A countless number of diamonds in the Crown Jewels of Iran. They include a group of 23 diamonds studied in 1966 by Dr V.B.Meen and Dr A.D.Tushingham, of Toronto, 4 of which are probably Indian (3 being white and 1 peach-colored) and 19 South African and yellow; the stones weigh from 152.16 to 38.18 carats, and are of various shapes.
The yellow diamonds are included in the 48 so-called ‘Iranian Yellows’ bought in Europe in 1889 by Nasser-ed-din Shah, 5 of which weigh more than 114 carats each. The important diamonds in the Iranian Crown Jewels are the Darya-i-Nur, the Nur-ul-Ain , and the Taj-i-Mah.
Iran Crown Jewels
The jewels of the Royal Collection of Iran, accumulated from the reign of Shah Abbas, 1587-1628, and partly recovered from Delhi by Nadir Shah in 1740, and added to by the Qajar Dynasty. In 1938 the collection was placed by Reza Shah Pahlavi in the custody of the Bank Melli (National Bank of Iran), Tehran, and held by it, not as property of the Shah, but as collateral for national obligations and the currency; in 1960 custody was transferred to the Bank Markazi Iran (Central Bank of Iran) but the jewels were permitted to remain in the special vault (open to tourists) of the Bank Melli.
The collection, often said to be the world’s richest collection of jewels, includes, among a vast number of jewelled ornaments and unset (some uncut) gemstones, the Royal Regalia, among which are the Pahlavi Crown, the Farah Diba Crown, the Kiani Crown, the Farah Diba Tiara (with the Nur-ul-Ain diamond), the Gika of Nadir Shah, the Royal Gold Girdle (with a buckle set with an oval cabochon emerald weighing 175 carats), and a great number of other tiaras, ear-rings, bracelets, necklaces, finger rings, brooches (three made as birds, having a body of a baroque pearl and wings set with diamonds), etc.
The crown made in 1925 for the coronation of Reza Shah Pahlavi (1877-1944), designed by the jeweller Serajeddin and made of selected gemstones in the Iranian Crown Jewels. It has, above a circlet, 4 arches and 4 step-shaped panels projecting slightly outward, each panel decorated with a large diamond-set sunburst, the front sunburst including a 60-carat diamond.
The crown is set with 3,380 diamonds, 369 matched pearls, and 5 emeralds that weigh 199 carats. It is surmounted by a jewelled and feather ornament. It was worn by Mohammed Reza Shah Pahlavi at his coronation on 26 October 1967.
Farah Diba CrownThe crown designed and made in 1967 by Van CLEEF & ARPELS, Paris, for Farah Diba, wife of Mohammed Reza Pahlavi, Shah of Iran (died 1980), for her coronation. The crown is composed of 1,646 gemstones that were in the Royal Treasury of Iran , necessitating their being set in Tehran in the gold and platinum mounting produced in Paris to fit the particularly chosen stones. The principal stones are two carved emeralds.
Darya-i-Nur (Iran) Diamond
(Persian for ‘Sea of Light’ Diamond). The worlds largest pink diamond, now in the Crown Jewels (Iran) at Tehran.
It is a rectangular STEP CUT table stone, pale pink, measuring 3.75 by 2.5 cm, and weighing 182 carats. It is engraved with an inscription in Persian, The Sultan, Sahib Qiran, Fath Ali Shah, Qajar, 1250′ (the Hegira date for AD 1834, the year of Fath Ali’s death). It is now mounted in a gold, rectangular frame, surmounted by a jewelled crown between two jeweled lions (called ‘The Lion and the Sun’), all set with 457 diamonds and 4 rubies.
In 1967 it was established by experts to be a major part of the Great table diamond (but having been damaged before 1834 and recut), the other part of which is now believed to be the Nur-ul-Ain diamond.
The Darya-i-Nur is said to have been in the possession of Sultan Baber (1480-1530), the first Mughal Emperor of India, from whom it (and the Koh-I-Noor diamond) descended to Mohammed Shah, and from whom they and the Taj-i-Mah Diamond, after his defeat at Delhi in 1739, were taken to Persia by Nadir Shah.
After the latter’s assassination it passed through several owners until it reached Agha Mohammed Khan, the founder of the Qajar Dynasty, and his nephew Fath Ali Shah (1797-1834), the predecessors of the Pahlavi Dynasty. It was seen set, together with the Taj-i-Mah, in two arm-bands worn in 1791 and seen again in the arm-bands in 1827. It was worn in a military cap by Mohammed Reza Shah Pahlavi at his coronation in 1967 and also set in a brooch and an aigrette.
Kiani CrownLiterally, Royal Crown. A crown made at Isfahan, Persia (Iran), during the reign of Fath Ali Shah (1797-1834) as a coronation crown.
It is thickly set with 1,800 pearls, 300 emeralds, and 1,501 spinels.
At the top are two jewelled aigrettes, below which is the Aurangzeb Spinel weighing 120 carats. The crown weighs 4.5 kg.
Farah Diba TiaraThe tiara made for Farah Diba upon her marriage in 1959 to Mohammed Reza Pahlavi, Shah of Iran. It is made of platinum, set with 324 diamonds and has 7 upright ornaments, each set with a cabochon emerald, and has below the central emerald the pink Nur-ul-Ain diamond. It was created by Harry Winston.
(Persian for ‘Crown of the Moon’ Diamond)
A diamond said to be from the Golconda Mine in southern India, weighing 115.06 carats; it is a flawless white diamond cut as an irregular oval. It has been considered to be a sister stone to the Darya-i-Nur diamond, taken with it by Nadir Shah after his sack of Delhi in 1739, and set in two armbands seen worn by Lutf Ali Khan Zand, a Persian ruler, in 1791 and seen again in the arm-bands in 1827. It is today among the Crown Jewels at Tehran.
Diamond (Persian for Light of the Eye Diamond). The world’s largest rose-pink diamond of brilliant cut, weighing 60 carats. It is set in the Farah Diba Tiara. It has been established that it and the Darya-i-Nur were cut from the same stone that Jean-Baptiste Tavernier called the Great Table Diamond.
Gika (Jiqa) of Nadir Shah
A noted aigrette in the Iranian Crown Jewels in the form of a plume with a large, central, cabochon emerald and five emerald drops, the entire piece studded with diamonds. The piece, weighing 781 carats, was often worn by Reza Shah the Great, who founded in 1925 the Iranian Pahlavi dynasty. It is named after Nadir Shah who invaded India in 1739-40 and recovered many of the former Persian jewels.