380 to 414 AD old Chatrapati Manik Ruby once worn by king Vikramadiya of Ujjain, India.

380 to 414 AD Chatrapati Manik Ruby once worn by kingVikramadiya of Ujjain, India.www.ruby-sapphire.com

The “Chatrapati Manik Ruby,(Sanskrit name meaning Supreme King’s Gemstone), one of the oldest rubies in the world dating back to 380-415 AD, was one of the valuable precious gems set on the crown of  Chandragupta II, also known as Vikramaditya (son of valour) of Ujjain (now in Madhya Pradesh,India). Legend has it Vikramadiya had valuable nine gems of different types each representing a planet including this ruby set in his crown on his Royal Court Astrologers' advice appropriate to his horoscope and corresponding position of the planets.

This oval cabochon-cut ruby of exceptional quality with dimensions of 25.4mm x 31.75mm and an original weight of 20.7 carats has a thick rich crimson color.  The “Chatrapati Manik,” a valuable gemstone of the 4th century AD might have originated from a ruby mine in the Shan Plateau, and later found its way to one of the cities of the Gupta. From Vikram's successors, the ruby changed hands and fell into the collection of the last ruler of Golconda Sultan Abdul Hussein Qutb Shah of  Qutb Shahi dynasty. In the year 1687, the great Mogul Emperor Aurangzeb sent an army headed by his son, to attack and capture the kingdom of Golconda. Also known by the name of Tana Shah was defeated in the battle and the famous ruby found its way into the vast collection of jewels of Aurngazeb. The Mogul ruler had the inscription removed from the ruby in its place had his name inscribed on the gem.

At Murshidabad, in Bengal, lived a wealth family of bankers, believed to be the richest in the world. The family members often bestowed lavish gifts upon the Mogul and thus became closer to the mogul family. On one occasion Aurangazeb returned his gratitude  by presenting the Chatrapati Manik brick red ruby  along with a book of verses to the banker's family. Later, one Lala Kalkadas of Lucknow acquired the famous ruby and traded a number of gems for the ruby and book. Aurangzeb's seal was ground off the gem at this point of time.  During the Indian Mutiny of 1857–58,  a chaotic situation developed in many northen Indian cities as the revolt against the  British East India company's oppressive and in the melee the book was lost. However, Lala Budredas, son of Lala Kalkadas, managed to keep the ruby. He later moved over to Calcutta, where he had it mounted into a new tiara, befitting the historical ruby that had once adorned the crown of Vikramaditya, Chatrapati of India.

In the year 1934, the “Chatrapati Manik” re-appeared in London, as the centerpiece of a diamond tiara.  The current location of the “Chatrapati Manik” is not known. The puzzle over the whereabouts of this most ancient stone once worn by the great king Vikram of Ujjain is not solved yet. Lots of gem stone enthusiasts are groping in the dark.