Saturday, 23 July 2016

The Golconda Diamond Mines of India

Golconda, also known as Golkonda or Golla konda ("shepherd's hill"), is a ruined fort of Southern India and capital of the medieval Golconda Sultanate (c.1518–1687). It is situated 11 km west of Hyderabad.

The region is known for the mines that have produced some of the world's most famous gems.
The Golconda fort was built in 945-970 CE. It fell into ruins after a siege and its fall to Mughal emperor Aurangazeb in 1687 AD.

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.