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Koh-i-Noor no show in Queen jewels exhibit
PURBA DAS  New Delhi | 15th Jan 2012

Queen Victoria’s small diamond crown, 1870

he jewel exhibition at the Buckingham Palace later this year, which marks the diamond jubilee celebrations of Queen Elizabeth II's coronation will not have the famous Koh-i-Noor (meaning the Mountain of Light in Persian) on display.

"The Koh-i-Noor diamond (105 carat) is part of the Crown Jewels, which is on permanent display at the Tower of London and is only removed for use is official state occasions," stated the Royal Collection Press Office.

Legend has it that whoever owns the Koh-i-Noor rules the world, but it also comes with a curse: "He who owns this diamond will own the world, but will also know all its misfortunes. Only God, or a woman, can wear it with impunity." The curse of the diamond dates back to a Hindu text from the time of the first authenticated appearance in 1306.

"The diamond's curse is well known. The British Royal family was aware of the curse and therefore, since its acquisition, the diamond has gone to the wife of the male heir to the British throne," said a historian from National Museum of India on the condition of anonymity.

But not all were dazzled by the gem. The Marquees of Dalhousie, Governor-General of India who is credited for having consolidated the British rule in the sub-continent, was rather unimpressed by the Koh-i-Noor when he first saw it. "The Koh-i-Noor is badly cut," he wrote in a letter at the time of the exhibition in 1851. "It is rose-cut, not-brilliant, and of course won't sparkle like the latter."

The exhibition will display various exquisite pieces from the queen's personal jewels such as The Girls of Great Britain tiara gifted to Queen Mary, the Williamson Brooch that has a rare pink diamond in it, Queen Victoria's small diamond crown, the coronation necklace and earrings.

The last time Koh-i-Noor left the Tower of London was in 2002, Queen Mother's (Elizabeth I) funeral. Queen Victoria is the only reigning British monarch to have worn the gem.

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