Published on February 15, 2024

The Timeless Allure of Diamonds

The old saying goes that “Diamonds are a girl’s best friend”, retaining their shine and value long after other passions fade. The 1st Century AD Roman philosopher and naturalist Pliny even went so far as to maintain that “Diamond is the most valuable, not only of precious stones but of all things in this world.” That’s a pretty strong endorsement from a guy wearing a toga, but he was definitely on to something! 

The diamond is to this very day considered to be the finest of all gems and the go-to stone for any young fellow hoping to woo his intended bride! That all-important diamond engagement ring is very often the key needed to open her heart, but it’s best not to stop there, birthday and anniversary gifts of diamond necklaces and diamond earrings are a sure-fire way to keep love’s flames burning bright for many years to come!

Our modern romance with diamonds traces its roots back to 4th Century BC India where the stones were found in streams and rivers, then traded in the marketplace. Because of the diamond’s rarity, its value grew until only the very wealthy could afford to purchase gems of the highest quality, showing that some things never change. 

Over time as caravan trade routes and sea connections with the west increased, diamonds made their way to Europe, where they were bought and sold in the markets, creating a robust business for jewellers. By the time the 1400’s rolled around diamonds had secured their place in the affections of the continent’s most affluent elite and were worn proudly by the ladies of means of the period. 

The diamond trade with India flourished until the 1700s when the subcontinent’s diamond supplies began to dwindle. It was at this time that the New World was coming into prominence as the place to find all things bright and shiny, and Brazil eclipsed India as Europe’s primary source of diamonds. Brazil’s diamonds were a by-product of the gold mining industry, miners panning in the rivers found them as they sifted through the silt in search of the world’s most precious metal. Brazil would go on to play the part of the world’s best source of diamonds for 150 years. 

Fortunes shift, and by the 1800s South Africa had emerged as the world’s chief provider of the precious stone. Explorers discovered huge deposits in the wilds of the dark continent and the growing affluence of the European and American elites provided a steady market for them, increasing their demand tenfold. 

Now the diamond is well-loved across the globe, enjoying an ever-growing popularity all across Asia and down into Australasia, where the sparkling diamond is one of the favourite accoutrements of fashion, both western and indigenous. The island continent of Australia has come into play as a modern source for diamonds, with one of the world’s largest deposits found in Western Australia’s Argyle area, now a major diamond source for the world market. 

Before you head out with a pickaxe and a mining pan, be advised that the Australian Government’s Department of Industry, Science and Resources maintains strict rules on the mining and export of diamonds, so check first! Things change, but diamonds are forever!


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