The graciousness of a diamond is not limited to the fire and sparkle that it radiates. It has so much to reveal, so much more than the mere brilliance it is widely associated with. A look into the history of diamonds will take you through a fascinating journey about its origin and how it eventually went on to become the most sought after gem in the world.
A look into the nature of diamonds will introduce you to the various characteristics that makes each diamond different from the other. A look into the varied types, colors, shapes and cuts will make you realize how vast the world of a diamond indeed is.
Diamond Exchange Dallas want to be your one-stop-shop for all of your . However, one can never know enough about the deep history of diamonds and how they became so popular and expensive.
Needless to say, the world of a diamond is big, profound and interesting as well. Let us, today, take a look at what the history of diamonds has to say.
The origin of the word “Diamond”:
The term “diamond” comes from the ancient Greek word “adamas” which signifies “I tame” or “I subdue”. Since the ancient times, the term “adamas” was used to identify the hardest known substance. The history of diamond is as intriguing and fascinating as the stone itself. According to the Roman naturalist Pliny: “Diamond is the most valuable, not only of precious stones, but of all things in this world”.
How diamonds came about:
The journey of diamonds began in India, along the river Krishna, Godavari and Penner. Though the exact date is unknown, diamonds were discovered in the 4th century B.C as per the information extracted from a Sanskrit manuscript dated from 320-296 BC. In Sanskrit, the terms like “vajra”, “indrayudha”, “Indra’s weapon”, and “thunderbolt” were used to identify the gemstone we call a diamond. Interesting stories from the Hindu mythology further bring to light the Indian conception of a diamond.
The Indian diamonds gradually found its way to Europe when , King of the Ancient Greek state Macedon first brought diamonds to Europe from India. It traveled to Western Europe in caravans that were heading towards the Venice’s medieval markets. Diamonds were gradually becoming popular and fashionable for the elite group of people in Europe and hence its demand increased. The gemstone started appearing in European jewelry around the 13th century and by the 17th and 18th century, it started to appear in nearly all small and large jewelries.
Venice was considered to be the home of one of the earliest diamond-cutting industry. By the 14th century diamond cutting also entered Paris. After Vasco de Gama discovered a direct sea route to India in 1498, diamond trading center shifted to Lisbon and eventually Antwerp became the most significant center for diamond trade. It was in the 15th century that the tradition of gifting diamond as a symbol of love emerged. When the archduke Maximilian I of Austria give a diamond to Mary of Burgundy in 1477, it began the tradition of donating diamonds. The diamond business was largely in control of the Portuguese Jews and the Italian merchants during the golden age of the 16th century. The 17th century saw the cutting of diamonds in different shapes.
Until the 18th century, India was considered to be the only source of diamonds and when the diamond mines were exhausted and supply decreased, hunt for alternative sources began. Substantial quantities of diamonds began arriving from Brazil, which emerged as an important source, though the supply was supposedly not enough to meet the worldwide demands of diamond.
Diamond discovery on the banks of the Orange River by 15 year old Erasmus Jacobs in 1866 and in the shallow hill called Colesberg Kopje in 1871 paved the way for the opening of the first every large-scale mining operation-Kimberly Mine. Thereon began the story of the modern diamond market. These new discoveries did increase the supply of diamonds substantially, but also resulted in a significant decrease in the value. After the South African discovery, the diamond trade moved there and affected the diamond industry scene across the globe.
During the same time a South African politician, Cecil Rhodes, launched the De Beers Company, which is today recognized as one of the world’s most well-known diamond companies. Rhodes eventually began to own and operate almost all the diamond mining operations in the area. By the year 1992, De Beers had in control nearly 90 percent of the world’s diamond market. The company today has in control almost 50 percent of the world’s diamond market.
Thanks to De Beers’ coining of the phrase “A diamond is forever”, it became a and a desired choice for engagement rings. It is said to be a major contributing factor in the widespread popularity of diamond engagement rings. Today, 78% of the engagement rings sold have diamonds mounted on them. Diamond production is still very much on the rise with Australia, Russia, Botswana and the Congo Republic as major producers both in quantity and in quality.