Treasury of National Jewels

Written by Super User. Posted in Tehran historical sites

Treasury of National Jewels
About Treasury of National Jewels
By: H.Shams

The incomparable "Treasures of the National Jewels", which is publicly accessible, is a collection of the most expensive jewels in the world, collected over centuries.
Every piece of this collection is a reflection of the stormy history of this great nation and the art of the inhabitants of this country. Each piece recalls memories of bitter-sweet victories and defeats, the pride and arrogance of the rulers who were powerful or weak.
This treasure chamber, on the other hand, represents the culture and civilization of the Iranian people who have had an adventurous past and, on the other hand, repeats the silent tears of the oppressed people who labored hard, and instead, the rulers could show their arrogance power with their gold and jewels.
Our intention to present these jewels is to meet you with the rich culture and civilization of Iran. And to learn from history the fate of those who pursue power and hoard the wealth. To this end, we present this rich collection which we have inherited and hope to preserve and pass on to our heirs.
The value of objects in the treasures of the National Jewels is not limited to their economic value but is also a reflection of the creativity and taste of the Iranian artisans and artists over the various eras of history and represents the artistic and cultural heritage of the Huge Land in Iran.
These jewels and rarities were decorations for the rulers in the past epochs, often showing the fame and extravagance of their courts as well as their power and wealth.
There is no information about the quality and quantity of treasuries before the Safavid period. It can be said that the recorded history of the treasure chamber of jewels began with the Safavid monarchs. In short, the history of the accumulation of the present collection is as follows:

Before the Safavid dynasty, there were certain jewels in the government's treasures, but with the Safavid dynasty, the foreign travelers (Jean-Baptiste Tavernier, Chevalier Chardin, the Shirley brothers, George Mainwaring, and others) began to mention these treasuries. The Safavid monarchs, over two centuries (907 to 1148 LH, approximately 1502 to 1735 AD), began to collect rare and beautiful precious stones. The precious stone specialists of the Safavid court brought to Isfahan, the capital of Iran, then from the markets of India the Ottoman Empire and European countries like France and Italy.
After the rule of Shah Soltan Hossein and the entrance of Mahmoud the Afghan to Iran, the treasury was scattered and some of the jewels were taken from Mahmoud to the Afghan and transferred to Ashraf, the Afghan. After the entry of Shah Tahmasb and Nadir to Isfahan, these jewels fell into the hands of Nadir and were thus preserved in the country. Later, to regain the jewels that had been transported to India, Nadir wrote several letters to the India court but received no positive reply. After Nadir's victory in India in 1158 LH (1745 AD), Mohammad Shah delivered cash, jewels, and weapons to Nadir as a prey. Some of the treasures that were never preserved in India reached Iran and was lost during transport. According to tradition this time, after returning to Iran, Nadir send part of the spoils as gifts to neighboring rulers. He also presented some beautiful and rare objects to the holy shrine of Imam Reza, while some were distributed among the soldiers of his army.
After the assassination of Nadir in 1160 LH (1747 AD) Plundered Ahmad Beg Afghan Abdali, one of his commanders, the treasury chamber of Nadir. One of the famous jewels that Iran left at this time and never returned was the famous "Kooh-e-Only" (Mountain of Light) diamonds. This diamond went to the hands of Ahmed Shah Durrani and then to Ranjit Singh of Punjab. After his defeat by the British government, the Kooh-e-Diamond fell into the hands of the East India Company, and in 1266 LH (1850 AD), Queen Victoria was given as a gift.
After this event, there was no major change in the treasury until the Qajar Dynasty. During the Qajar period, the treasury was collected and recorded. Some of the stones were placed on the Kiani Crown, the Nadir Throne, the Globus of Jewels and the Peacock Throne (or the Sun Throne).

Two other objects gradually added to this treasury are the turquoise, the real gem of Iran, extracted from local turquoise mines, and the other are pearls chased by the Persian Gulf.
Under the law approved on 25 Aban 1316 SH (1937 AD), a large portion of the Treasury was transferred to the Bank Melli Iran, forming part of the reserves for memoranda, and later became collateral for government liabilities against the bank.
The present collection was built in 1334 SH (1955 AD). In 1339 SH (1960 AD) The treasury was transferred by the founding of the central bank of Iran and deposited with the central bank. Now it is also secured by the Central Bank of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Modern use

The crown jewels were last used by the Pahlavi dynasty, the last to rule Iran. The splendor of the collection was largely brought to the attention of the Western world by its use of Mohammad Reza Pahlavi and his shahbanu (empress) Farah Pahlavi at official ceremonies and state visits.

