Story Of Jubilee Diamond: How this rare gem once saved Tata Steel from bankruptcy

The Jubilee Diamond was found in 1895 at South Africa's Jagersfontein Mine. Initially weighing 650 carats, it was purchased by a group of London-based diamond merchants. They named it the 'Reitz Diamond' to honour Francis William Reitz, the president of the Orange Free ... Read More
IT Worth Desk
IT Worth Desk
Updated on Jul 10, 2024, 07:48 IST
Story Of Jubilee Diamond

Imagine a piece of the cosmos transformed as an exceptional, rare jewel—a naturally occurring diamond capturing centuries of legend and beauty. The Jubilee Diamond, formerly known as the Reitz Diamond, is one of India's legendary gems. With a weight of an astounding 245.35 carats, it is renowned for its elegance and purity and is among the largest in history. This article explores the fascinating tale of the Jubilee Diamond, showing how it inspired industry, fascinated the upper class, and served as a symbol of hope for future generations.

Discovery and Origins of the Jubilee Diamond

The Jubilee Diamond, also known as the Reitz Diamond, was discovered in 1895 in the Orange Free State's Jagersfontein Mine in South Africa. At a staggering weight of 245.35 carats, this cushion-shaped marvel is the sixth biggest diamond ever found. Renamed in 1897 to honor Queen Victoria's 60th anniversary of her coronation, it came to represent strength and grandeur.

The Jubilee Diamond's Journey

From its beginning octahedron shape, measuring 650.80 carats, the Jubilee Diamond went through an amazing journey before being transformed into a polished gem by M.B. Barends in Amsterdam. Its magnificence was on display during the 1900 Paris Exhibition, winning hearts and igniting curiosity all throughout the world.

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Sir Dorabji Tata's Acquisition

Dorabji Tata and Meherbai Tata Dorabji Tata and Meherbai Tata | Photo: Wiki Commons, horizons tatatrusts.org

The Jubilee Diamond was purchased for ?100,000 in 1900 by Sir Dorabji Tata as a gift for his wife, Lady Meherbai Tata, the group's visionary leader, in a stroke of fortune. She placed it in a platinum setting, adorned with a platinum chain, and wore it during official state functions and royal visitsIt adorned his wife, Lady Meherbai Tata, enhancing her elegance during state functions and royal visits. Beyond its aesthetic allure, the diamond soon proved its worth in an unexpected arena—economic survival.

How the Jubilee Diamond Saved Tata Steel

Tata Steel was in serious financial trouble in 1924 and was facing strong rivals from Japanese Steel. Using the Jubilee Diamond as leverage, Sir Dorabji Tata was able to secure a crucial Rs 1 crore loan from the Imperial Bank of India (now State Bank of India) while suffering a Rs 2 crore financial problem. With the help of this funding infusion, Tata Steel was able to avoid bankruptcy and ensure that wages and debentures were settled. Consequently, the Jubilee Diamond established its reputation as the rescuer of Tata Steel, preserving thousands of jobs and advancing India's economic strength.

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Legacy and Philanthropy

Jubilee Diamond Pinterest

The vision of Sir Dorabji Tata went beyond business strategies. The Sir Dorabji Tata Charitable Trust was established in 1932 thanks to his philanthropic legacy, which included the sale of the Jubilee Diamond. These acts of kindness led to the establishment of organizations such as the Tata Memorial Hospital, the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, and the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, which had a significant impact on scientific research, education, and healthcare in India.

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The Enduring Brilliance of the Jubilee Diamond

Nestled inside the prestigious Mouawad collection, the Jubilee Diamond's rich history still inspires admiration today. It represents more than just a gemstone; it also represents tenacity, vision, and the transforming force of visionary leadership. The Jubilee Diamond is still a source of hope and inspiration for future generations, serving as a monument to the meeting point of generosity, history, and wealth.

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