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Pigott Diamond pile pile-treated dimond Pindar Diamond PDF Print E-mail
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Sunday, 23 September 2007

Pigott diamond. It was in the year 1818 when Ali Pasha of Janina, ruler of Albania and an enthusiastic gem collector, decided to purchase a large diamond from the London jewelry firm of Rundel & Bridge for $150,-000. Apparently, he was jealous of his newly acquired bauble and kept it in a little green leather bag inside his sash, seldom showing it to others. In 1822, the Sultan of Turkey, over­lord of Albania, became resentful of Ali Pasha's mounting power and in­dependence and sent an emissary to demand his surrender. The 80-year-old Pasha was mortally wounded in the palace scuffle that ensued. As he lay dying in his own throne room, he summoned a faithful soldier of fortune, a Captain d'Anglas, and or­dered him to destroy his two most precious possessions: the diamond and his wife, Vasilikee. Although the stone was reported shattered before his eyes, he failed to live long enough to insist on his wife's death and she escaped. This ill-omened stone, called the Pigott, was a fine-quality, oval-shaped Indian diamond, variously said to have weighed from47 to 85.80 carats. Most authorities agree to 49 carats. It was named for Baron George Pigot (the correct spell-int of the name), twice Governor of Madras, who was thought to have acquired it as a gift from an Indian prince in 1763 and willed it to a sis­ter and two brothers in 1777. Sub­sequently, it changed hands several times (once by lottery in 1801) and was said to have been owned at one time by Madame Bonaparte, mother of Napoleon. Since the death of Ali Pasha, there has been no trace of the Pigott; likewise, there is no actual evidence of its destruction. Only the model, which had been made previ­ously in England, remains. A less fre­quently used name is the Lottery Di­amond; an alternate spelling is Pigot.


pile. A term used for the first nuclear reactor made by piling up graphite blocks and pieces of uranium and uranium oxide. See pile-treated dia­mond.

pile-treated diamond. A diamond whose color has been changed to green or yellowish green (or, if treated too long, to black) by bom­bardment with neutrons in a radioac­tive pile. Subsequent heat treatment may result in still further color change. See pile, nuclear reactor, cy­clotron TREATED.

Pindar diamond. Sir Paul Pindar brought this stone to England from Constantinople and sold it to Charles I. Valued at $150,000. Thought to have been among the royal jewels on which Henrietta Maria, his wife, raised $10,000 in one year. Sub­sequent history lost.

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