The word “diamond” itself stems from the Greek term adamas which means “unconquerable.” Diamonds are known for their unique hardness and uncontested beauty. Much like diamonds, the great empires of our ancient civilizations are aslo characterized by their being “invincible.”
Civilizations have had many superstitions about diamonds. They once believed that they have magical properties that gave the wearer special powers. There is much evidence in excavations and depictions of rulers wearing extravagant diamond jewelry.
Ancient India, being the first to use diamonds as jewelry, used them as adornments for statues of their deities. As early as fourth century BC, diamonds were abundant in India’s rivers and streams. Just as empires and great civilizations were spoken about in stories as if they were descendants of gods, people considered diamonds as celestial objects.
In 327 BC, when Alexander the Great brought diamonds from India to Europe, they were regarded as beautiful objects of desire. Naturalists and historians, such as the Roman Pliny, wrote of diamonds as the most valuable thing in this world.
As it became prominent in Europe, the diamond found its place in the crowns and jewelry of the ruling class. Until then, developments in cutting and polishing followed, which strengthened its appeal to the public.
In the 1700s, Brazil became the top source for diamonds, as India’s supply weakened. For 150 years, Brazil dominated the diamond market. Then, in the 1800s, the demand broadened, which prompted explorers to unearth diamond deposits across the globe.
The discovery of rich deposits in the African continent starts the story of the modern diamond and De Beers’ unconquerable diamond empire. Since 1888, De Beers Consolidated Mines Limited gained control of about 90 percent of the world’s supply of rough diamonds.
When a prolific source of high-quality diamonds was discovered in Botswana, De Beers contracted with the government and built its own diamond-cutting industry. Through the mines of Jwaneng, Botsawana rose to third in the world in total diamond production. South Africa, Democratic Republic of the Congo and Russia follows.
During the turn of the century, mining expanded dramatically as explorers discovered new sources in Australia and Canada. HullLoanSystem.com notes that diamonds, either rough or polished, appeal to the public because they still radiate an ancient, royal beauty.
Since the discovery of the diamond, scientific knowledge has also matured. Today, rough, cut and polished diamonds have an unconquerable value and they continue to radiate brilliance to the hearts of many.