The Briolette of India, oldest diamond in the world - its origin mired in controversy!! _ a brief note
 There is vice saying in ''Tamil'' ''Panam yendral pinam kooda vayai thirakkum'' - meaning the very mention of ''money'' will make the dead  open its mouth wide (perhaps with glee). This is true of  aristocrats and the royals of Europe of past era who whenever sipped  a hot brew or slept  in the cozy bed, never failed to keep their diamond close to them so that love and wealth won't part them of.

Diamonds haven around us for centuries and are said to have been discovered around 800 BC and the productive diamond mines were in the Alluvial belt of what is now called Andhra state, S. India close to the river Krishna. Technically called Placer deposits, the region produced superb quality diamonds and  countless famous diamonds in  the world which are  in the royal collections of England, France, etc or in the Museums across the world.  A few of them  were landed in  private collection.

Challenging life and diamonds

The Europeans were not aware of Diamonds until the time of Alexander the Great and during his reign Diamonds reached Europe and in the 11 century CE diamond-encrusted jewelry showed up for the first time. Their luster and brilliance upon cut, besides their hardness (10 - highest on Mohs scale of hardness) made them stand apart and in the later periods craze for Indian diamonds started going up. 

The oldest diamonds in recorded history is the Briolette of India. even  older than the Koh-I-Noor. It had a chequared history,  first possessed by the French royalty, then English royalty Later it landed in USA and Canada in 1911  through the famous jeweler Cartier'.   It is believed  earlier the Briolette of India was first possessed by  Eleanor of Aquitaine, the queen consort of King Louis VII of France. Subsequently, she married  King Henry II of England  whose son Richard  gave it to his mistress  Diane de Poitiers. After that its history was lost briefly.

Any way,  upon the reappearance of the oldest diamond in the 1950s a controversy brewed and its origin became a brief contentious issue. Some jewelers said  the Briolette diamond was mined from South Africa and was cut into the briolette shape  so that it could impart  the look of an old Indian  diamond that was mined in the middle ages in South India. It was said to have been cut in Paris in 1908-1909.  According to diamond experts and historians  at  that point of time  South African mines produced  diamonds of inferior quality and were not worthy to be called superior quality diamonds with more impurity than others. So diamonds from South Africa were deemed to be of lower quality and the luster and brilliance matching the Indian diamonds could not be achieved upon cut. It was then presumed that it was a concocted story driven far and wide by planned surmises to increase its market value!! A gimmick to scale up its price. Mired in controversy for some time Harry Winston, a New York jeweler, revealed that he had purchased the diamond from an Indian Maharajah.

The colorless Briolette of India is a 90.38-carat D-color diamond,  It is also a Type IIa diamond, meaning chemically pure without inclusions, and thus structurally perfect; less than 2% of all-natural diamonds achieve this grade and is on par with quality diamonds of .
past era.