pdas, thank you very much for posting these gorgeous photos of one of the world's most amazing jewelry collections. The old thread got lost some time ago and I appreciate the opportunity to enjoy in such a beauty again.
I hope you wouldn't mind me trying to post some more photos and details about these extraordinary pieces.
Perhaps the most magnificent globe in existence, it has a total height of 110 cm. (44 inches) and a diameter of 45 cm. (18 inches) and is covered with over 51 thousand gemstones. The seas and oceans are shown with emeralds. Land masses are mostly displayed in rubies and spinels. Iran, Britain, France, and parts of South Asia are shown in diamonds. The base is constructed of wood, covered with a layer of gold. Approximately 35 kilograms (75 pounds) of pure gold is used in the globe.
According to legend, Nasseridin Shah (1848-1896) ordered the construction of the globe to help keep track of the loose gemstones in the treasury. The largest ruby used in the globe is approximately 75 ct. The largest spinel is approximately 110 cts. The largest emerald is approximately 175 cts., the largest sapphire is approximately 34 cts, and the largest diamond is approximately 15 cts.
This crown was used by Reza Shah, the founder of the Pahlavi dynasty, in his coronation on 25 April 1926. His son, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, the last Shah of Iran, also used the crown in his coronation on 26 Oct. 1967.
The crown was designed and built by a group of Iranian jewellers, under the supervision of Haj Serajeddin, the famous jeweller who had been in the employ of the Amir of Bokhara and had later emigrated from the Soviet Union to Iran. The stones were selected from loose stones in the treasury.
The crown made of red velvet, gold, and silver. It has a total height of 19.8 cm. (8 inches) and has a width of 19.8 cm. (8 inches). It weighs 2,080 grams. The are 3,380 diamonds employed on the crown, totalling 1,144 cts. The largest is a brilliant-cut yellow diamond of 60 cts. which is located in the center of the front jewel sunburst. There are also 369 perfectly-matching natural pearls in three rows on the crown. Of the 5 emeralds, totalling 200 cts., the largest is approximately 100 cts. The largest sapphire is 20 cts. The design of the crown incorporates a motif of the Sassanid dynasty, which ruled over the Persian Empire from the 3rd through the 7th centuries AD.
One of the largest diamonds in the world, this pink diamond and the Koh-e Noor (Mountain of Light) diamond were both brought back from India by Nader Shah in 1739. After the death of Nader Shah, Ahmad Shah Durrani took the Koh-e Noor to Afghanistan, where it passed onto Shah Shuja. He, in turn, was defeated by Ranjit Singh, the Lion of the Punjab. Eventually, it fell into the hands of the East India Company, which presented it to Queen Victoria. The Kohi Noor is now incorporated in the Queen Mother's crown. The Kohi Noor is said to bear a curse since all the male owners of the Kohi Noor suffered terrible fates.
This Darya-e Noor (Sea of Light) diamond, however, has a different story.
After Nader Shah's death, the Darya-e Noor was inherited by Shahrokh Mirza, his grandson. It then came into the possession of Alam Khan Khozeimeh, and later, Lotfoli Khan Zand, a member of Iran's Zand Dynasty.
Agha Mohammad Khan, cruel founder of Qajar dynasty, defeated the Zands, and so it came into the possession of the Qajars.
Fathali Shah Qajar had his name inscribed on one facet. Later, Nasseridin Shah Qajar believed that that this diamond was one of the gems decorating the crown of Cyrus the Great, so he often wore it on an armband. When armbands fell from royal fashion, he wore it as brooch. On occasion, the gem would be left in the care of high personages of the land, as a sign of honor, though it was eventually kept hidden in the Golestan Palace treasury museum until Mozzafaridin Shah's time, when he wore it as a hat decoration while visiting Europe in 1902.
Reza Shah, the founder of the Pahlavi dynasty, wore it as a decoration on his military hat during his coronation in 1926, and it was used in Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi's coronation ceremony in 1967.
There is no doubt that the diamond was taken from the Golkandeh mines of southern India. In 1965, a Canadian team which was conducting research on the Imperial jewels concluded that this Daraye Noor may have been part of a large pink diamond which was incorporated in the throne of the Moghul emporor Shah Jehan and described in the journal of the French jeweller Tavernier in 1642, who called it the "Diamanta Grande Table" in his journal. This diamond may have been cut into two pieces; the larger part is the Sea of Light, and the smaller part of is believed to be the Noor-ol Ein diamond which is presently incorporated in a tiara in Iranian imperial jewel collection. Including the frame, it is 7.2 cm. (2.9 in.) high and 5.3 cm. (2.1 in.) wide. It is believed to weigh between 182 to 186 cts. Fathali Shah's name is inscribed on one facet.
An aigrette is a a "spray of jewels or feathers, worn on a hat or in the hair." (Websters) The Nadiri aigrette is one of the many aigrettes in the Iranian crown jewels collections. It is 13 cm. (5 in.) tall and has a 65 ct. emerald in its center, possibly of Columbian origin. Despite its name, the Naderi aigrette was probably not worn by Nader Shah, since there are no references to it before the Qajar dynasty.
The Kiani Crown was used during the Qajar dynasty. Reza Shah, the founder of the Pahlavi dynasty, had his own crown designed but the Kiani crown was present during his coronation.
