Mysterious diamond "Shah"

The Diamond Fund of Russia kept a beautiful and unusual stone - a diamond in the shape of an octahedron, which made engraved in Persian. Diamond called "Shah" weighing 88 carats 7 not been cut, but simply polished, completely transparent and has a slight yellowish tint.

This is an unusual diamond with an unusual destiny. He has been in the hands of brilliant jewelers and they owned the rulers of several countries. And in 1824 he was brought to Nicholas I of Persia, to pay off for the murder of the great author of "Woe from Wit" A. Griboyedov ...
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The Diamond Fund of the Kremlin among diamond crown of the Russian Empire, orb and scepter, which gleamed with fire chilly blue diamond "Orlov", almost imperceptible elongated stone the size of a little finger. An attentive visitor can see strange writing on it. Ready in this room to all kinds of miracles of miracles, he still does not believe that the ugly stone was valued at 80 thousand rubles in gold. Meanwhile, a diamond "Shah", the history of which is calculated by four centuries. He - blood money Griboyedov.
The oldest and richest deposits of diamonds are concentrated on the banks of the Krishna river in India. Somewhere here was found elongated yellow diamond "Shah».
Under the rule of the Indian masters of the highest quality diamond has vertices, faces, edges in the amount of 6, 8 and 12. They should be sharp, smooth and straight. In other words, a diamond must have crystallographic form an octahedron - octahedron (in Arabic "al-Hawa weight"). In addition, the stone must be a Brahmin, that is absolutely colorless and transparent. Yellowish diamond "Shah" refers to the Vaishya class, and the form it is far from the ideal octahedron. In this regard, he did not stay in the hands of the Indians, and was sold to the ruler of Ahmadnagar - Sultanate on the west coast of the Indian subcontinent.
Ahmednagar Sultan was Muslim Burhan second. Indian superstitions about the diamonds it a little worried. But a huge elongated diamond - the finger of God! - Captured the imagination. In addition, extensive flat faces of the diamond seemed to him ideal tablets stories on which to immortalize his name. Burhan second was vain, and even awarded the title of Nizam Shah, meaning "Lord of the Order».
Apparently, in the court stone-cutting and lapidary workshop Burhan worked as a talented, if not genius, master. One of the first in the East, he learned to engrave inscriptions on the diamond. We know that the diamond is the hardest mineral on earth, it can not be scratched by anything. How did the ring master made the inscription on the faces of the octahedron, very hard stone the brink? He guessed that only a diamond can scratch a diamond! And master of octahedral faces covered with a thin layer of wax, needle scratched on it the words. Then, on the tip of a steel or copper needle, moistened with oil gaining diamond dust without scratching on the end face. As a result of many days of work there was the first sign. The Russian transcription it looks like this: "Brhan sled Nzmshah 1000 SNT." Accurate translation reads: "second Burhan Nizam Shah. 1000 ". Since Muslims are the chronology from the date of the flight of the prophet Muhammad from Mecca to Medina (622 a year), while the appearance of the first inscription dates from the 1591 year of the birth of Christ. In other words, the diamond "Shah" 412 years.


Diamond "Shah" long adorned the treasury of Burhan II. In the north of the rules of the formidable neighbor - Akbar Shah of Mughal dynasty (Mughals - Muslim dynasty that ruled India more than three hundred years (1526 - 1858). She is the founder, Babur, a direct descendant of Tamerlane the Terrible. Shah Akbar was grandson of Babur). It was an outstanding statesman, brave and capable commander. Not knowing the letters, he introduced a new religion "din-Illah" ("divine faith"), which eclectically mixed Islam, Hinduism, and Jainism Parseeism. He proclaimed himself head of a new faith, and its borders expanded. In 1595, Shah Akbar conquered Ahmadnagar and most of the treasure Burhan awarded.
So diamond "Shah" was the Mughal dynastic regalia. For over forty years he spent in the treasury until it caught the eye of his grandson Akbar - Jihan Shah. "Master of the Universe" (the translation of his name) even more exalted state of the Mughals. Early in his career he fought for power, he fought with his father Shah Cihangir, killed his older brother Khosrov and cut out the rest of the contenders for the "Peacock Throne". He built irrigation canals in Punjab, but also doubled the taxes on his subjects. Led flexible policy with the Europeans: allowed English merchants to trade in the country. His life was decorated with love for beautiful wife Mumtaz Mahal. When she died, Jihan Shah gathered the best artists, and commanded to erect a mausoleum, the likes of which should not be in the universe. So there was the Taj Mahal - one of the wonders of the world.

