The Kollur Mine in Guntur district of Andhra Pradesh India was one of the most productive diamond mines in the world and the first major diamond center. It is situated on the right bank of the river Krishna. It operated between the sixteenth and mid-nineteenth centuries. In addition to the Kollur Mine, the Paritala, Gollapally[disambiguation needed], Mallavally, Ramallakota, and Banganapally were extremely prolific mines in India during this period. At the height of production, it was recorded that around 60,000 people mined the region, including men, women, and children of all ages.
The famous diamond known as the "French Blue" or the "Tavernier Blue" was purchased by Jean-Baptiste Tavernier from the Kollur mine in the mid-17th century. The diamond was purchased from Tavernier by King Louis XIV of France but was stolen during the French Revolution; it is believed to have reappeared as the recut Hope Diamond. The Indian mines were eventually depleted and the diamond center shifted to Brazil where new diamond mines were discovered. Many of the most famous and notable diamonds were mined from these early Indian mines, including the Koh-i-noor, the Regent Diamond, the Great Mogul (all from the Kollur); the Daria-i-Noor, the Orloff, the Dresden Green, and the Idol's Eye.
Some of the most famous diamonds mined in the Kollur mines are:
- Koh-i Nūr (186ct) - in the British Crown Jewels, Londonn
- The Great Moghul Diamond (787ct) - Lost after Nādir Shāh sacked Delhi
- The Pitt or Regent Diamond (410ct) - in the Apollo Gallery, Louvre Museum, Paris
- The Orloff Diamond (300 ct) - in the Diamond Treasury, Kremlin, Moscow (Link: /wiki/Orlov_%28diamond%29)
- Nizām Diamond (340ct) - in the Nizām's Treasury, Hyderabad
- Daryā-ye Nūr (182 ct) - in the Iranian Crown Jewels, on display:Central Bank of Iran, Tehran
- The Hope Diamond (67ct) - in the American Museum of Natural History, the Smithsonian Institution, Washington
- The Golconda (135ct) - belonging to Dunklings Jewellers, Melbourne, Australia.
- The Kolluru Diamond (63ct) - Purchased by Tavernier and present location unknown.
- Dresden Green Diamond (41 ct) - "The New Green Vault" in the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden.
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