Fancy yellow diamond and diamond jewel, late 19th century
- diamond, gold
There are many photographs of Ahmed Shah wearing the fancy yellow diamond affixed to an aigrette. Such jewels were immensely popular amongst the men of the Imperial family and would most certainly have been handed down to Ahmed Shah by his predecessors. His great grandfather, Nasser al-Din Shah Qajar (b.1831-1896), the first modern Persian monarch to visit Europe and something of a Renaissance man, was a great lover of diamonds and gemstones. Fascinated by Western culture, Nasser al-Din Shah showed a great interest in painting, photography, writing and poetry. He also demonstrated a great love for jewels and gemstones which manifested itself in the commission of several important works now in the National Treasury of the Jewels of Iran. A ‘Globe of Jewels’, a globe constructed from thirty-four kilograms of gold and 3’656 grams of gemstones is but one of these wonders. The oceans and seas laid out in emeralds, the lands and geographical lines in diamonds and rubies, the globe is said to have been constructed in order to not lose track of the thousands of loose stones in the treasury. So impressive is this collection of jewels that today, the national treasury uses the crown jewels as a reserve for their currency.