The word Diamond means, unbreakable in Greek and as per experts in mineralogy, diamonds are allotropes of carbon, arranged as multi-faceted cubic crystals referred to as the diamond lattice. The history of diamonds dates back to thousands of years and was first found in the valleys of India.
These diamonds take about 1-3.3 billion years to get formed at the earth’s mantle at a very high temperature and pressure and brought up to the Earth’s surface by volcanic eruptions.
History of Diamonds
The alluvial deposits of the rivers Krishna, Penner and Godavari first documented the presence of this precious stone in India before 4000 years. And these diamonds were also known to Greek and Roman Empires.
People started considering diamonds as some divine units; perhaps the tears of Gods or the remnants of falling start and started using them in deities and in royal thrones. Diamonds were soon associated with success and good luck and were applauded for their influence in astrology.
Some also wanted to wear diamonds as charms, to attract others as it added more glory to their beauty. Let us go ahead in discussing the history of diamonds with specific to different era in history.
History of Diamonds in Dark Ages
Diamonds were initially valued for their unique ability to refract light into seven different rainbow colours. People in dark ages used diamonds in two different ways, as a decorative ornament, that added beauty to them and heightened their sexual desires, and to destroy their enemies in battle.
Some ancient healers, used diamonds as medical aid. They were used as anecdotes and were believed to extend healing properties in healing wounds and curing illnesses by holding it in hand.
Some people even ingested diamonds, for they believed it cured sickness, first among the list was Pope Clement in the middle ages who turned unsuccessful with the treatment.
History of Diamonds in the Middle Ages
The dynasties in the middle ages, concentrated much on the physical and materialistic properties of diamonds rather than its mystical and healing powers. The value of diamonds prolapsed day by day resulting in new myths popping up every day.
One such popular myth propaganded by mine owners is that diamonds were poisonous to condemn the increasing popularity on the value of diamonds among public and to prevent mine workers smuggling diamonds out of the mines by swallowing and storing them in their mouth.
Middle ages witnessed the decline of diamonds as many other attractive, large and precious stones were simultaneously discovered at river banks such as the Blue hope and Koh-I-Noor
History of Diamonds in Modern Ages
History of diamonds at recent time’s dates back to the 19th century, when diamonds were also discovered and mined in Australia other than India, but it took 7 years for it to sustain as a diamond producer.
In 1979, the richest diamond deposits were found near Argyle pipe near the lake Argyle, which later became the world’s largest producer of diamonds and became responsible of producing over 1/3rd of the world’s diamond requirement every year.
Today, Africa serves as a world’s leading producer of diamonds and it is quite essential to discuss the history of diamonds in Africa here.
History of Diamonds in Africa
Soon, the Indian diamond industry failed and its reserves got exhausted, though smaller finds of diamonds in Brazil and Borneo were recorded, they were not sufficient in meeting the demands. Then the mid-nineteenth century recorded diamond deposits in the Orange river banks of South Africa that lightened the world’s rush for diamonds.
The history of diamonds in Africa dates back to 600 million to 3 billion years as erupting molten rock brings its diamond reserves close to the Earth’s surface. But still Africa stays as a poor country as most of them are sold to giant economies in exchange of basic requirements of the citizens.
And this revenue is also integral in treating its population against HIV/AIDS.
Many countries started exploiting Africa for their diamond reserves as the myth that the stone is precious and valuable still revolves around it. The World Diamond council then inflicted a law to combat illegal trading of African diamonds in 2000.
History of Diamond Jewelry
Diamond jewelry has their significance across the world and is preserved as status symbols throughout recorded history. The art of cutting and polishing diamonds to refract the maximum light through diamond jewelry is a relatively new concept that came into existence probably 150 years or so and from then on continuously yields public support and loyalty.
Before 150 years, diamonds were associates with royalty and common people had no access to it. They were used to décor the thrones of royal empires and worn by princess of dynasties. The earliest example of this dates back to the time of Norman invasion of England when Arpad kings of Hungary cut diamonds to set a beautiful crown for his queen.
Martin Luther from Germany and Henry VIII of England broke through the Church of Rome in 1500 and Ivan IV started invading Russia and Ottoman Sultan extended the Turkish Empire and led to the formation of the diamond cutters association in Antwerp, Belgium.
This soon spread the awareness on the necessity of an industry to appraise loose diamond to be arranged in a definite form to yield a great start for the modern day diamond jewelry. Antwerp remains as the centre for international diamond jewelry trade even at recent times.
People started apprising loose diamonds based on 4Cs to frame beautiful diamond jewelry of recent times which has been appraised and applauded by people across the world.
When we date back the history of diamonds from ancient ages, it has always been considered as a precious stone associated with royalty, wealth, status and healing powers.
People believe the stone is rare and thus valuable, but it is not so, there are adequate world reserves of diamonds.
And many advanced technologies challenge that they can create synthetic diamonds by simulating the same atmosphere as that of the Earth’s crust in an artificial environment which would in turn decrees the rarity of the gem and soon would be available for common people’s use as well.