Diamond history is as rich in myths and folklore as it is in physical facts and records. The history has fascinated people with the romance and beauty that surrounds our most precious gemstones.
Early Diamond History
Around 3,000 years ago, in the country of India, the first ever diamond history was recorded. If diamonds had been found prior to this period of time, we have no written record of it. Diamonds in this day and age were used for two main purposes. Diamonds stood as a talisman in order to fend off evil spirits, and to provide protection during battles They were also valued because of their ability to reflect the light.
Dark Ages of Diamond History
Diamond history moved into having a type of medical purpose during the dark ages. St Hildegarde wrote an anecdote to heal wounds and cure illnesses; it instructed the sick to hold a diamond in their hand and make the sign of the cross. Some people went as far as swallowing diamonds, believing it would cure their illnesses magically.
Middle Ages of Diamond History
Diamonds began to gain popularity during the middle ages. It is this point in diamond history that many of the famous diamonds were discovered: the Blue Hope, and the Mountain of Light, both discovered in India. Even today in our modern times, India remains the world's finest polisher's of diamonds.
The middle ages also saw a shift in diamond history--where previously diamonds were valued based on their mythical powers--they began to be valued more for their overall worth. As more people learned of the incredible value of diamonds, mine owners began circulating stories that diamonds were poisonous, to prevent the workers from swallowing diamonds as a means to smuggle them out of the mines undetected.
People wanted diamonds more than any other time period previously, mostly because they recognized their power and worth. India's diamond supply was dwindling; unable to meet demands of diamond buyers. South Africa's find of diamonds near the Orange River began the world's largest diamond rush in history. This relieved and satisfied the demands of those wanting diamonds to enhance their lavish lifestyles.
During the late 1970's, Australia as a diamond producer became well-known. In 1979, the Argyle pipe near Lake Argyle, Western Australia was discovered by geologists. Since that day, Argyle has become the largest producer of diamonds in the entire world and produces over one third of the diamond volume each year. The Orapa, Botswana open pit diamond mine is the largest by area.