As with many legendary diamonds and gems, there are contrasting stories and rumors regarding the origin of the Koh-I-Noor. Some believe it was a gift to the earth from Surya (the
god of the sun), and that evidence of its existence can be found in ancient Sanskrit writings, dating back over 5000 years. Some Hindus believe it was stolen from the great god Krishna as he lay asleep, whilst others say the Koh-I-Noor was, in fact, the Syamantaka
Jewel, another famous precious stone from Indian mythology, believed to have been blessed with great magical powers.
The first real evidence of the Koh-I-Noor can be found
in the memoirs of Barbur, the founder and first leader of the Mogul Empire. Barbur recorded the diamond amongst the treasures of Ala-ud-deen (better known to some as Aladdin), and it was said to have been won in battle in Malwah, in 1304 AD.
In 1526, it was obtained by the Moguls. Then it was said to have been at its original weight of 793 carats but after some awful cutting and polishing by the Emperor's jeweller, Borgio, the stone
was reduced to just 186 carats, and Borgio was said to have been severely punished!
In 1850 the British thought it fitting that the new Maharaja, Duleep Singh, should personally
present the Koh-I-Noor diamond to Queen Victoria, after which it became the centre piece of 'the Great Exhibition' staged in Hyde Park, London, which displayed the large diamond in full public view.
In 1852, Prince Albert ordered for the diamond to be re-cut, reducing it to its current weight of 105 carats, and increasing its brilliance, soon after which it was set in a royal tiara with over 2000 other diamonds.
The Koh-I-Noor currently resides with the rest of the crown jewels, set in a crown created in 1937 for the coronation of the then Empress of India, Elizabeth, who would later be known as the Queen Mother.
Most diamonds form under extreme pressure and at very high temperatures, typically at depths of over 140 kilometers inside Earth's mantle. On average, diamond formation occurs over
periods of 1 to 3.3 billion years, until they are surfaced through deep volcanic eruptions of a rare type of magma called kimberlite. Kimberlite is a ultramafic potassic igneous rock that also contains many other minerals like olivine, diopside, calcite, serpentine,
garnet and small amounts of apatite, as well as various other upper mantle minerals. The kimberlite magma erupts from rare volcanic vents known as pipes or diatremes.