Skip to Content

What Was The First Use of Diamonds?

What Was The First Use of Diamonds?

If you are looking for an answer to this question: What Was The First Use of Diamonds? We have to inform you that you are in the right place.

A topic like this is often not dealt with by people who want to buy diamond rings or jewelry for their beloved partners but by real connoisseurs of diamonds or people who are highly interested in them.

The original and most accurate response is that diamonds were used as adornments, cutting tools, and talismans to ward off evil and offer protection in conflict.

If you are a history lover and you like to know details from the past related to special events and years, you will be delighted with everything we have selected for you.

Let’s go deep into the history of diamonds!

The History of Diamonds (BC)

In advance, we would like to draw your attention to the fact that this article is dedicated to the history of diamonds. Therefore, it consists of the distant past, many years, and historical events.

According to people, the Dravidians of India discovered diamonds between 2500 and 1700 BC during the Indus Valley Civilization of the Bronze Age.

Other people say the first diamonds were discovered about 1000 BC in India.

It is important to note both possibilities because when it comes to history, it is possible to disagree with theories or data itself.

Between 400 and 300 BC, the first documented and written knowledge of diamonds emerged in the Sanskrit works Arthashastra and Ratna Pariksha.

Arthashastra is the first written account of diamonds being exchanged and utilized as money or a source of revenue. We see the first recorded system of assessing and ranking the grade or qualities of a diamond in Ratnapariksa.

Both writings refer to diamonds’ magical, robust nature, suggesting that people who wear them would see “dangers withdraw from him,” regardless of the threat.

In these scriptures, the diamond is described as “the gem above all others.” Also, the most prized and sought-after property in Indian culture. We can all agree that diamonds are still considered today’s most extraordinary, luxurious gemstones.

When King of Macedon Alexander the Great conquered India in 327 BC, he brought diamonds from the region back to Europe for the first time, marking the first time the stones were exported.

Eudoxus Cysicii, a Greek sailor, saw deep digging adjacent to river Alluvions in 120 BC. This is the first reference to diamond mining in European history.

Now that we have briefly covered the story of diamonds from the period before Christ, it is time to move on to the more recent past!

Related Read: Who Was the First Person to Find Diamonds?

The Next Diamond’s Chapter (AD)

What was the real usage of diamonds in the past, you may wonder?

Diamonds have been used as a kind of payment. Also, they have been used as symbols of power and status for hundreds of years. Diamonds were not used as jewelry until 1074 when the queen of Hungary had her crown adorned with diamonds.

They began to leave their imprint on history throughout the following thousand years. Royal families and influential leaders exchanged them to form an alliance and display their commitment.

The diamond business grew, with mines opening up in new nations and continents worldwide, and they eventually became a symbol of love and dedication.

The earliest “famous” diamond, Koh-i-Noor (Mountain of Light), was discovered in India’s Golconda mines in the early 13th century. It was considered to have magical powers at the time, weighing over 790 carats, and it became a belief that whoever held the diamond governed the world.

It has changed hands several times between its discovery and today, sometimes during gory, violent confrontations, leading some to think that it is cursed and brings luck to its possessor. It is currently stored at the Tower of London as part of the United Kingdom’s Crown Jewels, set in the Queen Mother’s Crown.

But when was the first diamond ring ever made?

In 1477, Archduke Maximillian of Austria, who was head over heels in love with Mary of Burgundy, commissioned the first diamond engagement ring, igniting a trend to utilize diamonds as part of the proposal process and establishing a custom that we still follow today.

As the demand for diamonds expanded and their function continued to develop, so did the supply of diamonds.

In the early 1500s, Vasco da Gama built a direct sea route to India, which enhanced the number of diamonds carried from India to Europe. As diamonds became increasingly popular, they needed to take on varied shapes and sizes to stand out.

We should agree that names like Vasco De Gama are known to us for bigger things, but we think it is important to mention that they also impacted the diamond market’s growth and development.

In 1520, the “Rose Cut” diamond was designed to resemble a rose, and in 1562, Mary Queen of Scots gave Queen Elizabeth a heart-shaped diamond ring as a token of their passion.

Jean-Baptiste Tavernier, a French adventurer and gem merchant discovered the Hope Diamond in the Golconda mines during one of his six trips to India in 1638.

The 116-carat “Tavernier Blue” diamond was eventually sold to Louis XIV of France for 172,000 ounces of pure gold and a letter of ennoblement. Since 1958, it has been on display at the National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C.

While Catherine the Great ruled Russia with her Imperial Scepter, Marie Antoinette, Queen of France, was embroiled in a massive diamond scandal that launched her downfall.

The “Affair of the Diamond Necklace”, as it is now known, occurred in the early 1780s, four years before the French Revolution, and involved an innocent Marie Antoinette in a fictitious crime involving a costly diamond necklace.

Long story short, persons claiming to be buying the necklace on behalf of the Queen, with her approval, negotiated the price and terms of sale and stole it under the premise that it would be paid for by Antoinette later, only to depart the country and sell it.