The crown itself is made of red velvet which has thousands of gems set onto it. Fathali Shah is often shown in paintings wearing a similar crown - it is not known whether there were a number of crowns in use at the time which looked similar, or whether the artists simply portrayed the same crown in different ways.
The Kiani crown has about 1800 pearls sown onto it, each from 7 to 9 mm. in diameter. There are approximately 300 emeralds set on the crown, the largest of which is about 80 cts. There are also about 1800 rubies and spinels on the crown, the largest of which is 120 cts. The largest diamond is 23 cts. The total height of the crown is 32 cm. (12.5 in.) without the aigrette, and the total width is 19.5 cm. (7.5 in.)
Not much is known about this tiara. Its basic design is of a sunburst, with a 25 ct. pink spinel in the center. Each ray ends in a diamond blossom with a single pearl or emerald. The emeralds have holes in them which are covered with small diamonds. The holes suggest that the emeralds were previously used in other pieces. The largest emerald is 20 cts. The design of this tiara was more commonly used in aigrettes in the second half of the 19th century, and so the origins of this tiara may be attributed to that time. Height: 7.2 cm. (3 in.)
Also known as the Shahi Sword, it was a present to Nasseridin Shah from Amin-o'Sultan, his prime minister. Before his assassination, Amin-o'Sultan served in the court of a number of Kings in that capacity. However, he wasn't as well appreciated by the common folk. Through his various posts, which included the Minister of the Interior and the Minister of the Treasury and Customs, he managed to accumulate sufficient wealth to afford such presents.
Though the picture is only of the sword's handle and hilt, the scabbard is entirely encrusted with approximately 3000 jewels of similar quality. According to an inscription which appears on the sword, it was made in 1306 (lunar calendar) by Mirza Ali Nagi. However, the sword was not presented to the King until six years later, around 1894 or 1895 AD.
This sword was worn by Mohammad Reza Shah during his coronation in 1967. The total length of the sword is 103 cm. (3.5 ft.) Among the 3000 or so gems on this sword, one finds a 110 ct. emerald and a 100 ct. emerald slightly above it, both of which are visible in the picture. There are also many large diamonds, rubies, and spinels on the sword
The centerpiece of this tiara is the Noor-ol-Ain diamond, which is one of the largest pink diamonds in the world. The diamond may have been brought from India, along with the Sea of Light diamond. The diamond is set in platinum, and is surrounded by pink, clear and yellow diamonds. The Noor-ol-Ain is a brilliant cut, almost tear shaped diamond of approximately 60 cts.; the other diamonds range from 14 to 19 cts. each. The tiara was designed by Harry Winston for the occasion of the Empress Farah's wedding to the the last Shah of Iran, Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi, in 1958.
This tiara was also designed by Harry Winston, the New York jeweller, for the occasion of the marriage of Empress Farah and Reza Shah Pahlevi in 1958. It was considered to be Farah's favorite tiara, since she was often seen wearing it on formal occasions, such as her on visit to the United States and Canada in 1965.
The lower band containing diamonds which is shaped like a heart, is built of platinum. There are two rows of yellow, pink and clear diamonds on top of it. There are seven large emeralds framed by diamonds on very top of the tiara.
The gems used in this tiara are a combination of the old and new. The brilliant-cut diamonds were probably re-cut in the 19th century from loose Indian diamonds which were in the treasury. The emeralds are probably from South America, though they were cut sometime before Nader Shah's campaign in India. The diamonds surrounding the emeralds are probably from South Africa. The largest emerald, located in the center of the top row, is 65 cts. and the smallest ones on the ends of the row are 10 cts. each. The two largest diamonds are approximately 15 cts. each.
This aigrette was a favorite of Fathali-Shah Qajar, and his portraits often show him wearing it on the front of the Kiani crown, along with three black feathers which signified royalty and were from Turkmenistan.
The stones used in the aigrette, consisting of diamonds, emeralds, spinels and rubies, are of excellent quality. The back of the aigrette is entirely of gold with a beautiful design.
The aigrette was held in place with three pins: two 10-cm (4 in.) pins pointing down, and one 5.5 cm. (2 in.) pin pointing up. The total height of the aigrette is 20.5 cm. (8 in.) The two largest emeralds in the center are approximately 55 cts. each, and the smaller two emeralds located beneath them are 7 and 9 cts. each. The two spinels are 60 and 65 cts. each. The clear diamond to the left of the lower spinel is 22 cts., and the clear diamond to the right of the same spinel is 25 cts. The yellow, semi-round diamond is approximately 16 cts. There are three rows of rubies in the feather motif on top.
This belt is woven of gold and can be seen in photographs of Nasseridin Shah Qajar from the second half of the 19th century. The belt band is 119 cm. (46 in.) and was therefore probably made for Nasseridin Shah, or his father, Mohammad Shah. It could not have been built for Fathali Shah, who was known to have a narrow waist.
The oval-shaped emerald on the beltbuckle is surrounded by diamonds, and has been estimated to be 5 cm. (2 in.) tall and weigh 175 cts. It may have been previously used as part of another decoration. Not much is known of the history of the gem, but for one reference from the court of Jahangir, the Mughul Emperor of India, dated 1616. It could have been brought to Iran following Nader Shah's conquest of Delhi. The same belt band was used on the occasion of Reza Shah Pahlavi's coronation, but a different band was used on the occasion of the coronation of his son, Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi, the last Shah.