The most curious thing is that Jihan Shah royal greatness combined with the profession of a master diamond cutters. Many hours he spent in the court workshop, own processing gems. Maybe it was he polished some facets of the diamond "Shah" to increase transparency and see the water stone (water stone - a qualitative indicator of the purity and transparency of the diamond. The stone of clean water - is a stone completely transparent, without turbidity, inclusions, cracks and other defects. ). He commanded to cut out on the edge of the diamond a second inscription. Transkripirovannaya Russian letters the inscription reads: "Ibn Dzhhangir Jhana shah shah in 1051", which means "Son of Cihangir Shah Jihan Shah, 1051" (ie 1641).
The second inscription on the diamond "Shah" is made much more inventive than the first. The unknown master fully used ornamental features Arabic script. Caption rhythmically repeats itself and produces an overall impression whimsical and ornate pattern rather than a prose text.
In Jihan Shah had four sons: Dara, Alamgir, and Murad Sudzha. Each of them wanted to become a new "master of the universe." Again began the massacre (and Cihan Shah was still alive). The winner was Alamgir, whose hands are stained with the blood of brothers. He took the name-Aurang Zeb ("Decoration of the throne"). This happened in 1658. Jihan Shah Agrinskaya imprisoned in a fortress, whose windows he could admire the Taj Mahal. Died "Master of the Universe" in 1666.


In 1665, the diamond "Shah" first saw Europeans. It appeared to be a French merchant Jean Baptiste Tavernier (1605-1689). He visited India several times, was in Agra and Golconda. For unclear reasons, Aurang Zeb gave him special favors: gave diamonds, gold and semi-precious stones, allow to explore the palace and the famous "Peacock Throne". Thanks Tavernier we know about the history of Indian diamonds, the splendor of the inner palace of the Shah. Fortunately, history has kept diaries Tavernier, that said that the diamond "Shah" was constantly before my eyes-Aurang Zeb as he sat on the "Peacock Throne". Oblong stone hung from the canopy, surrounded by emeralds and rubies. Its thinner end was made half a millimeter deep furrow, which covers silk thread.
Then the diamond "Shah" by more than a half century came out of the field of view of historians. He disappeared in India and announced in Tehran. A huge temporal and spatial intervals filled with the following events.
After-Aurang Zeb Mughal Empire lost its former power and glory. Neighbouring states pried from her tidbits. In 1737, India invaded Nadir Shah, ruler of Iran. In a two-year war he conquered northern India, Delhi has captured. The number of stolen treasure beyond all likelihood. Annals indicate that only one in diamonds, rubies, emeralds stuffed sixty boxes. Jeweled swords, daggers, shields, rings, feathers to the turban, timpani and chairs barely fit in the twenty-one pack. Just to take away "Peacock Throne", it took eight camels. "These treasures seeing - exclaimed chronicler - all mad!»
In the forties of the XVIII century in Empire of Nadir Shah and the uprising began internecine war lords. As a result of the conspiracy despot was stabbed to death in 1747. A struggle for power. In 1796, the Shah of Iran became a eunuch Agha Muhammad Khan, who founded the Qajar dynasty. The children he could not be, therefore, became heir Babakhan nephew, who grew up in poverty and misery. Babakhan before the accession to the throne he killed his brother, and then took the name of Fath Ali Shah. This happened in 1797. Exactly thirty years later the aged Shah celebrated the anniversary of the reign. To commemorate this great event it was decided to inscribe on the free edge of the diamond "Shah" a third title.
Persian stone cutters and polishers have extensive experience and skill. The third sign is striking perfection of the work, fanciful imagination and talent. If stylized swans with flexible necks graceful floating on the polished surface of the lake. Masterpiece ornamentalistiki read in Russian transcription because "Shbkran Shah Qajar Fth'li alstan 1242". Translated, it means: "Lord of the Qajar Fath Ali Shah Sultan, 1242". In our chronology - 1824.
By a strange occurrence of regular patterns of inscriptions on the diamond preceded by stormy historical events that end with the change of owner.


