International fight over Kohinoor diamond reignites


In life sometimes the most beautiful things cause the most headaches.

To wit: the 105-carat Kohinoor diamond is one of the largest in the world and shines with an equally large controversy surrounding it. It’s name means “mountain of light” in Persian (and figuratively “mountain of trouble” elsewhere.)

Displayed as part of Britain’s crowned jewels for over 160 years and currently housed in the Tower of London, many countries have fought to claim ownership over the colorless gem. Over the years there has been a campaign to have it returned to India, with some believing it was stolen by the British.


Mashable reports the Indian government has now stepped into the fray, stating that it was “given voluntarily by Ranjit Singh to the British as compensation for help in the Sikh wars.”

However that explanation hasn’t seemed to quell speculation. Singh died in 1839 but the diamond was delivered to the British by his 11-year-old son, Duleep Singh, in 1849.

The Brits maintain that it was acquired as part of a treaty in that year. In 1851, it was taken to England and when it failed to impress visitors, was recut as an oval brilliant.

It’s said a diamond is forever and in this case, it appears so is the controversy surrounding it.