Shah Jahan Table Cut


Weight: 56.72 carats

Dimensions: 46 x 33 x 3.6 mm

Color: Colorless

Weight of Rough: Unknown

Origin: India

Date Found: Prior to 1617

Current Location: Kuwait National Museum


History of this diamond starts with Jahangir Shah, the fourth Shah of the Mogul empire who ruled in the very early 1600’s. His son, prince Khurram, Shah Jahan, is shown holding the stone in a turban ornament in a painting by an unknown artist (c. 1616, India or Pakistan, watercolor and gold on paper, Victoria and Albert Museum). 

Shah Jahan portrait V&A Museum

The stone was taken by the Iranian ruler Nadir Shah when he sacked Delhi in 1739. After this date its history is uncertain, some thinking it resided in private ownership, others stating it was in the Russian Diamond Fund. It came up for auction at Sotheby’s in 1985 but remained unsold. It was somehow acquired from the unknown owner by the Kuwait National Museum.

The stone is a typical table cut, but unusual in that it is almost 2” (46 mm) long yet only 1/8” (3.6 mm) thick. The rough was more than likely a flat cleavage piece that was faceted and then drilled to hang as a pendant. Facet angles range from 1.25° up to about 20° for the corner facets.

Due to the shallow angles, the replica displays very little brilliance, yet it still lights up when light reflects off the backside facets. Note that it does not have the drilled holes of the original as drilling CZ is not something I care to chance!