The Jacob Diamond was a large, colorless diamond mined in South Africa and considered to be the fifth largest in the world after being cut and polished. It weighed 184.75 carats and had 58 facets. The diamond was named after its first owner, Alexander Malcolm Jacob, an art dealer with connections to British Viceroys and Indian princes, including the Sixth Nizam of Hyderabad, Mir Mahboob Ali Khan.
Jacob, born in Turkey as a Jacobite Christian and raised as a slave, later became a successful trader in precious gemstones and lived in a luxurious house in Shimla. He purchased the diamond in 1891 and sold it to the Nizam, but the latter refused to pay the agreed price, leading to a legal battle. Jacob was forced to accept a reduced price and eventually died a pauper in Mumbai.
The Nizam, after winning the legal battle, tucked the diamond into one of his shoes and forgot about it until it was handed over to his son and successor, Mir Osman Ali Khan, who used it as a paperweight. The Indian government purchased the diamond in 1995 for $3 million and it is now kept in the vaults of the Reserve Bank of India in Mumbai. Despite its greatness, the Jacob Diamond remains a symbol of tragedy for its former owner, who died alone and forgotten.