Posted on Friday, February 16th, 2018 at 8:18 pm by LaLonde Jewelers
Second in a three-part series. An in-depth look at the jewels from IRAN.
Iran has one of the most extensive collections of jewels in the world. In 1935 Persia became Iran, the name Iran is the Persian word for the country. The Persian empire began in 550 BC. It stretched from Anatola (Turkey) to Egypt, Western Asia (Saudi Arabia) to Northern India and Central Asia (China, Russia and Afghanistan). This was the largest empire of its day.
This so far doesn’t have anything to do with gems except for the fact that those geographic areas are all gem and gold rich. Some of the first known diamond mines were located in India. Rubies, sapphires and emeralds were all found in Central Asia.
Consequently the Persians flexed their muscles to conquer these lands, which expanded and contracted. The spoils go the the conquerer.
As the various rulers acquired these gold and gems, artisans crafted may different objects. Many were confiscated from neighboring countries.
It was customary in these times to share a portion of the booty with friendly neighboring countries to keep the peace.
Farah’s tiara was designed by Harry Winston for the marriage of Empress Farah and Mohammed Reza Shah Pahlavi in 1958. The crown is made in platinum and set with 7 emeralds all from South America that weigh from 10cts to 65cts each. The two largest diamonds are about 15cts each, that are all from the Iranian treasury, mined in India in the 1700’s.
The hat decoration was worn on a black woolskin hat by Fathali Shah. It is made of gold, silver, spinels, rubies and diamonds. The largest diamond weighs approximately 10cts and the largest spinel is about 50cts.
Water Decanter and Basin:
This was used to wash the hands of the Shah and his guests prior to and after meals. They are made of solid gold and set with hundreds to thousands of diamonds, rubies, emeralds, pearl and enamel. The largest ruby weighs approximately 22cts and the largest emerald weighs 30cts. The basin is 11.5 inches in diameter and 4.1 inches high weighing 60 troy ounces. The decanter measures 16.7 inches tall and weighs 135 troy ounces.
Nader Shah’s Shield:
This shield is 18 inches in diameter and made of rhinoceros hide. The shield is covered in diamonds, spinel and emeralds. The largest spinel weighs 225cts and is believed to be one of the largest in the world. The largest emerald weighs approximately 140cts and the diamonds range from 6-8cts.
Emerald and Diamond Tiara:
This piece is believed to be from the mid 1800’s. The design of the tiara was commonly used in aigrettes and is studded with pink spinel, diamonds, emeralds and pearls.
The Emerald Belt:
This belt was made for Nasseridin Shah Qajar around the 1860’s. It is set with an oval cushion emerald cabochon that weighs 175cts, surrounded by diamonds. The gem piece is approximately 2 inches tall. The emerald is believed to be from India, taken during the sack of Dehli, which could date the stone back to 1616. The belt was worn at the coronation of Reza Shah Pahlavi.
Written by Daniel J. LaLonde
© LaLonde Jewelers 2018