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Jacob Diamond & the Richest Nizam ruler

Originally known as Victoria Diamond, Jacob diamond had a short, but eventful, history before reaching Hyderabad. It was found in Kimberly mines in South Africa in 1884 and was secretly transported to England to avoid heavy duties then in place for raw diamonds. It was sold to a consortium of jewellers at the Hutton Garden diamond market in London. The gem was then sent to Amsterdam in 1887 where it was polished in a specially erected workshop. The finished gem, with 58 facets, weighing 185. 75 carats was stunningly beautiful, in its cut, clarity and colour. (Kohinoor weighed only 105.6 carats).

It was this Victoria diamond, also called Imperial diamond that Alexander Jacob, the Shimla-based diamond dealer, sold to Mahaboob Ali Khan, the Nizam of Hyderabad in 1891. Since then it came to be called, Jacob Diamond.

One of the prized possessions in the Nizam collection is the Jacob Diamond, ist is the fifth largest diamond in the world, which was found by the last Nizam, Osman Ali Khan, in the toe of his father’s shoe Mir Mehboob Ali Khan at Chowmahalla Palace and he himself used it as a paper weight for a long time.

 

Osman Ali Khan: The last Nizam of Hyderabad:

 

Osman Ali Khan Bahadur was given the title of His Exalted Highness, Nizam of Hyderabad.He was the richest man of his times due to the possession of so many jewels.

Osman Ali Khan was also known as the Architect of Modern Hyderabad due to his involvement in the making of various buildings in Hyderabad. Few examples are Osmania University, Osmania General Hospital and Hyderabad High Court. Nearly all the public buildings in Hyderabad were built during his reign.

Osman Ali Khan Bahadur was on the cover of TIME magazine back in 1937 and was labelled as the richest man in the world. According to TIME reporter, diamonds, rubies, sapphires, pearls and gems at the Nizam's palace were stored in USD 3 steel trunks fastened with padlocks.

Osman Ali Khan Bahadur lived at King Kothi Palace, Hyderabad.

After the death of his father, Mir Mahbub Ali Khan, sixth Nizam of Hyderabad, Osman Ali Khan Bahadur took over the throne. He was just 25 at that time.

During his 37-year-long reign, electricity was introduced, roads and airways were developed along with railway routes in the state.

The Nizam made a generous donation of 5,000 kg of gold in 1965 to the National Defence Fund, which remains the biggest contribution till date.

Osman Ali Khan Bahadur was one of only five princes entitled to a 21-gun salute.

Osman Ali Khan introduced many educational reforms during his reign. About 11 per cent of the Nizam's budget was spent on education.

The Nizam gifted a tiara and a necklace to Queen Elizabeth in 1947 as a wedding gift. The Queen still wears the brooches and necklace from this gift and is known as Nizam of Hyderabad necklace.

 

The Nizam of Hyderabad necklace :

HEH Osman Ali Khan Bahadur died on February 24, 1967. Khan had willed to be buried in Masjid-e Judi. The location faced King Kothi, his residence in Hyderabad.

In 2019 The Nizam's jewels were part of 400 pieces of Indian jewellery that were auctioned under 'Maharajas & Mughal Magnificence' sale. It fetched $109,271,875 (Rs 700 crore), which, according to Christie's, was the highest total for any auction of Indian art and Mughal jewelled objects and second highest for a private jewellery auction.