Size, as we know, is not every­thing. You might only be the 0th largest, but you can emerge with a siz­able rep­u­ta­tion. This is one of sev­er­al lessons to be learned from the sto­ry of the Koh-i-Noor dia­mond, way down the list terms of size but, as this new book’s sub­ti­tle sug­gests, loom­ing large the imag­i­na­tion. is prob­a­bly also the world’s most dan­ger­ous dia­mond, described here as being “like a liv­ing, dan­ger­ous of prey” because so many have lost their lives over it. The ori­gins of the Koh-i-Noor, the “moun­tain of light”, are unknown, the reach even of this book’s two accom­plished authors, but it seems safe to assume that it emerged of allu­vial deposit some­where in India. It may have been known in antiq­ui­ty and it may have been referred to in many a roman­tic tale, but its ver­i­fi­able appear­ance isn’t until the 18th cen­tu­ry, where it dec­o­rat­ed the Mughal emperor’s Pea­cock Throne in Del­hi and where it stim­u­lat­ed envy and greed in the emperor’s rivals. Over the fol­low­ing 100 years, it brought tor­ment and tragedy to a range of peo­ple in Del­hi, Kab­ul and Lahore. The his­to­ry of the […]