down. The Majgawan deposit was a true volcanic pipe, the tuff very much
resembling the Kimberley ground. No diamonds have ever been found
either in Ceylon or in Burma.
V. Preparation, Mining, etc.
first diamonds in most countries were discovered in secondary deposits,
i.e. in the sands and gravels of stream deposits which are known as
'river diggings'. The separation of diamonds from the associated sands
was done by washing as in the case of gold.
Diamond mining in South India.—There
is ample and reliable evidence to prove that the mines were enormously
rich and their wealth proverbial, which reached Europe through the
writings of Marco Polo in the thirteenth century. (1275-1295). The
mines were known from the sixth century. They are known to have been
leased in the seventeenth century by the kings of Golconda and
Vijayanagar on a royalty system, with one of the strictest conditions
that stones above 20 mangalins (about 25 carats) were sent to the
'Raya' for his own personal use.
1662, William Methold, Sir Andreas Soccy and Sir Adolph Thomson visited
the diamond mines from Masuli-patam. According to them, the king
received 300,000 pagodas (£120,000) for the mines from the contractor,
all the stones above ten carats being the king's property. The Moghuls
and their Viceroys 'squeezed' the mines to such an extent that many
were forced to stop working.
the years 1636 and 1662 Tavernier made 6 voyages for collecting gems
and trading, and visited Ramallakota and Ganikollur. At Ramallakota he
witnessed the diamond mining from an old pebble conglomerate at the
base of the Karnul series of rocks. At Kollur he studied the methods
employed by the Indians. When dealing with alluvial deposits, he dealt
also with the mining methods, etc. According to him a diamond with a