The Diamond that Saved a Dream

Tata Group’s Legacy is well known to every individual living in or apart from Jamshedpur, but their ideology makes this group the most respected in the country. The founder of Tata Group envisioned a future for India and his son Sir Dorabji and his wife Lady Meherbai Tata played a crucial role in that dream by mortgaging the 245.35 carat Jubilee Diamond, which was their symbol of love.

The Legacy of Jubilee Diamond

The 243.35 carats ‘Jubilee Diamond’ is the sixth-largest diamond in the world today, it was discovered in the mines of South Africa in 1895, in 1896 it was sent to Amsterdam for polishing, the original plans for this diamond were to give it to Queen Victoria, who was celebrating the diamond jubilee (60 Years) of her accession to the throne in 1897. While the diamond was never presented to her, the diamond was named Jubilee Diamond to commemorate the occasion.

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The Diamond & It’s Indian Roots

In 1900, this diamond was exhibited at the Paris Exhibition, where it was the star of the show.
Soon after it was bought by Sir Dorabji Tata, who presented it to his loving wife Lady Meherbai Tata.

Dorabji bought the diamond from the London merchants for around UK € 1,00,000. Lady Meherbai Tata had it set on a platinum claw, and it was then hung on a platinum chain that she could wear around her neck.

The Diamond That Saved A Dream

The 1900s was a great decade for Tata’s, The Taj Mahal hotel opened its doors in 1903, Tata Steel was established in 1907, Tata Power just established himself as a successful entity in 1910, Sir Dorabji Tata was chairman and he and her wife lived in the Esplanade House in Bombay.
However, in 1924 Tata Steel (then called TISCO) was on a verge of collapse due to cheaper Japanese Iron Flood in the market, The young company was in a liquidity crunch and is not able to pay its employees even, at that time they need an amount of 2 crore, at that time Jubilee Diamond came to Tata’s rescue.

Business historians like RM Lala wrote that how Sir Dorabji Tata pledged the Jubilee diamond and other jewellery to Imperial Bank of India (now SBI), as collateral, for the loan. The money was raised and saved the dream and hard work of JN Tata & Sir Dorabji Tata.

A diamond which set the base of Tata Memorial Hospital

Lady Meherbai sadly died of leukaemia in 1931, and soon after so did Sir Dorabji in 1932. In his will, he bequeathed all his wealth, including the jubilee diamond to Sir Dorabji Tata Trust.

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In 1935 the trustees, including JRD Tata, Sir Homy Modi, sold the jewellery and from the funds, they set the base of Tata Memorial Hospital, known as TMH today.

Legends Never Die

Sir Dorabji Tata and Lady Meherbai Tata are an inspiration for a generation, They died as they had lived, working nobly for the country, which they loved and served so well.’
When Sir Dorabji Tata died, the Times of India wrote, on 4th June 1932 –

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“Sir Dorabji’s fame, however, will not rest on his great (industrial) achievements, splendid as they were, or on his wealth, but it will rest solidly on the use he has made of his possessions.”

Truly, what use we put our possessions to, is the real value that they serve. The story of the Jubilee Diamond stands testimony to this truth.

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