Sunday, October 13, 2013


Imperial Treasury of Ottoman Empire is full of ancient daggers, pendants, book covers, chests, rings, and various other ancient artifacts but Spoonmaker's Diamond is the most precious and valuable single exhibit. It is an 86 carat (17 g) pear-shaped diamond, surrounded by a double row of smaller forty-nine diamonds which makes it one of the world's most valuable diamond.

It is origin is still not clear but there are few myths about its past. According to one tale, a poor fisherman in Istanbul near Yenikapi was wandering idly, empty-handed along the shore when he found a shiny stone among the litter, which he turned over one over not knowing what it was. After carrying it about in his pocket for a few days, he stopped by the jewelers Market, showing it to the first jeweler he encountered. The jeweler took a casual glance at the stone and appeared disinterested, saying "It's a piece of glass, take it away if you like, or if you like I'll give you three spoons. You brought it all the way here, at least let it be worth your trouble." What was the poor fisherman to do with this piece of glass? What's more the jeweler had felt sorry for him and was giving three spoons. He said okay and took the spoons, leaving in their place an enormous treasure. It is for this reason they say that the diamond's name became the "Spoonmaker's Diamond" 

According to more convincing tale, in 1774 a French officer by the name of Pigot purchased a diamond from the Maharajah of Madras and brought it to France. After changing a number of hands, the diamond was put up for sale at auction, in which Napoleon's mother purchased it. For a long time she wore it on her breast. When Napoeon was sent into exile, his aged mother put the diamond up for sale in order to be able save her son. One of Tepedelenli Ali Pasa's men, who was in France at the time, bought the diamond on the Pasa's behalf for 150 thousand gold pieces, bringing it back and handing it over. During the reign of Mahmud II, Tepedelenli Ali Pasa was killed on allegations of rebelling against the State, and his treasure was confiscated. The whole lot of precious jewelry was moved to the Ottoman Treasury, during the course of which the diamond purchased from Napoleon's mother, subsequently becoming famous as the Spoonmaker's Diamond, also entered the Treasury. It is known that the stone known in France as the Pigot Diamond which was purchaed by Tepedelenli Ali Pasa's men was 86 carets. The Spoonmaker's Diamond in the Treasury of Topkapi Museum is also 86 carets. Thus, the world-renowned Pigot diamond must be the Spoonmaker's Diamond in Topkapi.

Even we are not sure its origin, this masterpiece of deathless beauty still sits alone in its case, smiling at its spectators in Topkapi Palace.