The Fabled Diamonds of Golconda

Before the discovery of the diamond mines in Brazil and South Africa in the early 18th century, India was the sole supplier of the world’s diamonds, and much of its diamonds were mined in a small geographic area called Golconda in the present-day states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.

Located not far from Hyderabad, Golconda with its elaborate fort was the early capital city of the Qutb Shahi dynasty established in the early 16th century. Because of the presence of diamonds in the area, Golconda established itself as a diamond trading center and until the end of the 19th century, the Golconda market was the primary source of the finest and largest diamonds in the world. Golconda came to be synonymous with great wealth, and the name is still spoken with reverence among diamond traders and collectors.

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Queen Victoria wearing the Koh-i-Noor diamond

Queen Victoria wearing the Koh-i-Noor diamond in a brooch, by German painter Franz Xaver Winterhalter.


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