Wednesday, 11 February 2015

The famous Ahmadabad Diamond of Golconda, India origin

   The Ahmadabad Diamond of Indian
This brilliant stone was discovered in the 17th century, which confirms its Indian origin - at that time, India was the only source for diamonds in the world.The source of origin could be any one of the five clusters of mines on the eastern side of the Deccan Plateau. By evaluating the color and clarity of the stone which is of an extremely high order, the mine of origin could be the Kollur mines, east of Golconda,near city of Hyderabad, now one of a few major IT centers in the world.
Jean Baptiste Tavernier a famous French traveler and gem trader
The diamond gets its name from the city of Ahmadabad, 550 km north of Bombay, on the Sabarmati River. The city has long been a center for trading and cutting diamonds, both of which are still pursued there today (although to a lesser degree). Most probably it was the only diamond cutting center in the world then  which was comparable to the prestigious  position held by Antwerp, Belgium, at present in the international diamond industry. Jean Baptiste Tavernier, a famous French traveler and gem trader was on a visit to Ahmadabad in the 1600s . Over a span of 40 year period, he made six trips to the East. In chapter XXII of part II of his book Travels in India, Tavernier described some of the notable diamonds and rubies which he had seen during his visits,with illustrations.

The rough stone, which was said to weigh over 1571/2 carats, was cut into a 94.5 carat diamond , said Tavernier. There were two minor flaws at the base. He also said he bought it for a friend, but the identity of the friend is unclear. Who was the friend Tavernier purchased the diamond for? The most likely person was his sovereign, Louis XIV of France, to whom he had sold several diamonds, among them two briolette. The other candidate who befits the epithet ''a friend'' is the great Mogul Emperor Aurengzeb, the last of the Mogul ruler (1659-1707) and a noted collector of diamonds.

It is known, however, that much later the diamond was owned by Begum Hazrat Mahal, wife of King Wajid Ali Shah of Oudh who had been exiled to Calcutta by the British after his refusal to sign a treaty of abdication at the time of the Indian Mutiny of 1857. When the king's rebellion against the British failed, the Begum fled to Nepal. She later used the diamond as a bargaining chip to negotiate her safe passage to India.

At this point, the history of this diamond again becomes murky and, when it finally resurfaced, it had been reduced to 78.86 carats- the recorded weight was 90.5 carats. a drop in weight was due to change of design from a briolette to a pear shape.  Put up for sale by Christie's in 1995, it was purchased by gem collector Robert Mouawad for approximately $ 4.3 million.The current value of the diamond is greater than $ 5.0 million.