The Iranian crown jewels are considered so valuable that they are still used as a reserve for the Iranian currency (and have been used by several successive governments). In 1937, during the reign of Reza Shah Pahlavi, the property was transferred to the imperial treasury in the state. The jewels were placed in the vaults of the National Bank of Iran where they were used as collateral to strengthen the financial power of the institution and to support the national monetary system. This important economic role is perhaps one reason why these jewels, indisputable symbols of the monarchic past of Iran, have been kept by the current Islamic Republic.

Public exhibition

Because of their great value and their economic importance, the Iranian crown jewels have been far from the public in the vaults of the imperial treasury for centuries. However, since the first Pahlavi-Shah had transferred property to the crown jewels to the state, his son Mohammad Reza Pahlavi ordered the most spectacular jewels to be made publicly accessible at the Iranian central bank.


When the Iranian revolution crashed the Pahlavi dynasty in 1979, it was feared that the Iranian crown jewels had been stolen or sold by the revolutionaries in the Irish. Although some smaller items were stolen and smuggled along the borders of Iran, the bulk of the collection remained intact. This became apparent when the revolutionary government under the presidency of Hashemi Rafsanjani reopened the permanent exhibition of the Iranian crown jewels to the public in the 1990s. They remain on public display.
During the glorious Islamic revolution of Iran and the imposed war, the devoted and revolutionary employees of the Central Bank of the Islamic Republic of Iran protected this precious and incomparable collection.
Now visit a unique collection of gemstones collected over turbulent periods. It is hoped that by looking at these objects and remembering the omnipotent God, one will see the finite place of the people in the wide world and recognize that the place of crowns and tiaras is in a museum - which shows a bloody and painful history - a story that should not be repeated under any circumstances.
How much does the value of this collection cost?
However, you can say a lot about this fantastic collection, but a question can not be answered correctly:
How much does the value of this collection cost?
No one knows the answer to this question. This collection contains precious stones that are unique in the world. The answer to this question is as follows: From the artistic point of view, historical background and incomparable jewels, the treasury of the National Jewels is on a level that even the most reviewers of the world were not able to calculate the price. More about this museum


Central Bank of I.R. Iran. The National Jewelry Treasury
Ferdowsi Ave. Tehran,  Iran.
Phone: (+98 21) 6446 3785, 6446 3869, 6446 3870
Fax: (+98 21) 64463763

 Opening Times

Open from Saturday to Tuesday, 14.00 - 16.30.
Closed on Wednesdays, weekends and Public and Bank Holidays

More objects:

The Pahlavi Crown
The Pahlavi Crown is a modern crown designed and manufactured in 1925 on the orders of Reza Khan, who subsequently ascended the Iranian throne as Reza Shah Pahlavi in 1925, but the design of the crown was based on a motif of the Sassanid Dynasty that ruled Iran between the 3rd to 7th centuries AD. of National Jewels  Pahlavi_Crown

The Kiani Crown

The Kiani Crown which is made of red velvet has a height of 32 cm without the aigrette and a diameter of 19.5 cm, at the base which is equivalent to a circumference of 61 cm. The diameter of the crown gradually increases towards the top of the crown to give the traditional shape of a crown. The outer frame of the crown ends in a wavy edge with alternative crests and troughs.



The Empress’ Crown
Mohammed Reza Shah Pahlavi who ascended the throne in 1941, vowed not to have his coronation until he was able to bring growth and development to his country, and emancipate his people socially, economically and educationally. To achieve these goals he launched the “white revolution”, and when his ambitious programs began to show results and his popularity had increased in the country, he finally decided to hold his coronation on October 26th, 1967, 25 years after he ascended the throne.

The Darya-i-Nur

The pale pink table-cut diamond, the Darya-i-Nur (Sea of Light), weighing 186 carats, is the largest pink diamond in the world and originated in the famous Kollur diamond mines of Southern India. It was believed to be part of the “Grand Table Diamond” or “Diamante Grand Table” which Tavernier saw when he visited Golconda in 1642, during one of his many trips to India in the 17th century.

The Water Decanter and Basin

The water decanter and basin was a common household item used in Iran by people of all classes and was used for washing one’s hands before and after meals. Perhaps the water decanter and basin could have had an alternative use in Islamic Iran, for taking one’s ablutions before the five daily prayers. jewls and jewelery of iran water_decanter

The Jewel-Studded Globe

The jewel-studded globe is without any doubt one of the most extravagant in the history of jeweled creations in the world with a staggering 35 Kgs. of gold and 51,000 jewels going into its production. The construction of the globe was ordered during the rule of Nasser-ed-Din Shah (1848-96), with the main intention of ensuring the safety of the enormous quantities of loose jewels in the treasury. Jeweles museum Crown Jewels















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