In the twenties of the XIX century, Iran was weakened by feudal strife. He became the object of colonial expansion of European capitalist powers. The theater of war was located on the ground-suffering Armenia. Abbas Mirza, the son of a militant Fatah Ali Shah, with the help of the British reorganized the army and introduced regular regiments Sarbazy. However, the fortunes of war smiled at him very often. Russian troops crushed the Abbas Mirza at Kanagire in Karabakh and Arax. He almost lost Yerevan, when the soldiers came to the aid of Fath Ali Shah. However, in 1828, Abbas Mirza suffered a complete and final defeat. Iran was forced to conclude Turkmanchay agreement under which Russian crown was to receive ten Kururi, that is 20 million rubles in silver. The development of terms of the contract involved ASGriboyedov. He was appointed Russian envoy (Persian Wazir-Mukhtar) in Tehran. The author of the play "Woe from Wit" zealously fulfilled his duty. January 30, 1829 a crowd of fanatics raised clergy ravaged Griboyedov. Under threat of a new war.
Shah and his entourage were embarrassed. In the spring of that year from Tehran to St. Petersburg had left high embassy headed by a prince Khozrev Mirza. Fath Ali Shah, like many Eastern rulers, had a harem, who for many years has made him a hundred sons. Of this number was chosen Khozrev Mirza, a bright young man of pleasant appearance. The embassy consisted of Mirza and lords, doctors and poets. They served squires Postelnikov, vodocherpii, kofevary and sherbetchiki. The special position occupied sunduktar (treasurer), which drove the price of blood - diamond "Shah».
In the spring of 1829 Prince reached Petersburg. Nicholas I accepted it with all the pomp (it already worked diamond). In response to the ornate Persian speech Russian emperor said only seven words: "I have given Tehran eternal oblivion unfortunate accident!" At the same time were pardoned last two Kururi, that is 4 million rubles in silver.

However, historians believe that the death of a ransom for Griboyedov famous diamonds - it is still more beautiful legend than reality.


The same evening, in the presence of the king's officials diamond "Shah" was considered O.I.Senkovskim. The famous writer and orientalist first among Russian read and interpreted the inscriptions on the diamond. (Later inscriptions again researched Academician SF Oldenburg, the Soviet Orientalist).
A Prince Khozrev Mirza had fun in St. Petersburg. He attended theaters, museums, met with women (secular and far from light). As a result of some ill illness which in those days were treated with leeches, Spanish fly and Mercury (mercury ointment). It was not the last disappointment prince. Five years later, during the struggle for the throne of his eyes gouged out, and he lived for the rest of days blind. In such a price has risen Khozrev Mirza contemplation diamond "Shah».
In 1898 in the Russian crown jewels inventory numbered 38/37 appeared the following text: "Tapeworm (large diamond) Khozrev Mirza irregular facets (faces) - 86 7/16 carat. Podnesёn in 1829 Khozrev Persian prince Mirza and delivered to storage by the Minister of the Imperial. Court in the letter of number 3802 ».
Diamond "Shah" was kept in the basement vault of the Winter Palace after the October Revolution, together with other treasures was transported to Moscow, in the Kremlin Armory. There in 1922 he studied Academician Fersman, then he wrote a great article. Alexander E. admired the technique of engraving on the elongated diamond, exceptional and obscure for perfection, sharpness, elegance of execution. According to him, the stone has the shape of an elongated prism, blunt ends pyramidal planes. The faces of the octahedron are gently rounded. The widest of these is divided into long narrow fatsetki that are well polished (work Cihan Shah!). Fersman measured the angles between the edges, studied sculpture of the crystal surface.
In the early twenties Soviet Republic threw the diamond market is a large number of cut stones. The cost of the set of diamonds estimated at 12 million pounds. The company "De Beers" has been forced to reduce selling their own diamonds to stabilize prices in the market. It should be noted that even in the difficult conditions the Soviet Republic has managed to keep the diamond "Shah" and other historical gems (except, perhaps, a diamond "Sancy"). Today they can be admired at the exhibition of the Diamond Fund in Kremlin.

by horror1017




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