Golconda is a region in Southern India that has produced the most magnificent diamonds known to mankind, including the famous Koh-i-Noor (now part of the crown jewels of England), the Hope diamond (now on display in the National Museum of Natural History, Washington DC) and Darya-i-Noor (crown jewels of Iran).
For a long time, Golconda was the only known place for diamond mining, the ones in South Africa were discovered only years later. People used to believe that India is the only place in the world to find any diamonds at all.
Not only was Golconda a place for some 20 diamond mines back in the medieval times, now mostly deserted and closed, it was also a world famous diamond and gem capital, market and trading center. In Golconda they kept and stored most of the found diamonds, cut them, if necessary, and sold them in the local market. The most famous mine of them had to be the one called Kollur, where the very first 25-carat rock was accidentally found a century before French gem merchant Jean-Baptiste Tavernier’s travels to India. Not long after, numerous amount of other diamonds started to appear, ranging from 10 to 40 carats, some even bigger.
The famous French jeweler Tavernier, who traveled the world in the 17th century, went to Golconda himself and came back to Europe with endless stories and legends of the place, along with a massive blue diamond that he sold to French king Louis XIV. He even claimed to have seen a perfectly flat diamond, known as the Great Table diamond. His notes and sketches from the magical gemstones are legendary. Every diamond has its own history, blood, sweat and cruelty attached to their legends, but that only attracted more Europeans to go and see the place on their own. The biggest mysteries surrounding the diamonds found from Golconda has to be the one about the Great Mogul Diamond, that Tavernier described as something similar to an egg cut to half. That bright round diamond has ever since mysteriously disappeared or secretly cut into another gem, some believe the Orlov diamond.
Diamonds from Golconda are a class of its own, they completely lack of nitrogen, which in return gives the gemstones a maximum clarity and translucency, they almost look like a drop of water, this is how pure they are. Diamonds containing nitrogen, however, tend to have a yellowish undertone in them.
Golconda mines were located next to two rivers, which made the soil super fertile and the location perfect to produce world class diamonds. Golconda diamonds are not just diamonds, they are rare and special old gems, something that is almost impossible to describe with words. This is why you don’t really find an original Golconda anywhere in the diamond market, if you do happen to come across with one, it is probably auctioned under the well-established companies like Sotheby’s or Christie’s. To call a top class diamond a Golconda, is considered almost a crime in the diamond traders world. Like not every sparkling wine is a champagne, so is not every quality diamond a Golconda diamond.