|The Agra Diamond is the fifth-largest pink diamond in the world and dates back to the 15th century India|
The Agra Diamond is the fifth-largest pink diamond in the world and dates back to the 15th century India.
The diamond originally belonged to the family of the Rajah of Gwalior, who was slain in battle when the Moghuls conquered the city of Agra, for which the stone is named. The Moghul emperor Babur spared the lives of the rajah’s family, and in gratitude they gave him the rajah’s family jewels. Babur is reported to have worn the diamond on his turban.
The Agra Diamond escaped Nadir Shah’s plunder of the Moghul emperors’ wealth in 1739, although how the diamond was spared is unknown.
Much of the stone’s later history is also unproven. The diamond eventually made its way to England. One story tells that it was smuggled out of India in the belly of a horse, but the year mentioned in that version (1857) seems impossible, since Charles, Duke of Brunswick, had already bought the stone from diamond merchants Blogg & Martin in 1844.
Paris diamond dealer Bram Hertz acquired the Agra Diamond from the Duke of Brunswick and re-cut it form 41 carats to 31.41 carats to eliminate some inclusions. In 1891, Hertz traded the diamond to London jeweler Edwin Streeter for a pearl necklace worth £14,000 and £1,000 cash.
The diamond has been sold and re-sold numerous times throughout the years. The last purchasers were the SIBA Corporation of Hong Kong, who paid £4.07 million at a Christie’s auction in Hong Kong. The diamond has again been re-cut and now weighs 28.15 carats.
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