Time of Change

A Time of Change 

At some time Tavernier may have made the long trail from Agra to Soumelpour, 'the most ancient of all' the mines, and, if he did, it was a wasted journey. Most of the account is taken up with what it cast to get there, its recent history, and Shah Jahan's disappointment at finding that diamonds were no longer there. 

Mining was affected by the different conflicts throughout the 17th century, and it was not until 1692, when Aurangzeb approved new administrative arrangements for the almost exhausted mines that they became profitable again - for a while. But diamond dealers and agents were no longer being seen so frequently in Golconda, once the busiest diamond market in the world. 

Instead, the trade now centred on Aurangzeb's camp, where all foreign merchants went first to show him their goods. Another, different market was also emerging in Fort St. George (Madras), which the British East India Company had established in 1639. 

Already, it had be gun to compete with Goa and Surat, those traditional west coast ports, where gold, silver, coral and amber had long been traded in exchange for diamonds.

 

All historical texts above from: Een Streling Voor Het Oog, Antwerpen 1997

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