Golconda Diamonds: An Unremitting Mystery

At a week shy of one month into a the world of antique jewelry, I have fallen quite fond of rare stones and all of their glory.  I quickly learned that Golconda was a household name in my new world and there was absolutely no secret about this. Of course one would begin to wonder what exactly made these diamonds around the Golconda fort so special. Mined in the ancient diamond fields of Southern India, the lack of color found in the diamonds is the main rationale for their allure. The Kollur mine on the banks of the River Krisha is said to have yielded the highest volume of diamonds and the most extraordinary or the already extraordinary stones.


Golconda Diamonds are usually graded as Type lla by experts, meaning the stones show very little or no presence at all of nitrogen. Let us not forget that roughly 2% of diamonds fall in this category. Light is said to pass through Golconda diamonds as if nothing were inhibiting the light, giving them an immaculate and soft appearance. Golcondas are so pure and transparent that they sometimes appear 2-3 shades whiter than any other D-color graded diamonds!


Many of these ancient treasures were seen at the recent Christie’s Sale: Maharajas & Mughal Magnificence. The “Mirror of Paradise” diamond ring was one of many Golconda diamonds in the sale.  Weighing in at a hefty 52.58 carats, the stone holds true to standard with a D color grade, internally flawless clarity, and a type lla. She seems to hit all the check marks to say the least!


For over 1,000 years, Golconda held the title as a major player in the diamond trade. They were known throughout the world to have the finest and largest diamonds.  While very little has been published about diamonds from this region, there are many legends surrounding these mysterious and famed stones. The mining region is presently comprised of the states of Telangana & Andhra Pradesh and it is estimated that the Indian mines produces at least 12 million carats over the course of 2,000 years.