Surprised? Let me explain. Imagine a glittering diamond the size of a green pea. Now imagine fifty of them set on a single ornament. Now imagine as many sparkling rubies or emeralds of similar size set on the same ornament. Finally, imagine a few more precious things… say fifty pearls larger than green peas set on it. Any guesses for what this thing was used for? It is an anklet, which means it would have been worn in such a way that probably it wouldn’t even be seen.
Coming back to the looks, it looks cluttered all right, maybe even ugly. But ‘awe’ is the only word that describes my emotion on seeing them. I mean just imagine! A single toe ring costs more than what I can ever dream to earn in my whole life. And I’m sure they look bad only because our tastes are developed by European teaching. Europeans never knew such wealth (the British stole the Koh-i-noor from
But apart from these ornaments, I saw something else at this exhibition that took my breath away. It is a diamond. The Jacob Diamond, the 20th largest diamond in the world. It was mined in
“The Jacob Diamond is a large diamond, believed to be the same stone as the Victoria Diamond, formerly owned by the Nizam of Hyderabad and currently owned by the government of
. It has a rectangular cushion-cut diamond with 58 facets, measures 39.5 mm long, 29.25 mm wide and 22.5 mm deep. The diamond weighs 184.5 carats (36.90 g). The 6th Nizam of Hyderabad, Mahbub Ali Khan, bought the Jacob diamond around 1887. The Government of India purchased the diamond, along with other treasures of the Nizam, in 1995. Current market value of the diamond is about 400 crores (4 billion) Rupees which is roughly equivalent to 80+ million USD.” India
You can read more about this diamond here.
It was kept in a black velvet showcase all by itself, mounted on a little rotating stand and illuminated by white light. The slowly rotating stone broke up the light into small coloured spots that danced around it. I was mesmerized. I was frightened. The diamond was almost beckoning me to break the glass and steal it. Although the armed guards prevented me from doing any such thing, yesterday I realized why there are so many murders in the history of such diamonds. It is nothing strange that men would kill to possess a stone like this. Also, it is quite expected that myths will surround such stones, myths that state that the gem is unlucky for the owner. Indeed, how can such a thing be lucky for the owner if he is likely to be murdered or get bankrupted for it?
What is odd, however, is the fact that the man who owned this particular diamond used it as a paperweight. Truth really is often stranger than fiction.