Prize of kings
The Koh-i-Noor is believed to have been discovered in a mine in south-east India 800 years ago, and originally served as the eye of a Hindu goddess in a temple. For the next few hundred years, it was fought over by local rulers, before ending up in the hands of an 18th century Shah of Persia. He is said to have declared “Kohi-Noor” – “Mountain of Light” – when he saw the gem. It became one of the greatest prizes of the British Empire. Prince Albert found it dull in appearance and had it cut nearly in half to make a brighter oval shape.