Great Mogul: World Famous Diamonds

Great Mogul: World Famous Diamonds - Artificial Jewellery

According to the famous French diamond merchant and explorer Jean Baptiste Tavernier, the Great Mogul was discovered around 1550 in the Gani mine near Galconda (India), and weighed 780 carats in the rough.

Fact Sheet

• Weight: 275.65 carats
• Dimensions: 34.85mm x 25.61mm
• Colour: colourless
• Rough weight: 808.37 carats (estimated)
• Origin: India
• Date found: early 1600s
• Current location: unknown; possibly Russia

Tavernier was the first European to see the fabulous Great Mogul as well as the entire imperial treasure.

Emperor Aurangzeb possessed the Great Mogul at the time of Louis XIV.

He sent the stone to Venice to have it cut by Hortensio Borgis and Tavernier reported that the final shape “was that of an egg cut in half”, possessing nearly 300 facets and weighing about 280 modern carats.

This was a huge reduction in size – the original 780-carat rough contained many flaws, but the emperor was furious about the result. He refused to pay, and had the cutter whipped and heavily fined, ruining him.

Tavernier’s description in the mid-1600s is the only mention of this stone and the Great Mogul has seemingly disappeared into the dustbin of history, most probably taken from India during the sack of Delhi in 1739.

Many historians believe it became the Orlov diamond, currently in the Russian Diamond Fund.

The Orlov also has an “egg cut in half” shape, and it weighs approximately 190 carats. It would be difficult to assume that two diamonds share this unusual shape if they weren’t somehow related.




When one thinks of diamonds, Tijeras, New Mexico is not the first place that springs to mind, but it’s home to Scott Sucher, the Master behind the research and replicas that form the World Famous Diamonds.

Scott Sucher’s lifelong interest in geology commenced when a local museum hosted an exhibition of famous diamonds made of quartz when he was just a young boy. Whenever he could find time in his busy life, he published a collection of internet articles and lectures.

After retirement, Sucher returned to stone cutting with renewed vigour when a Discovery Channel producer requested help for a program on famous diamonds. The 14-month collaboration resulted in Unsolved History: the Hope Diamond, which first aired in February 2005.

The program gave Sucher the chance to handle the unset Hope diamond, the 31-carat Blue Heart diamond and Napoleon’s necklace – a 234-diamond necklace that Napoleon gave to his second wife Marie-Louise.

Sucher then worked with the Natural History Museum in London to recreate a replica of the historic Koh-i-noor. The entire process took 12 months – photo analysis took four months alone – and concluded in July 2007. The cutting alone took 46 hours, and Sucher likened it to “brain surgery, as one mistake can be non-recoverable.”

Sucher continues his work in partnership with many other experts and museums in the field. If anyone knows anything about the world’s most famous diamonds, it’s Scott Sucher.

To follow his ongoing works click here.

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