Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Diamonds - A Short History

Diamonds have a long history.  As early as the sixth century in India there is a description of the perfect diamond.  It was said that it should have six sharp points, 8 very flat and similar sides and twelve straight and sharp edges.  Even though the perfect diamond was described it was very rarely found.  In India only the Brahmins were allowed to possess colorless diamonds.  Only a few good quality diamonds made it out of India prior to 1000 A.D.  After sixteen hundred years of operation the Indian diamond mines finally dried up. The Chinese were not interested in diamonds for esthetic qualities only in their usefulness as a cutting tool and for their mystical qualities. It was not until the fifteenth century that gemstone faceting was perfected.  
In 1730 an alternate source for diamonds was found in Brazil.  It only took about 135 years for the Brazilian mines to dry up and it did not take long for entrepreneurs to discover the much sought after gemstone in South Africa in 1867. Today South African mines produces about 97% of the world’s diamond supply.

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