For thousands of years, India has been known as a land of gold and precious stones and nothing symbolises it more than the globe of jewels at the world’s biggest jewellery museum here.
The net gold used in the globe, ordered by Naseer-ed-din Shah in 1869 AD, is 34 kg and the total weight of stones — diamonds, rubies, emeralds and others — is over 3.6 kg. The total number of stones used is 51,366 pieces.
Sparkle of gems
Finding the different countries can be difficult among the sparkle of gems.
While the oceans and seas are identified in emeralds and lands in rubies, Southeast Asia, Iran, England and France are specified in diamonds.
India is shown in pale rubies. That is not where the Indian connection to the museum stops.
The Treasury of National Jewels, managed by the Central Bank of Iran, has a large number of diamonds that can be traced to the Golconda mines of Andhra Pradesh.
The diamonds from India include the world’s largest pink diamond — the famous Darya-i-Nur or ‘Sea of Light.’ This is the sister diamond to the world’s largest cut diamond, the “Koh-i-Noor,” which is its Persian name and means “Mountain of Light.”
Both were taken by Nader Shah, who invaded India in 1739.
The ‘Sea of Light’ takes the first place among the diamonds in the Treasury.
The weight of the diamond is approximately 182 carats and its colour is pale pink — one of the rare colours for diamonds. The frame is set with 547 diamonds and four rubies.
A walk into the museum can send your mind spinning as you take time to breathe in the riches and splendour of the rubies-studded candle stands, diamonds and emeralds studded necklaces, ceremonial swords with hundreds of stones, brooches, belt buckles, crowns and thrones including the ‘Peacock Throne.’
However, the one here in the museum has nothing to do with the ‘Peacock Throne’ taken from India, the head of the Treasury assures as she explains the intricacies of the various items on display.