Thursday, December 12, 2013

Diamonds of Golkonda

Golkonda also known as Golla konda (shepherd's hill) is a ruined city of south India and capital of the ancient Kingdom of Golkonda (c.1518–1687). It is situated 11 km west of Hyderabad. The region is universally famous for the mines that have produced many of the world's most famous and coveted gems, including The Hope Diamond, Idol's Eye, The Koh-i-Noor and Darya-i-Noor.
Golconda was a region located between the lower reaches of the Godavari, Wainganga, Wardha and Krishna-Venva rivers, in the present-day states of Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh, central India. Today, the exact source of the so-called "lost mines of Golconda" are unknown, and India's only remaining diamond source is the Majhgawan pipe near Panna.

Millions of years of erosion caused by rainfall and snow-melt unearthed the diamonds from their kimberlite tomb, washing them downstream to their final resting place within the shallow alluvial river gravels of India's Golconda region.
The term "Golconda diamond" is still used today as an indicator of very high-quality diamonds. To justify the "Golconda" name, diamonds must have a level of transparency and quality found only in rare, chemically/optically pure type-IIa natural diamonds. The term "Golconda" is also used as a generic term to describe higher quality diamonds with an antique cut.