They were eventually apprehended and tried despite the Queen’s innocence and ignorance of the crime. The public believed she was a crucial player in the plot and never looked at her the same way again, leading to a decline in her popularity.

Along with that, a loss of trust between the French people and their leaders arose. While all this was happening in Europe, the rest of the globe was trying to find diamond mines. So that will help them capitalize on their worth.

As the diamond business began to expand in the late 1800s and early 1900s, and new suppliers arose all over the world, systemic procedures started to be put in place to allow buyers and sellers alike to have a consistent means of determining the quality and worth of their diamonds.

The Gemological Institute of America was established in 1931. It is responsible for the invention of the 4 C’s (color, clarity, cut, and carat weight) to assist in quantifying the quality of each gem and the worldwide diamond grading system.

The American Gem Society was founded three years later, in 1934, to protect and educate customers. While these organizations arose due to so many new diamond sources, Golconda, India’s original diamond depository, continued to rule supreme.

As organizations such as the GIA and AGS began to define the standards for measuring diamonds, Harry Oppenheimer, the son of DeBeers’ founder, saw an enormous potential to sell more diamonds to the general public.

In 1938, he approached N.W. Ayer, a New York advertising agency, created a public notion that diamonds are works of beauty. They began collaborating, and in 1948, N.W. Ayer produced the tagline and advertising campaign “A Diamond Is Forever.”

So, if we were to wrap up the story about the first use of diamonds, it would probably sound like this:

Diamonds were initially used for ornamentation. Diamonds first arrived in Europe about 322BC as a regal decoration in the form of jewelry kept largely for Kings since they denoted power, courage, and invincibility.

So far so good! Let’s take a look at the present time and the usage of diamonds today!

Related Read: When Did People Start Using Diamonds As Jewelry?

Today’s Diamond Place

DeBeers hired prominent advertising firm N.W. Ayer in 1947, and the phrase “A diamond is eternal” was born.

The concept of this massive marketing effort was that diamonds should be the sole option for engagement rings. The DeBeers advertising effort was a huge success and contributed to today’s broad acceptance of diamond engagement rings.

More than 78% of engagement rings in today’s fine jewelry market feature diamonds.

With the rise in popularity of the precious stone, numerous firms and organizations launched efforts to educate jewelers and customers on what to look for when purchasing a diamond.

People used new cutting procedures to raise the stone’s brightness as jewelers experimented with ways to improve the diamond’s aesthetic appeal and presentation.

Several notable forms evolved as the most popular kinds over time, including round, oval, marquise, square (princess), and rectangle (emerald). Today, the world’s diamond reserves are gradually depleting.

Less than 20% of diamonds produced are of gem grade, with less than 2% classified as “investment diamonds.” Approximately 75-80% of mined diamonds are utilized in industrial applications such as grinding, cutting, and drilling.

But enough with percentages, there are other important things, right?

A one-carat, gem-quality stone typically requires more than 250 tons of ore to be mined. The diamond’s rarity, cut, and look, along with strength, make it a fitting symbol of the tenacity and durability of marriage.

They are usually presented as presents to honor the milestone of the 60th anniversary, in addition to engagement rings. Diamonds are a natural choice to represent an enduring partnership because of their rich history, permanence, and brilliant brilliance.

South Africa, Zaire (now known as the Democratic Republic of the Congo), and the former Soviet Union were the world’s largest rough diamond producers toward the end of the 1970s.

The output of higher-quality diamonds in Russia and South Africa remained largely stable during the 1980s, whereas the production of lower-quality diamonds in Zaire more than tripled.

In 1982, a very productive new mine in Botswana increased global output. The Jwaneng mine, a prolific source of high-quality diamonds, boosted Botswana’s output to third place in total diamond recovery and second place in diamond value.

Botswana’s government agreed to sell the mine’s output to DeBeers, and Botswana set out to build its diamond-cutting enterprise.

Global diamond mining increased significantly with the discovery of new sources in Australia in 1985 and significant finds in northern Canada in 2000.

The market changed as much after 1990 as it did after discovering diamonds in South Africa in 1866 and the establishment of De Beers. The 1990s brought exciting new sources and drove the fast growth of numerous cutting centers.

All of this was happening while the global economy shifted dramatically.

The diamond business has a promising future. As diamonds grow more challenging to get, the value of your existing diamond will almost certainly increase, especially if you hold a natural fancy colored diamond.

Nonetheless, maybe due to increased demand for diamonds, the diamond production rate is now at 133 million carats per year, a 150% increase from 50 years ago.

Final Thoughts

Our main and not-so-common question but very important to every diamond expert and lover was: What Was The First Use of Diamonds?

Yes, there is a simple and accurate answer: Diamonds were first employed as adornments, cutting tools, and talismans to fend off evil, and were thought to bring protection in combat.

But if you have had the opportunity to read our articles, we are not satisfied with just a simple answer. On the contrary, we try to include everything and leave it in one place so that every potential new question has its solution somewhere in the article.

We hope you enjoyed this highly unusual, historically supported article as much as we enjoyed researching and writing it for you!