chap, xvii DIAMOND MINE IN THE CARNATIC 67
by a low wall a foot and a half high, or thereabouts. They make holes
at the base, and when they have filled the enclosure with as much sand
as they think proper, they throw water upon it, wash it and break it,
and afterwards follow the same method as is adopted at the mine which'
I have above described.
It is from this river that all the beautiful points come which are called pointes naives1 (natural
points), but a large stone is rarely found there. It is now many years
since these stones have been seen in Europe, in consequence of which
many merchants have supposed that the mine has been lost, but it is not
so; it is true, however, that a long time has elapsed since anything
has been obtained in this river on account of the wars.2
have spoken elsewhere of another mine of diamonds in the Province of
Carnatic, which Mir Jumla, General-in-Chief and Prime Minister of State
of the King of Golkonda, commanded to be closed,3 not
wishing that it should be worked further, because the stones from it,
or rather from these six mines—for there are six of them, close to one
another—were all black or yellow, and not one of good water.
There is, finally, in the Island of Borneo,4 the largest of
1 i.e. diamonds having crystalline facets and angles. (See p. 57.)
From this circumstantial account it would seem probable that Tavernier
visited this locality himself during his stay at Patna in 1640 or in
1666. The statement on p. 41 that he had visited the four mines which
he describes and one of the two river washings is puzzling, because, if
Gandikota is to be classed as one of the mines, then he .describes none
of the river washings, as he calls Soumelpour the third ' mine ' on p.
This appears to be a different case from that mentioned on p. 61, where
the green crust and friability of the diamonds caused the mines to be
closed. It is probably the one which Mir Jumla told Tavernier of at
Gandikota (vol. i, p. 230).
In 1609 Captain John Saris found a considerable trade being carried on
at Soekadana in the diamonds which he says were found in great
abundance there and in the river Lave. He says they were obtained, as
pearls are, by diving. In a footnote to Linschoten's Travels (Hakluyt
Society, vol. ii, p. 137 f.), Mr. Tiele gives an explanation of a
statement, first made, it is believed, by Garcia da Orta (p. 343), that
diamonds wtre found at Taniapura in Malacca. Here Malacca, it seems,
means Borneo, and Taniapura stands for Tandjongpura. There is hardly a work on