The Legendary Golconda Diamond
If diamonds are a girl’s best friend, Golconda diamonds should be considered her soul mate. They boast a history that spans centuries, a scarcity that puts them among the rarest stones on earth, and a reputation for being the finest diamonds the world has ever, and will ever, produce.
Their story begins 3,000 years ago, when huge, perfect diamond crystals were first discovered in the riverbeds of the Golconda region of India. These crystal clear, colourless stones were pure carbon, devoid of chemical impurities - what we now know as ‘Type IIa’ diamonds - and soon found their way to the royal collections of India’s maharajas.
For centuries, until diamonds were discovered in Brazil in 1725, Golconda was hailed as the world’s only source, and the stones discovered there took on legendary status - made all the more significant as the mine was exhausted hundreds of years ago.
The Hope diamond, the Koh-i-Noor and the Wittelsbach-Graff are just some of the famous diamonds to originate from Golconda; many more have been passed down through royalty and nobility, taking on historic appeal to rival their inimitable beauty. Those that don’t find their way to museums attract huge sums at auction, unfathomable to those who don’t understand the rarity and importance of these stones.
Less than two percent of natural diamonds are classified as Type IIa, and only a fraction of these are Golconda stones - placing these gems at the very top of gemstone connoisseurs’ wishlists. A Golconda diamond may be recognised by its antique cut, having been cut and polished by hand over 200 years ago. But there are additional, intangible elements that Pragnell’s stone buyers feel when they come across one of these coveted stones: a superior level of transparency, a mesmerising sparkle, and a sense of life that hints at the history they hold.
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