Diamonds: History & Romance of the Eternal Gemstone

Oh there is nothing quite like the dazzle of a real diamond! What is it about these gems that has captured us? Their beauty is undeniable and they have significance as a piece of jewelry and an investment. There is something about this beloved gem that symbolizes strength, durability and carries an enduring quality.

Well, lets take a look at the origin of the name itself. A diamond in minerology, is an allotrope of carbon where the carbon atoms are arranged in a variation of the face centered cubic structure, referred to as the ‘diamond lattice’. The name ‘diamond’ is derived from the Greek word adámas meaning ‘unbreakable’.

History of Diamonds

This much-sought after gemstone dates back to ancient times, with some of the earliest references traced back 3,000 years ago to India. In the Dark Ages they were used more to ward off evil and to thwart (unsuccessfully, I might add) illness. In the Middle Ages, they were regarded more for their value and a myth that diamonds were poisonous was perpetuated in the mines to keep the miners from smuggling out diamonds by swallowing them. Many of the largest and most famous diamonds were mined in India including the Koh-I-Norr and the Blue Hope. Over the years, the diamond finds in India dwindled, Brazil and Borneo made up for it for but a while until discoveries in South Africa which created the world’s biggest diamond rush, and in the late 1970’s, the Argyle Mine find in Australia and in Canada that round out filling the worlds supply.

Diamonds and Engagement

Where did the tradition of giving a diamond at the time of engagement? Well, simply put, like many of our modern day traditions was the idea of marketers for De Beers, (while I’ll happily take a diamond, thank you very much regardless) dating back to the 1900’s! Actually, prior to that, in the 15th century, diamonds had been used at the time of engagement but were not the only gem given as a symbol of this pending union.

Cuts and The Four “C’s” of Diamonds

When looking for your next diamond or to buy an heirloom piece there are the FOUR C’s to consider: Color Cut Clarity Carat.

Diamonds come in all sorts of colors and are crafted into multiple shapes. Diamonds are shaped into different cuts, like these ten notables cuts : Diamond, Heart, Pear, Round, Princess, Emerald, Marquise, Brilliant, Trillion, Asscher, Cushion: Colored diamonds, Hope diamond, and of course Elizabeth Taylor’s diamond.

DISCOVER

The International Gem Society on Choosing a Diamond

Canadian Diamonds

South African Diamonds

Australian Diamonds: The Argyle Mine

BOOKS

How to Buy a Diamond: Insider Secrets

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