Where It All Began
Diamonds are one of nature’s greatest gifts, forged for billions of years withstanding nature’s forces before reaching us. But to understand how diamonds reached your jeweler’s display case we must first understand their fascinating record.
The word diamond is a derivative of the Greek word 'adamas', which translates into 'unconquerable'. Diamonds' incomparable beauty made them revered and admired by many civilizations throughout history.
Historians believe that the earliest diamonds were found in India as early as the 4th century BC. At the beginning of their discovery, they were valued for their beauty and brilliance, and for their ability to refract light and engrave metal. Thus, they were worn as adornments and talismans to ward off evil. Diamonds were believed to hold medicinal value during the Dark Ages, but that perception shifted in the Middle Ages, where they were just considered valuable possessions.
Diamonds in the Jewelry World
Diamonds were only discovered in India for over 1,000 years until other sources in South Africa, Brazil, and Australia were discovered. The first person who brought diamonds to Europe was Alexander the Great, but diamonds were incorporated into jewelry centuries later. The first time to use diamonds in jewelry was in 1074 in a Hungarian queen's crown. It wasn't until 1407 when the Point Cut was invented and diamond cutting was practiced. A couple of years later in Belgium, a man invented the diamond polishing wheel and proposed cutting diamonds with symmetrically aligned facets. After the development of diamond cutting techniques, the world of jewelry evolved rapidly.
The tradition of men proposing marriage with a diamond ring is believed to have begun in 1477 when Archduke Maximilian of Austria proposed marriage to Mary of Burgundy with a diamond engagement ring.
Modern Day Diamonds
The year 1502 witnessed the creation of the Rose Cut, after that, the Peruzzi cut was created in 1681 followed by many others. At that point, diamonds were no longer associated with just rings, diamond pendants, diamond bracelets, and diamond earrings became an excellent choice to signify special occasions.
In 1947, a large marketing campaign for a diamond retailer spread the slogan "Diamond is forever", proposing that diamond rings should be the ultimate choice for engagement rings. The campaign was a huge success and influenced people to embrace the tradition of diamond engagement rings to this day.
Diamonds’ rarity, sturdiness, and lustrous brilliance lend themselves well to the diamond's commemoration of eternal love and lasting union.