Origin of Diamonds

"A diamond is one of the oldest pieces of nature found on our planet and comes to you at the end of an extraordinary voyage"

Lets Go Back 50 Million Years...

The word “diamond” is derived from the Greek “damas” which means untameable. Already in the first century AD, the diamond was mentioned in the Natural History of Plinio the Elder, who considered it the most precious stone and harder than all the other stones. For this reason it assumes an important symbolic significance and is linked to the capacity to ward away evil via its incorruptibility.

 

The diamond represents one of many forms of carbon. In this case the atomic composition of carbon is made in the geometric shape of an octahedron.

The story of the diamond begins in India, rich in deposits around the rivers Krishna, Godavari and Penna. Generally diamonds were used in religious symbols, and have for many centuries been considered precious. Buddhist writings of the 4th century BC, defined the diamond as a precious stone. Other writings in India mentioned the capacity of the diamond to scratch metal, and referred to its brilliance and its capacity to reflect light.

  • The first references to the use of the diamond in Ancient Rome come from India.

  • The Romans used it as an instrument of incision because of its hardness.

  • In China diamonds were mentioned as a talisman with the power to drive away evil.

 

The extraction of diamonds up to the 18th century was in river deposits, above all in India , and later the first diamonds were found in Brazil, and elsewhere in South America. Only later, in 1867, were the first diamonds discovered in South Africa.

The discovery of diamonds in South Africa was linked to the paths of exhausted volcanos. They were found in Kimberley, which gave its name to the rock from which diamonds are extracted, namely kimberlite. After this discovery South Africa became an important centre for the extraction of diamonds, and at the global level, substituted for India which had exhausted its own centres of extraction.

Story of the Diamond

Origin of the Diamond

The diamond was formed millions of years ago in the earth’s crust and only thanks to volcanic eruptions emerged on the earth’s surface in kimberlite. The erosion and crumbling away of kimberlite freed diamonds of various sizes, colours and purities, which would later be sorted in specialised centres.

One of the most important diamonds discovered in the kimberlite deposits was the Cullinan, found in 1905 at the Premier mine. The Cullinan diamond weighed 3,025 carats in its rough form, equivalent to 605 grammes. After it was cut around 100 stones were obtained, of which the most important weighed 516.5 carats.

For more information, read our article on  modern diamond mining.

     Where we clarify some common misconceptions about diamond mining and further details on the sustainable ecological footprint diamond companies have created during their operations.

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