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Jean-Marc Lunel, Senior Specialist Jewellery Department, Geneva 'In the past years few Golconda coloured diamonds have appeared on the market and Christie's has had the pleasure of offering some of the most beautiful examples, such as the 'Agra' diamond sold in London on the 20th June 1990. The 11.57 carat octagonal-shaped diamond offered in the current sale is a rare and beautiful gen which has been kept in a safe for decades. Today, we are pleased to bring it back to light and to the excitement of auction. This diamond conjures up every quality that makes Golconda diamonds so sought-after. Its peach blossom colour combined with its crystalline appeal and its beautiful Antique flat octagonal-shape make it an exceptionnal stone which should be considered as a collector's gem.' THE PROPERTY OF A LADY OF TITLE

The octagonal-shaped diamond, weighing 11.57 carats, to the plain hoop, circa 1900
Accompanied by report no. 0704092 dated 30 April 2007 from the Gübelin Gem Lab stating that the diamond is Fancy Light Orangy-Pink colour, VS1 clarity, with a working diagram showing that the diamond may be improved to Internally Flawless, and an appendix stating that 'the diamond has properties typical of type IIa natural pink diamonds...It displays a colour and degree of transparency wich are particular to these unique gemstones. Diamonds of this type...are very rare and will most certainly evoke references to the historic term of 'Golconda'

Lot Essay

It is believed that diamond mining began in India during the 4th century BC. Diamonds were found in the eastern part of the country which was the only source of diamonds for about 2000 years, until new mines were discovered in Brazil in 1725 and then in South Africa in 1866.

However, it is the famous Golconda mines located within the realm of the Qutb Shahi Sultanate in the southern Deccan of India which were renowned to have produced the best quality diamonds. Most historic diamonds such as the Koh-i-Noor, now part of the crown jewels of England were probably discovered in this area in the 15th Century.

Golconda conjures up the mystery of India and the marvellous stories related to the city of Hyderabad. From the time of the ancient Rajas and Sultans to the reign of the Nizams, diamond mining activity enlivened the heart of the city.

Chemically pure, Golconda diamonds are limpid and have a very high degree of transparency and brillance, setting them apart from all other diamonds.

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