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One of the most outstanding collections of gemstones and jewellery was acquired by the Indian government in 1995. Sometimes worn but never shown, these jewels once belonged to the Nizams of Hyderabad, reputed to be the richest men in the world. Jewels of the Nizamsis the first ever study and documentation of this collection. Once part of the Nizams’ state regalia and personal heritage, the ornaments date from the early 18th century to the early 20th century. Finely crafted from gold and silver and highlighted with exquisite enamelling, the jewels are set with Colombian emeralds, diamonds from the Golconda mines, Burmese rubies and spinels, and pearls from Basra and India. Though only a fraction of the legendary wealth of the Asaf Jah dynasty, the collection is breathtaking when translated into gem weights. There are over 25,000 diamonds weighing in excess of 12,000 carats, more than 2,000 emeralds weighing over 10,000 carats, and pearls exceeding 40,000 chows. Jewels of the Nizamsdocuments this unique collection of jewels that give credence to legends, apocryphal tales and fading memories of a fabulously wealthy dynasty that ruled the Deccan for seven generations.

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