The Many Stories of the Spoonmaker’s Diamond

The Spoonmaker’s Diamond, also known as the Kasikci, is the most valued exhibit of the Topkapi Palace Museum. The Topkapi Palace Museum is one of the most famous treasuries in the word. Inside of its walls are ancient maces, daggers, pendants, book covers, chests, rings, and various other ancient artifacts, studded, encrusted, and artfully decorated with beautiful stones. The Spoonmaker’s Diamond rests prized among these.

This 86 carat (17 g) non conflict diamond is cut in a pear shape and surrounded by a cluster of forty nine smaller, brilliant-cut diamonds. It has been compared to the curved dipper of a spoon (which might be the origin of its name) and a full moon, illuminating a bright sky full of stars.

Though there are several legends as to where the Spoonmaker Diamond came from, its true origins and how it got to the Topkapi Palace are unknown. Sultan Mehmet IV also had a diamond called the Spoonmaker’s Diamond, but it was set in a ring and weighed much less than the similarly named gemstone in the Topkapi Palace.

One of the origin myths of the Spoonmaker’s Diamond starts with a poor fisherman, wandering around Istanbul, penniless and empty handed. He finds a brilliantly shining stone amongst the piles of garbage. Unsure of what the stone was, but recognizing it as beautiful, he stores it in his pocket for a few days before going to a jeweler’s market—this was before the days of IGI appraisals.

The fisherman shows his rock to the first jeweler he comes across. The jeweler recognizes it as an extremely valuable diamond, but feigns disinterest. He gives it a cursory glance-over and states that it is just a hunk of glass, but he is willing to give the fisherman three spoons for his trouble, out of sympathy. The fisherman agrees, and walks away from the deal feeling better off.

In a slightly different version of the story, an impoverished man named Rashid finds the diamond in 1699 while scouring the Istanbul garbage dumps. He haggled with a spoonmaker and…

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