a steel in the place of flint, and one side of it was a good deal worn
by constant use. The price asked by the Armenian jewellers to cut this
stone was equivalent to £10,000 of our money, giving an idea of the
enormous labour necessary to fashion the diamond by the appliances in
use by these lapidaries. This stone is now presumed to be among
the Crown jewels of Persia. It is the gem known as the "Abbas Mirza."
Another diamond which singularly corresponds with the Koh-i-noor is
the great Eussian diamond, and it is not improbable, says Prof.
Tenuant, that they all three formed one crystal—perhaps a rhombic
dodecahedron—and together would make up the original weight as given by
Tavernier, allowing for detached pieces splintered off in the process
portion now so beautifully cut, and which forms one of the Crown jewels
of England, was worn by its former owner, Eunjeet Sing, as an armlet.
The Hon. W. G-. Osborne, in describing a visit to this potentate,
says:— " Crossed-legged in a golden chair sat Eunjeet Sing, dressed in
simple white, wearing no ornament but a single string of enormous
pearls round his waist, and the celebrated Koh-i-noor on his arm." On
the annexation of the Punjab it was given up to the East India Company
for the Queen of England, and was taken to London in 1850. It had then
little beauty, judged by European ideas, and it was necessary to cut it
into the form of a " brilliant." It weighed 186-1/16 carats, and it now
weighs 102-13/16 carats, over 83 carats being removed in the process of
recutting. The exact representation is given in the plate, and is taken
from a glass model in the Technological Museum collection. A model of
the Koh-i-noor before recutting is also displayed in the same case.
recutting of this gem was commenced on July 16th, 1852, his Grace the
late Duke of Wellington first placing it on the mill, a horizontal iron
plate made to revolve up to 3,000 revolutions per minute, diamond
powder being used as the abrading substance. The diamond was fixed in
pewter to enable it to be pressed upon the plate. It was found to be
very hard in places—so hard, in fact, that the medium rate of 2,400
revolutions per minute continued for six hours made little impression
upon it, and the speed had to be increased to more than 3,000
revolutions. The hardness was of that character that the diamond became
at one time so hot from the continued friction and greater weight
applied that it melted the pewter setting, and it is stated that at
another time the particles of iron mixed with the diamond powder and
oil became ignited. The stone was finished on September 7th, having
taken thirty-eight days to cut, working twelve hours a day without
intermission. The cost of recutting was about £8,000. The cost of
cutting the " Eegent" or " Pitt" diamond was about £5,000, and the time
taken was two years, the difference in time being that the " Eegent"
was cut by manual labour and the " Koh-i-noor " by steam power. The
"Star of the South" took three months to cut.
art of gem polishing has been practised in Europe for a very long time.
As early as 1290 a guild was formed in Paris, and in 1373 the
profession was carried on at Nuremburg. The seat of the gem-cutting
industry was shifted from one city to another, according to
circumstances, during the succeeding centuries. At one time, through
religious intolerance, the Jewish merchants left Lisbon, and settled in
Holland, and thus established an industry in the same manner as the
Huguenots introduced the weaving industry into England. The centre of
the diamond trade was thus in the sixteenth century fixed at Amsterdam,
and it remains to-day the principal seat of the diamond-cutting
industry, 10,000 of its inhabitants being connected with the business
in one way or another.