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The Spoonmaker's Diamond ( ), is the pride of the Topkapi Palacemarker Museum and its most valuable single exhibit as part of the Imperial Treasury, it is an 86 carat (17 g) pear-shaped diamond. Surrounded by a double row of forty-nine old mine-cut diamonds and well spotlighted, it hangs in a glass case on the wall of one of the rooms of the treasury. The forty-nine separate brilliants surround it, giving it the appearance of a full moon lighting a bright and shining sky amidst the stars.


Various stories are told about the Spoonmarker's Diamond. According to one tale, a poor fisherman in Istanbulmarker near Yenikapimarker was wandering idly, empty-handed along the shore when he found a shiny stone among the litter, which he turned over and over not knowing what it was. After carrying it about in his pocket for a few days, he stopped by the jewelers' market, showing it to the first jeweler he encountered. The jeweler took a casual glance at the stone and appeared disinterested, saying "It's a piece of glass, take it away if you like, or if you like I'll give you three spoons. You brought it all the way here, at least let it be worth your trouble." What was the poor fisherman to do with this piece of glass? What's more the jeweler had felt sorry for him and was giving three spoons. He said okay and took the spoons, leaving in their place an enormous treasure. It is for this reason they say that the diamond's name became the "Spoonmaker's Diamond".

According to another tale, the person finding the diamond was a spoonmaker, or the diamond was given this name because it resembled the bowl of a spoon. Even today it is not known how this diamond came to the Topkap─▒ Palacemarker, whom it was obtained from or how. Even though a ring stone called the Spoonmaker's Diamond which belonged to Sultan Mehmet IV appears listed in museum records, this stone along with its gold is only 10 to 12 grams, which is much smaller than our Spoonmaker's Diamond.

So where did the Spoonmaker's Diamond come from then? While the experts go on researching this subject, in recent years a new story has begun to be told. It goes like this:

In 1774 a French officer by the name of Pigot purchased a diamond from the Maharajah of Madras and brought it to France. After changing a number of hands, the diamond was put up for sale at auction, in which Napoleon's mother purchased it. For a long time she wore it on her chest. When Napoleon was sent into exile, his aged mother put the diamond up for sale in an effort to save her son.

One of Tepedelenli Ali Pasha's men, who was in France at the time, bought the diamond on the Pasha's behalf for 150 thousand gold pieces, bringing it back and handing it over. During the reign of Mahmud II, Tepedelenli Ali Pasha was killed on allegations of rebelling against the State, and his treasure was confiscated. The whole lot of precious jewelry was moved to the Ottoman Treasury, during the course of which the diamond purchased from Napoleon's mother, subsequently becoming famous as the Spoonmaker's Diamond, also entered the Treasury.

It is known that the stone known in France as the Pigot Diamond which was purchased by Tepedelenli Ali Pasha's men was 86 carats (17 g). The Spoonmaker's Diamond in the Treasury of Topkap─▒ Palace is also 86 carats. Thus, the world-renowned Pigot diamond is believed to be the Spoonmaker's Diamond in Topkap─▒ .

The 49 brilliants were ordered arranged either by Tepedelenli Ali Pasha, or by Mahmud II. These brilliants provide an additional beauty to the Spoonmaker's Diamond and increase its value by as much again.

The gold, the silver, the rubies, the emeralds of the Topkap─▒ Palace Treasury notwithstanding, the Spoonmaker's Diamond has drawn the adoring, amazed looks of countless favourites, queens and mothers of sultans.

Another tale goes that in the year 1798 (12-13 October 1798) has taken part in Preveza City, Epirus, Greece, the Battle of Nicopolis (Le Siege de Nicopolis). During this Battle, 700 French grenadieures soldiers of Napoleon the Great, under General La Salchette, plus 200 Greek Prevezian armed citizens, plus 60 Greek Souliotes warriors embanked in Nicopolis against 7.000 Turk - Albanian Warriors under Ale Pasha Tepelana and his son Muchtar. The Ottomans won the battle, and nine French officers arrested and sent to Istanbul (Sultan Selim III). One of the French prisoners was Captain Camus, about 47 years old, Lover of LeticiaRamolino Bonaparte, mother of Napoleon Bonaparte. After the bad news Leticia has been in contac with the Sultan Selim III, and immediately has sent by ship to Preveza a "Big Diamond" as a "present" for Sultan, with the view of the liberation of his Lover captain Camus. The Diamond from Prevaza city, went to Ioannina and then to Istanbul. A history says that Mrs Vassiliki wife of Ale Pasha Telelena wear ths Diamond. Finally Captain Camus and the rench soldiers had been liberated, and captain Camus became later a General. His memoirs of 3 volumes are available. Informations says that the Diamond belonged to Maria Antoinette. As we know, later Sultan Selim III has been murdered and the diamond came to Mahmud II Sultan.

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