Knowledge Centre > Extraordinary Jewellery > Rare Gems

The Allure of a Golconda Diamond


Diamonds have been unearthed in India since the 4th century BC or earlier! It was the sole source of the world’s diamonds until 1725 when deposits were discovered in Brazil and then in South Africa in the late 19th century. For more than 1000 years, Indian diamonds adorned the worlds nobility, maharajas, sultans, queens and kings.

The first significant source of diamonds came from the region of Golconda, a geographical territory that no longer exists but is comprised of the present-day states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana in India. The term also signifies that the diamond is a period gem, mined in the ancient diamond fields along the Krishna. The Kollur mine on the lower tributaries of the river Krishna, some 200 kilometres southeast of Golconda, would yield most of these extraordinary diamonds.

This area was also the first deposit of the incredibly rare type IIa diamonds, this category of diamond accounts for less than 2% of all diamonds in existence! This group of diamonds are chemically the purest, as they are devoid of nitrogen and therefore display a superior transparency which often is described in comparison to water. It is not to be confused with the colour grade or clarity, rather it is a quality in which light passes through the stone as if it were unimpeded, giving the stone a soft optical appearance.

Historically diamonds were valued for their talismanic properties or as tools, it was not until the end of the 13th century that the process of cutting a diamond entirely by hand began. Therefore, it is most common to find a Golconda diamond cut as old mine cushion cut. The art of cutting a diamond by hand has largely been lost to time and adds to the allure of owning such a rare gemstone.

By the end of the 19th century the ancient Indian mines were exhausted and the worlds focus shifted to the newly discovered South African deposit-rich soil. With the worlds supply of diamonds in decline, by the very nature of their origin, the number of Golconda diamonds is finite making these period gems investment pieces. We are privileged to have Golconda diamonds rings in our current collection. Over time the Golconda diamond has taken on an almost mythical quality owing to their superior transparency and innate rarity. Visit us to see this exquisite diamond up close.

Golconda type IIa diamond flanked solitaire ring hatton garden
Golconda type IIa diamond flanked solitaire ring, circa 1950.
Ref: 28079
Golconda type IIa diamond flanked solitaire ring hatton garden
Golconda type IIa diamond flanked solitaire ring, circa 1950.
Ref: 28079
Golconda type IIa diamond flanked solitaire ring hatton garden
Golconda type IIa diamond flanked solitaire ring, circa 1950.
Ref: 28079
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Updated 17/07/2024 at 11:34AM

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