One of the largest diamonds in the world, the Jacob diamond weighing 184.75 carats, will be among the 173 precious jewels and jewellery items from the collection of the Nizams of Hyderabad that will be on display at the National Museum, Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma said Monday. Titled 'Jewels of India: The Nizam's Jewellery Collection', the exhibition is the third such exhibition of such rare and precious gems and jewels belonging to the period ranging from 18th century to the early 20th century.
The last time the jewels were displayed was in 2007. Most outstanding among this collection is the Imperial diamond now known as Jacob diamond, weighing 184.75 carats, which is a fabulous weight of any single gemstone.
"Nizam's jewellery has been put on public display before the people and especially the youth which will help them to familiarise with their rich cultural heritage. The Ministry of Culture is continuously engaged in efforts to bring out the history of the country in parts and the rare exhibition is one such effort in this direction," the minister said. A portfolio on the Nizam's jewellery collection and a booklet were also released on the occasion.
The jewellery is one of largest and rich collection of jewels that was purchased in 1995 by the Government of India at a cost of Rs 218 crore. The collection had remained in the custody of "H.E.H. Nizam Jewellery Trust" and "H.E.H. Nizam Supplemental Jewellery Trust" formed by the last Nizam Mir Osman All Khan in 1951-1952 to safeguard the ancestral wealth of the family. The trustees kept this treasure of great historical value in the vaults of Hong Kong Bank. When the Government of India acquired this collection in 1995, after a prolonged legal battle, it was shifted to the vaults of Reserve Bank of India (RBI), Mumbai, where it remained till June 29, 2001.
It was brought and kept in the vaults of the RBI, New Delhi, for safety and has now been shifted to the National Museum for a befitting display, the preparations of which are complete from all points of view, including round-the clock security. The collection includes, sarpeches ( a turban ornament), necklaces, belts and buckles, pairs of bracelets and bangles, earrings, armlets, toe rings, finger rings, pocket watch and watch chains, buttons and cufflinks.
While the diamonds from the celebrated mines of Golconda and Colombian emeralds predominate, the Burmese rubies and spinets and pearls from Basra and the Gulf of Mannar, off the east coast of India, will also form part of the exhibition. Prior to this, the Nizam's jewellery was displayed twice at National Museum. The first exhibition was held in 2001, in which 173 objects were put on display. The second exhibition was held from September 26- December 30, 2007. The exhibition will remain open for public viewing from February 19, 2019 to May 5, 2019 from 10 AM to 6 PM (except Mondays and National Holidays).
(With inputs from agencies.)