It is from Asia, that cradle of luxury and splendour, that most of the diamonds that have become famous have been derived.
gives a minute description of the diamonds of Aurengzebe, at whose
court he was favourably received, and whose jewels he was permitted to
inspect and weigh.
first stone," he writes, "that Akel-Kau placed in my hands was a great
diamond cut as a rose, very high on one side. It had a slight notch on
one of its edges, and a small flaw within. It was of the first water,
and weighed 280 carats." When brought from the mine of Colore, near
Golconda, it weighed 787-1/2 carats, but had several flaws.
Hor-tensio Borghis, a Venetian, was employed to cut it, and the work
nearly cost him his life ; for the king accused him of having spoiled
the diamond, and only allowed him the privilege of retaining his head
on the payment of ten thousand rupees. This diamond is believed to be
the same as that which now belongs to Queen Victoria, and is known as
the Koh-i-noor. Its history will be given below.
having fully examined this beautiful stone," continues Tavernier, "and
having returned it to the hands of Akel-Kau, he showed me another