Diamonds have been traded and sold for thousands of years but not too many people know how and where they got their start in the jewelry trade. Diamonds are not only found in wedding rings, necklaces and earrings, but now they're placed on cellphones, cars and even clothing! It didn't take long before this gem from the east spread around the world and then became discovered in all parts of the world.
Some of the earliest references to diamonds came from India from their Sanskrit texts which mentioned the budgeoning diamond trade. Buddhist works dating from the late 3rd century, but mostly the 4th, mentioned the use of diamonds as precious stones. They also recognized not only their beauty, but the strength in which they had to mark tough metals of all kinds. India remained the primary source for diamonds for quite some time which led to a very prosperous trade economy throughout the east.
Diamonds eventually spread all over the world, especially in gifts for royalty and very wealthy people. It took many centuries before India dried up its main resources for diamonds which led to exploration around the world for more mines. This exploration brought on major diamond mine discoveries in both Brazil and South Africa. Since then South Africa has become the largest producer of diamonds in the world. Unfortunately we all have heard about the troubles this trade has brought to the people of Africa, but no matter what it continues onward.
Sometime in the later years of the 15th century, Belgium jewelers, specifically Antwerp, made a name for themselves for developing a new technique to polish and shape the gems was created. Since then Belgium has become the diamond center of the world with more than 12,000 expert cutters and polishers at work. You'll find today that 85% of the worlds rough diamonds, 50% of cut diamonds, and 40% of industrial diamonds are traded in Antwerp year round.