Diamonds have been coveted for their exquisite beauty and value for centuries. As indicated in an article by the GIA that quotes the 1st century AD naturalist, Pliny, who wrote, ““Diamond is the most valuable, not only of precious stones, but of all things in this world.”
The stone’s name is derived from the Greek word adamao, which is why it was used in ancient times to describe the hardest substance known to man. Translated, adamao means “unconquerable,” which may one of the reasons why diamonds are associated with eternal love and commitment.
Diamonds were first discovered in riverbeds and creeks in India as early as the 4th century BC, and because they were so rare, were originally only owned by the wealthiest Indians. Once they were more actively mined, diamonds were traded through the Silk Road, which were early trade routes connecting India to China.
Diamonds were valued for several reasons including their beauty and used as adornments, as cutting tools to engrave metals, and also as talismans to ward off evil. By medieval times, diamonds were a popular gemstone for elite Europeans.
By the 1700’s, Brazil was a large producer of diamonds, while India’s supplies were mostly gone. However, the diamond industry’s most significant and unexpected discovery occurred between 1866 and 1867 and forever changed the way the world thinks about diamonds. Erasmus Stephanus Jacobs found a 21.25 carat diamond on the banks of the Orange River near Hopetown, South Africa. Initially what he thought was a transparent rock lead to the area mining more diamonds over the next few years than India had over 2,000 years.
According to the Cape Town Diamond Museum, “as the world diamond production increased more than tenfold in the following 10 years, a once extremely rare material became accessible to Western society with its growing wealth.” South Africa is still the major producer of diamonds.
As a family-owned business, Padis Jewelry has been a trusted source for buying exquisite certified loose diamonds, engagement rings and fine jewelry since 1974. We are one of the only jewelers in the area that offers such an exclusive selection of top names in the industry as well as such a large inventory. If you are a lover of beautiful jewels, schedule at visit to San Francisco’s best jewelry store.
Sources: gia.edu/diamond-history-lore; capetowndiamondmuseum.org/about-diamonds/south-african-diamond-history/