The History of the DIAMOND
The Greek word " Adamas " means unconquerable and indestructible. This is the
origin of the word Diamond. It is one of the most indestructible natural
formations known to man. From this word and from the depths of the earth is
derived The Diamond.
The Diamond is the oldest item one can ever own. Diamonds are Pure Carbon. It is one of the earth’s most common elements. It is a simple material, found in graphite pencils and fireplace soot. Diamonds were formed, and crystallized eons ago under incredible heat and pressure deep in the earth. During the earths growing phase millions of years ago, great volcanic forces pushed the "blue earth" containing diamonds to the surface where they were scattered along rivers and into the oceans. In 1870, in South Africa a diamond was found in the earth far from a river source, and the practice of dry-digging for diamonds was born. These were the beginnings of modern mining.
Many early cultures and many countries used diamonds for their own reasons, each with their own meanings. Ancient man used the raw diamond to create tools and carvings. For example, when tribes in Africa and the Middle East expanded their trade with one another, these rare stones became a mode of exchange, the world's first hard currency. The symbols and representations of the Diamond are expansive and individual. For some it meant the key to magic, healing, protection and even poisoning. To others its wealth, prosperity, status, and everlasting love. It was even said that in ancient Greece and Rome Cupids' arrows were tipped with diamonds which had an effect equal to nothing. They have been the strength, power and symbols of Kings and Queens, the ruin of kingdoms, and the teardrops of forgotten Gods.
Today one of the most common uses of the Diamond from a sociological aspect is in the Wedding, Engagement ring. Even in the 2nd Century Rome the ring was used in the ceremony before the Emperor and his blessing. The custom was then continued and mostly Christianized by the 4th century by St. Augustine. Byzantine wedding rings are thick gold bands with round or oval bezels depicting the couple face to face, or receiving Christ's blessing of their eternal union. Today the Diamond Ring, commits a man and a woman to each other with the expression of strength, purity, brilliance and the indestructible bond of love.
Below is a brief look at the history & evolution of the Diamond :
3.3 Billion years ago
Almost 200 km below the earth’s surface carbon began to evolve under extreme pressure and heat, the beginnings of the formation of the most valued commodity on earth, the Diamond.
322 BC - 185 BC
Diamonds begin to appear in Europe as accent decoration in other forms of Jewelry. King Louis IX of France bestows rarity to diamonds and establishes intrinsic value on them. Within 100 years diamonds appeared in royal jewelry of both men and women, then among the greater European aristocracy.
The earliest diamond-cutting industry is believed to have been in Venice, a trade capital, starting sometime after 1330.
The Archduke Maximillian of Austria “proposes” to his wife to be Mary of Burgundy with a Diamond Ring, a symbol of his betrothal. Hence the first recorded engagement ring. It was worn on the 3rd finger of the right hand, in order to be against a specific vein that goes directly to the heart.
Antwerp Belgium, the most important diamond center of the period, where a Diamond-cutters' Guild was soon to be established.
1600 – 1750
The Diamond was the first and foremost symbol of ultimate wealth and prosperity in Europe. India was the only know source of Diamonds. Brazil was soon to follow.
A discovery of diamonds near Hopetown, south of Kimberley in South Africa, gives birth to the modern diamond industry. The 1870s and 1880s in the Northern Cape saw a mad rush to the newly discovered diamond fields.
The world's largest gem quality diamond, the Cullinan, was found in South Africa. Uncut, it weighed 3025 carats. It was presented to King Edward VII for his 66th birthday.
The criteria for Diamonds established. The standards and the 4 C’s, Cut, Color, Carat, and Clarity are published.
1967 - 2000
Botswana becomes the largest producer of Diamonds by value in the world. The Centenary, found in 1986, was polished from a 599 carat gem. The rough diamond was cut into various stones, the largest of which bears the name Centenary and, at 273 carats, is the Largest Modern Cut, Top Color, Flawless Diamond in the world.
The legacy of the Diamond will continue. It existed at the dawn of civilized man and will adorn for years to come. It will be part of Weddings, celebrations, a part of love and prosperity, a part of intrigue and beauty and a part of every woman’s heart that keeps one on her finger. Men will always swear love by it, and love will always maintain the brilliance of earth’s great gift, the Diamond.
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