enough so that perhaps the privileged may see them and toss the pennies, and they may eat.
out of this community hundreds of years ago—how many hundreds no one
knows—there came a diamond. The occidental world did not hear about it
until Tavernier came back from his travels to India. He reported
hearing about it from natives—along the sacred Godavari—who explained
it in detail, so that he was even able to draw a diagram of it. It was
covered, he heard, with crude facets. All but the base ot the original
rough diamond had been thus treated. These facets had not been polished
flat but were all slightly concave, and it was Tavernier's conjecture
that the stone had been cut when knowledge ot diamond cutting was in
its infancy, perhaps with a small leather wheel.
weight of the stone was placed at 340 carats which, since the
Koh-I-Noor was much smaller (186 carats originally) and the larger
Regent had not yet been discovered (it was found in 1701) made it one
of the first great cut diamonds in the history of the world. The
moment several of the crowned heads ot Europe heard about it they began
feverishly to look for the Hindu owner to induce him to sell it. Now
comes confusion: The men and women who even in that day sat along the
banks of the Godavari, begging for food and money, told visiting
agents that the stone had left the country—that it had gone to some
king in Europe. The great potentates told them nothing.
kings began to query each other, without result, then to suspect each
other. They began to call Tavernier a liar. There were almost as many
spies roaming over Europe to find this diamond as if there had been a
European war. And in India, in the vicinity of the Godavari River,
which runs through Hyderabad, people were being punished and threatened
with death for talking about a strange diamond.