The diamond takes its name from Ibrahim Pasha (1789-1848), Viceroy of Egypt under Ottoman rule. He purchased the gem for £28,000. The London jeweller, Emanuel, described it as of octagonal shape, excellent colour and qualiity and weighing 40 carats (41.06metric). It became the finest stone in the Egyptian Treasury.

In 1863 Ismail Pasha (1830 - 1895) became the ruler of Egypt. Under him the country experienced a period of great economic development - but at a cost. By 1876 Egypt's debt amounted to £100,000,000 for which the policies adopted by Ismail Pasha were largely responsible. Eventually the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire deposed him and he went into exile in 1879. Contemporary historians recorded that when Ismail Pasha left Egypt he carried with him a huge amount of valuables, amongst which was the 'Pasha of Egypt'. Subsequently the diamond was reported to have been sold to an Englishman, a likely happening because Britain and France were the two powers with whom the Pasha had had most dealings during his reign.

An Englishman is stated to have put the diamond up for sale. In 1933 the London firm of T.M. Sutton offered it to Cartier's. Then the 'Pasha of Egypt' returned to Egypt in the possession of King Farouk. The Italian jewellers, Bulgari, bought it from him before selling it to the American millionairess Barbara Hutton. However, the octagonal shape of the diamond displeased her so she had it recut at Cartier's to 38.19 carats and set into a ring. After further recutting it now weighs 36.22 carats and is privately owned in Europe.

(Ibrahim Pasha, Viceroy of Egypt. He was the adopted son of Mohammed Ali of Cairo).

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