|The Ahmadabad Diamond of Indian origin.www.internetstones.com|
|Jean Baptiste Tavernier a famous French traveler and gem trader http://en.wikipedia.org|
The rough stone, which was said to weigh over 1571/2 carats, was cut into a 94.5 carat diamond , said Tavernier. There were two minor flaws at the base. He also said he bought it for a friend, but the identity of the friend is unclear. Who was the friend Tavernier purchased the diamond for? The most likely person was his sovereign, Louis XIV of France, to whom he had sold several diamonds, among them two briolette. The other candidate who befits the epithet ''a friend'' is the great Mogul Emperor Aurengzeb, the last of the Mogul ruler (1659-1707) and a noted collector of diamonds.
It is known, however, that much later the diamond was owned by Begum Hazrat Mahal, wife of King Wajid Ali Shah of Oudh who had been exiled to Calcutta by the British after his refusal to sign a treaty of abdication at the time of the Indian Mutiny of 1857. When the king's rebellion against the British failed, the Begum fled to Nepal. She later used the diamond as a bargaining chip to negotiate her safe passage to India.
At this point, the history of this diamond again becomes murky and, when it finally resurfaced, it had been reduced to 78.86 carats- the recorded weight was 90.5 carats. a drop in weight was due to change of design from a briolette to a pear shape. Put up for sale by Christie's in 1995, it was purchased by gem collector Robert Mouawad for approximately $ 4.3 million.The current value of the diamond is greater than $ 5.0 million.