Posted on Thursday, March 1st, 2018 at 7:12 pm by LaLonde Jewelers
Third in a three-part series, taking 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.
The Empress’s Crown:
At the coronation of Moammad Reza Shah in 1967 he placed the crown on the head of Empress Farah. This was the first time the wife of a Persian monarch was crowned. This crown was a new design made for this event by the French jeweler Van Cleef & Arpels. The stones were selected from the treasury. It is made of green velvet and set with 38 emeralds, 1,400 diamonds and 105 pearls. The largest pearl measures approximately 22mm long and the largest emerald weighs 91cts.
The Naderi Throne:
The throne is made of wood covered in gold and set with approximately 23,000+ jewels. The largest of the stones is a 225cts emerald, 65cts spinel and a 35cts ruby. It is thought that Nader Shah brought this throne back from a campaign in 1739. The word “nader” means “rare” or “unique” in Persian thus this name refers to the fact that the throne is rare or unique.
The “Iranian Yellows”:
This is a collection of 23 yellow diamonds acquired around 1889 by Nasseridin Shah while on a trip to Europe. The stones are African in origin and range in size from 114cts to 152cts each.
The Noor-ol-Ain Tiara:
This tiara was designed by Harry Winston for the Empress Farah’s wedding to the last Shahon Iran Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi, in 1958. The main stone of the Noor-ol-Ain is a tear shaped pink diamond, that weighs approximately 60cts. This is one of the largest pink diamonds in the world. The stone is surrounded by yellow and pink diamonds, mostly ranging from 14cts to 19cts.
Royal Dish Cover:
This is one of many dish covers and is approximately 7 ½ inches in diameter with a broad lip that covered the dish. This was meant to keep food warm and prevented poison from being added to the food. This dish is made of solid gold and is set with diamonds, rubies and emeralds.
Loose Indian Diamonds:
There are thousands of loose stones and diamonds in the treasury. Many were bought from India by Nader Shah in 1739. They range from small stones to over 200cts each.
There are thousands and thousands of diamonds, precious stones and objects in the treasury. No one knows the value of these but the whole Iranian currency is backed by these items. Although Iran is not necessarily a capitalist society the country does know that the royal jewels are of great value and importance.
Written by Daniel J. LaLonde
© LaLonde Jewelers 2018