All About Diamonds – Diamond Education

Forged billions of years ago, diamonds have survived the forces of nature to reach us. They have been used throughout the ages as bearers of mystic powers and incredible beauty. Through the centuries they have been revered and admired by many civilizations.

The word "diamond" comes from the Greek word "adamas" which means unconquerable. Some of the earliest references to diamonds came from India. Around 3,000 years ago, in India, the first ever diamond history was recorded. If diamonds had been found prior to this period of time, we have no written record of it. The first known reference to diamond is a Sanskrit manuscript, the Arthsastra ("The Lesson of Profit") by Kautiliya, a minister to Chandragupta of the Mauryan dynasty (322 BC – 185 BC) in northern India. India remained the primary source for diamonds for quite some time which led to a very prosperous trade economy throughout the east. With the first diamonds imported from India to ancient Europe also came the myths of the wondrous and metaphysical power of diamonds.

diamond on fire

The optical beauty of the stone itself meant little. What did matter was its usefulness in sharpening other stones and its perceived medicinal value. It wasn’t until the 14th century that people discovered that one could improve the appearance of a stone by cutting and polishing the diamond.

Diamonds eventually spread all over the world, especially in gifts for royalty and very wealthy people. It took many centuries before India dried up its main resources for diamonds which led to exploration around the world for more mines. This exploration brought on major diamond mine discoveries in both Brazil and South Africa. South Africa used to be the largest producer of diamonds in the world but in the past decade, the Canadian diamond industry has grown exponentially and is now the third largest producer of rough diamonds by value after Botswana and Russia.

Sometime in the later years of the 15th century, Belgium jewelers, specifically Antwerp, made a name for themselves for developing a new technique to polish and shape the gems was created. Since then Belgium has become the diamond center of the world with more than 12,000 expert cutters and polishers at work. You'll find today that 85% of the worlds rough diamonds, 50% of cut diamonds, and 40% of industrial diamonds are traded in Antwerp year round.

Diamonds have been the symbol of love, beauty, rarity, stability, and preciousness for centuries and today, as in early times, we grant the diamond the privileged position as the king of the jewels.