It is the crown of all diamonds. The Koh-i -Nur which means “Mountain of Light” in Persian, also spelled Koh-i-noor, is a 105 carat (21.6 g) diamond (in its most recent cut) that was once the largest known diamond in the world. The Koh-i-Nur originated in the state of Andhra Pradesh in India along with its double, the Darya-ye Noor (the “Sea of Light”). The diamond was initially 1861/16 carats (37.21 g) which was cut to its current 105.602 carats (21.61 g) under the supervision of Victoria’s consort, Prince Albert, to increase its brilliance. The diamond is priceless and its value is still unpredictable (but of course, greater than $400 million).
You wouldn’t be wrong to call this stone the “Stone of the Emperors”. The diamond is believed to carry a curse with it which affects men who wear it, but not women. All the men who owned it have either lost their throne or had other misfortunes befall them. Queen Victoria is the only reigning monarch to have worn the gem. Since Victoria’s reign, the stone has generally been worn by the British Queen Consort, never by a male ruler.
The British public was given a chance to see the Koh-i-Noor when the Great Exhibition was staged in Hyde Park, London in 1851. The Koh-i-Noor was decidedly the lion of the Exhibition. The imperfect cutting or the difficulty of placing the lights advantageously, reflected many of the brilliant rays when viewed at a particular angle.
The diamond is on the top of the most expensive diamonds and resides in the Crown of Queen Elizabeth.