of Light and the Crown of Moon are believed to be concealed in the Persian treasury.
A great diamond, the Orlov, was stolen from the temple of Sri Ranganatha in Srirangam, South India. It passed through many hands and eventually it was given to Queen Catherine II of Russia.
The Regent Diamond from Kollur mines formed part of the French crown jewels. It adorned the hill of French emperor, Napolean’s sword and is now kept in Louvre Museum, in Paris. The famous Florentine Diamond also taken away from India is believed to be in Australian treasury.