chap, xvii MODES OF WEIGHING DIAMONDS 69
prefer to have a woman for their ruler, to whom they give the title of
Queen, her husband being her subject, and not having more power than
that which she chooses to confer upon him.1
different kinds of Weights for weighing Diamonds at the Mines; the
kinds of Gold and Silver in circulation; the routes by which one is
able to travel; and the rule in use for the estimation of the Prices of
I come now
to some details as to the traffic in diamonds, and in order that the
reader may understand this easily— believing that no one has previously
written of this matter -— I shall speak in the first instance
of the different kinds of weights which are in use, both at the mines
and in other places in Asia.
At the mine of Rammalakota they weigh by mangelins, and the mangelin is equal to 1 3/4 carats, that is to say, 7 grains.3 At the mine of Gani 4
or Kollur the same weights are used. At the mine of Soumelpour in
Bengal they weigh by ratis, and the rati is fths of a carat, or 3 1/2
grains.5 This last weight is used throughout the whole of
the Empire of the Great Mogul. In the Kingdoms of Golkonda and Bijapur
mangelins are also used, but the mangelin in these places is only If
Descent by the mother's side obtains in some other Oriental countries,
and is observed among the Nayars of Malabar. This is one of the many
incidents connected with the widely spread legends of the Kingdom of
Women. The belief was current that Achin was always ruled by a woman.
On the death of the King in 1641 a Queen did reign long enough to give
rise to the story : v. 294 below. (See Temple's note on Bowrey, i. 295 ; Fryer, i. 121.)
a In this Tavernier was mistaken, several Portuguese writers having treated of this subject before his time.
* Seven modern diamond grains = 5.55 grains troy, the proportion being 3.17 troy grains to the carat of 4 diamond grains.
4 See p. 56 for meaning of Gani.
( = 2-77 troy grains) was the pearl rati, much greater than the
ordinary rati, which varied from 1.75 to 1.84 grains troy, or even
more. (See on this point vol. i, Appendix.)