One of the largest diamonds in the world, the Jacob diamond weighing 184.75 carats, is among the 173 precious jewels and jewellery items from the collection of the Nizams of Hyderabad on display at the National Museum, Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma said on Monday.
Titled 'Jewels of India: The Nizam's Jewellery Collection', it is the third such exhibition of rare and precious gems and jewels belonging to the period between 18th and early 20th century.
"Nizam's jewellery has been put on public display before the people and especially the youth which will help them to familiarise with their rich cultural heritage. The Ministry of Culture is continuously engaged in efforts to bring out the history of the country in parts and the rare exhibition is one such effort in this direction," the minister said.
A portfolio on the Nizam's jewellery collection and a booklet were also released during the inauguration.
The jewellery is one of largest collections of jewels that was purchased in 1995 by the Government of India at a cost of Rs 218 crore. The collection was with the "HEH Nizam Jewellery Trust" and "HEH Nizam Supplemental Jewellery Trust" formed by the last Nizam Mir Osman All Khan in 1951-1952 to safeguard the ancestral wealth of the family.
The trustees kept the treasure in the vaults of Hong Kong Bank. When the government acquired this collection in 1995, after a prolonged legal battle, it was shifted to the vaults of Reserve Bank of India (RBI), Mumbai, where it remained till June 29, 2001.
It was brought and kept in the vaults of the RBI, New Delhi, for safety and has now been shifted to the National Museum.
The collection includes sarpeches (a turban ornament), necklaces, belts and buckles, pairs of bracelets and bangles, earrings, armlets, toe rings, finger rings, pocket watch and watch chains, buttons and cufflinks.
Diamonds from the mines of Golconda and Colombian emeralds are also part of the display along with the Burmese rubies and spinets and pearls from Basra and the Gulf of Mannar.
The exhibition will remain open for public viewing from February 19, 2019 to May 5, 2019 from 10am to 6pm.
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