A traditional diamond is more than a symbol of aesthetic beauty. It’s a symbol of love, romance, honor, and commitment to one another. The name diamond is derived from the Greek word adamas, which means “unconquerable.” That’s what a traditional diamond is, it is unconquerable.
A tale of traditional diamonds
Where did it all begin? The earliest known existence of traditional diamonds can be traced all the way back to India in the 4th century B.C. Though the youngest of these deposits have been traced back to 900 million years ago when they were formed on the earth’s surface. Many of these early diamonds were transported along a network of trade routes that had connected India and China. This route was commonly known as the Silk Road.
At the time of their discovery, traditional diamonds were then valued based on their strength, brilliance, their ability to refract light and engrave metal. People often wore them as adornments, used them as cutting tools, had them as a talisman to help ward off evil, and even believed that they provided protection in battle. And in the Dark Ages, traditional diamonds had also been used in medical procedures. They were thought to cure illnesses and even heal wounds when ingested.
It was actually only up until the 18th century when we thought that India was the only source of diamonds. Then when the Indian diamond mines were depleted, it began a quest for an alternate source for the substance. A small amount was then found in Brazil in 1725 but was not enough to meet the heavy demands of the world. So still on a quest, in 1866 a 15-year old named Erasmus Jacobs was exploring the Orange River banks when he discovered what he thought was just an ordinary pebble.
That pebble turned out to be a 21.25-carat diamond. With this discovery, people knew there had to be more. So they kept searching and searching. Then in 1871, a colossal 83.50-carat deposit was discovered unearthed on a shallow hill known as Colesberg Kopje. This finding had sparked the rush of thousands of diamond prospectors to the region. And ultimately led to the opening of the first ever large-scale mining operation which was known as the Kimberly Mine
Traditional diamonds as we know them today
As traditional diamonds become more and more popular, many companies and organizations have begun educating consumers about what to look for when selecting a diamond. And in doing this jewelers have begun experimenting more ways to enhance the diamond’s visual appeal and presentation. They’ve created new cutting techniques that help increase the stone’s brilliance. And over time, several new prominent shapes emerged creating diamonds as we know them today. These shapes including round, marquise, princess, oval, and even rectangle.
Sadly, all throughout the world today diamond deposits are slowly becoming depleted. There’s less than 20% of diamonds mined that are of good gem quality. Less than 2% of them are considered investment diamonds. While 75-80% of mined diamonds are used solely for industrial applications like grinding and drilling. And there’s more than 250 tons of ore that must be mined to produce a one-carat, gem-quality diamond stone. Which is crazy. It tells you how far we’ve really come.
What did you think about the history of traditional diamonds? Was there something you already knew? Or did you learn something new? Let us knew in the comments below!
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Raymond Lee Jewelers