Apr 4th, 2013
The Shah Jahan is table-cut or taviz diamond weighing 56.71 carat. It is one of several legendary diamonds that have been credited as a match for the Great Table Diamond first viewed and recorded by Jean-Baptiste Tavernier at Golconda in 1642 (though some claim this may be an error).
Shah Jahan was the emperor of the Mughal Empire in South Asia from 1628 until 1658. The name Shah Jahan comes from Persian, meaning “Ruler of World”. He was the fifth Mughal emperor after Babur, Humayun, Akbar, and Jahangir and the favourite of his legendary grandfather, Akbar the Great.
The Shah Jahan Table Cut strongly resembles the diamond of octagonal outline in a turban ornament in a portrait of Shah Jahan, and the stone correlates reasonably well with a description by Tavernier of a table cut weighing 60 ratis (about 54 carat) shown to him by Aurangzeb, Shah Jahan’s son, in 1665.
Like all other Mogul treasures, the table cut appears to have departed India with the Persian invasion in the mid-eighteenth century, after which it may have found its way into the Russian Treasury. The Shah Jahan was offered at auction by Christie’s in Geneva in 1985 but was not sold.
The diamond exhibits a feature common in gems shaped for Mogul use, a pair of drilled holes by which a stone could be sewn to a turban or garment to impart both pomp and courtly fashion.
Diamonds – Famous, Notable and Unique by GIA
The Nature of Diamonds by George E. Harlow