The History of Golconda Diamonds
Diamonds were discovered in India during the 4th century B.C. In fact, until 1730, when diamonds were discovered in Brazil as well, it was the world's only known source of diamonds. India was the first country to mine the gem, and for hundreds of years, the diamonds were prized on the subcontinent for their size and beauty. The first known sources of rough diamonds in India were the mines in the ancient city of Golconda, in south central India, today the state of Hyderabad.
The Most Famous of the Golconda Diamonds
For centuries, Golconda diamonds were considered India's most prized diamonds, thanks to their incredible transparency, whiteness and purity, which sets them apart from other diamonds. The most famous is probably the legendary Kohinoor, a 186-carat stone which, when discovered, was spirited away by Great Britain and now forms a part of the Crown jewels.
The biggest known Golconda diamond is the Regent, weighing more than 410 carats when discovered in the 18th century. The Regent was sold to the regent of France by the English prime minister (hence the name), and adorned the hat of Marie Antoinette and later the hilt of Napoleon's own sword. It is currently displayed at the Louvre. And there is the Blue hope, which is 'only' a 44-carat stone, but is believed to carry a curse, since many of its owners died. Today it resides in the Smithsonian museum in Washington, keeping its potential owners safe.
Golconda - The Current Descriptive Term
The term 'Golconda' is used these days as an indicator of very high quality diamonds, and defines diamonds of the finest white color and transparency. Both the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) and the world renowned Gubelin Gem Lab characterize diamonds displaying the finest white color and transparency as type IIa, signifying that they are free from nitrogen and are therefore chemically pure and colorless. Hence, Golconda diamonds are very rare, thanks to their incomparable natural beauty.
If you are looking for Golconda diamonds, or for any other unique diamond, contact us and we will be happy to assist you in your search.
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