National Jewelry Museum
National Jewelry Museum in Tehran
The National Jewelry Museum, located in Tehran, is a captivating destination that showcases the remnants of the Safavid era to the present day. Each piece housed within this specialized museum carries its own story, having traversed ups and downs throughout history. It’s a great place to visit if you are visiting Tehran or living in Tehran.
Unlike the pre-Pahlavi period, where no rulers actively collected state-owned jewelry, the advent of Reza Shah marked a turning point. All government-owned jewelry was moved to the basement of the Marble Palace and later to the Central Bank as a national treasure.
A Glorious History
During the Safavid era, in line with customary practices, when an ambassador was sent to another country, they would be bestowed with gifts symbolizing peace between nations. These gifts were then presented to the ruling monarch in Isfahan, the capital of the Safavid Empire.
Afghan invasion of Iran
Sadly, during the Afghan invasion of Iran, these treasures were looted and many of them found their way to India through the Afghans. After ascending to power, Naser al-Din Shah Qajar sent a message to the King of India, requesting the return of the looted Iranian jewels. However, his plea fell on deaf ears, prompting Naser al-Din Shah to march an army toward India. Eventually, the Indian ruler, Mohammed Shah, had to yield some of the jewels, along with a sum of money, and weapons in exchange.
According to tradition, a portion of the jewels was distributed among soldiers as war spoils, but a significant part of them was lost along the way. Among these treasures was the famous Darya-ye Noor diamond, the Dish of Jewels, the Pahlavi Crown, the Emerald Tiara, the Sheathed Sword and Scabbard, the Pahlavi Necklace, the Fatemeh Pahlavi Half Crown, the Kiani Crown, and the Pearl Jewelry Box.
The Central Bank Treasure
In 1960, the Central Bank of Iran inaugurated the Jewelry Treasury, where all these precious jewels were put on display. Among the exquisite collection, visitors can marvel at the Darya-ye Noor diamond, the largest pink diamond in the world, weighing an impressive 182 carats. Other highlights include the stunning Emerald Tiara, the Pahlavi Crown adorned with over 3,000 precious stones, and the breathtaking Pahlavi Necklace, featuring a captivating arrangement of pearls and diamonds.
Access and Location
The National Jewelry Museum is conveniently located at the Central Bank of the Islamic Republic of Iran, on Ferdowsi Street, near Istanbul Intersection. Visitors can reach the museum by private vehicle or public transportation. By taking Line 1 of the Tehran Metro, disembark at Imam Khomeini Station and walk (or cycle) approximately 500 meters along Ferdowsi Street until you reach the Central Bank and the National Jewelry Museum at No. 213.
A visit to the National Jewelry Museum in Tehran offers a mesmerizing journey through Iran’s illustrious past. Delve into the realm of extraordinary craftsmanship and opulent treasures that have witnessed the country’s rich history unfold.
Whether you are fascinated by the allure of rare gemstones or intrigued by the stories behind each exquisite piece, the National Jewelry Museum promises an unforgettable experience that epitomizes the grandeur of Iranian heritage.