The Curse of the Koh-i-Noor
The Koh-i-Noor was once the largest known diamond. It has belonged to various rulers who have fought bitterly over it and seized it as a spoil of war time and time again. It was taken from India in 1850 by the British East India Company and became part of the British Crown Jewels when Queen Victoria was proclaimed Empress of India in 1877. The diamond is currently set into the Crown of Queen Elizabeth and on display at the Tower of London.
It is believed that the Koh-i-Noor carries with it a curse 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. Since Victoria’s reign, the stone has generally been worn by the British Queen Consort, never by a male ruler.
The possibility of a curse pertaining to ownership of the diamond dates back to a Hindu text relating to the first authenticated appearance of the diamond in 1306: “He who owns this diamond will own the world, but will also know all its misfortunes. Only God, or a woman, can wear it with impunity.”
[The images shows the diamond set into Queen Alexandra’s crown. Alexandra was the first Queen consort to wear the diamond in her crown, Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth followed her example. Queen Victoria had it set into a brooch, which she wore often. The British Royal Family were apparently aware of the curse when the diamond came into their ‘possession’]