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History of Diamonds

Popular culture claims that diamonds are ‘forever’ and a ‘girl’s best friend,’ but the history of diamonds actually dates back thousands of years. The word, ‘diamond’ comes from the ancient Greek word ‘adamas,’ meaning ‘unalterable’ or ‘unbreakable’ - a fitting term for one of earth’s hardest mineral substances. The history of diamonds can be traced back to the 4th century B.C.E., when they were first found in India. Diamonds were originally valued because of their hardness and strength. Having the ability to easily score metal, diamonds were found useful as cutting tools, according to the documented history of diamonds. In other early recordings, it was noted that diamonds were thought to have mystical powers. They were used as talismen to ward off evil and to provide protection in battle and were also worn as adornments. For as long as 1000 years, India was the only source in the world for diamonds.

As time marched on, the brilliant rare stones began to appear in the jewelry and regalia of Europe’s most elite royalty and aristocracy. But, even as more and more diamonds reached Europe, their demand only increased. In fact, diamonds were considered a scarce commodity up until the end of the 19th century. In the 1870s, ultra-rich diamond deposits, unlike ever seen before, were then discovered in South Africa, which dramatically changed the diamond’s status as a rare gem forever.

Today, diamonds are mined in about 25 countries, but production, in terms of volume and value, is dominated by South Africa. Major diamond production also takes place in a handful of other areas, such as Australia, Botswana, Congo Republic and Russia. Although diamonds are more plentiful today, they are still a valuable commodity – even on the resale market. Amid all of the violence surrounding diamond mining these days, the demand for used diamonds has steadily increased in recent years. If you are considering selling your diamond jewelry, or to learn more about the rich history of diamonds, contact Ralph Mueller & Associates today.