The Nassak (Nashik) Diamond
The Nassak (Nashik) diamond also known as the Eye of the Idol diamond, is a large, 43.38 carats (8.676 g) diamond that originated as a larger 89 carat diamond in the 15th century in India. It was found in Golconda mines of Kollur, Andhra Pradesh and was the adornment of Shivalingam in the Trimbakeshwar Shiva Temple, near Nashik, in the state of Maharashtra.
The Nashik diamond was looted by British East India Company during the Third Anglo-Maratha War in 1817 and sold to British jewellers Rundell and Bridge in 1818 for 3,000 pounds (equivalent today to £224,000). Rundell and Bridge recut the diamond after which it made its way into the handle of the 1st Marquess of Westminster’s dress sword.
The Nassak Diamond was imported into the United States in 1927, and was considered one of the first 24 great diamonds of the world by 1930. American jeweller Harry Winston acquired the Nassak Diamond in 1940 in Paris, France and recut it to its present flawless 43.38 carats (8.676 g) emerald cut shape. Currently the diamond is held at a private museum in Lebanon, though there are calls for its return and restoration to the Indian temple.