One of the oldest known and most highly desired diamonds in the world, the Koh-i-Noor, is being recreated for the Natural History Museum’s Diamonds exhibition.
First recorded in India during the fifteenth century, the diamond originally was uncut and weighed 186.1 carats.
The Koh-i-Noor, meaning ‘mountain of light’, has passed through the hands of Moguls, emperors, Sikh kings and British queens, and went on display at the Great Exhibition in Crystal Palace in 1851.
The Koh-i-Noor was an Indian Mogul cut white diamond and one of the largest ever seen. It is said to be around the size of a small hens egg split down the middle long ways. It was presented to Queen Victoria in 1850, and Prince Albert had it recut into an oval brilliant 108.93 carat.
The actual Koh-i-Noor can now be seen in the Maltese Cross, in a crown made for the Queen Mother in 1937, on display at the Tower of London.
An original plaster cast of the stone has been in the Natural History Museum’s collection for more than 150 years.
In collaboration with Museum mineralogists, American gem artist John Nels Hatleberg has used the Museum’s model to faithfully recreate the replica using natural and synthetic materials.
‘For 14 years it has been my quest to recreate the original Koh-i-Noor, and I am thrilled it will now receive its first showing at the Diamonds exhibition in London,' John said.
The original Koh-i-Noor was an Indian Mogul cut and was very complicated. Here are some facts: