Have you ever wondered what’s the evolution of diamonds? How is it that those glittering faceted gems came to be so popular in engagement and wedding jewelry? The story of diamonds is two-fold: starting with the creation of raw diamonds in prehistory and their discovery in Asia thousands of years ago. Modern cutting techniques, designs, and sophisticated technology continue the evolution of diamonds to innovative state-of-the-art trends. Here’s a brief description of the fascinating history behind your diamond jewelry.
Most diamonds naturally formed billions of years ago as the earth evolved. Deep under the earth’s crust, the element carbon was compressed with enormous heat and pressure forces. The altered carbon formed diamond crystals. Volcanic eruptions brought the rocks containing diamonds closer to the earth’s surface; over time, natural weathering and erosion exposed some diamonds in riverbeds, waterways, and nearby plains.
Discovery and Trading of Diamonds
Based on historical records, it appears that India is the place where diamonds were first discovered. Jewelry from as far back as the 4th century BC displays raw uncut diamonds with Indian gold settings. Initially found and collected around riverbanks and streams, mining of diamonds began in India around 700 BC.
India traded diamonds for hundreds of years, including along the fabled ‘Silk Road’ route. These were initially uncut stones, though Indian artisans had early discovered how to polish the stones and increase their luster. In the 14th century, Europeans developed the art of cutting diamonds, revealing the brilliance of the crystals. India remained the primary diamond producer until the 17th century, when their mines were exhausted and supply dwindled. However, the evolution of diamonds continued as Brazil discovered, mined, and traded the gems once India faded.
Modern diamond trading with increased production to meet growing demand began in earnest in the late 1800s. The discovery of extensive diamond fields in South Africa resulted in significant changes to diamond trading.
The Influence of De Beers — A Diamond Trading Giant
The famous De Beers diamond mining and sales company, formed in 1888, controlled a vast percentage of the world’s mined diamonds, and still does. Dominating the diamond market, De Beers influenced and modernized techniques as well as processes.
Mining processes became more efficient. New tools, methods, and scientific approaches improved diamond cutting and polishing techniques. The evolution of diamonds from raw uncut gems to sophisticated faceted gemstones that are cut, polished, and shaped in numerous ways underpins today’s diamond jewelry.
Modern marketing also came into play. De Beers, coining the phrase “A Diamond Is Forever,” successfully sold the concept that diamonds and engagement rings were fundamentally linked. Today, most engagement jewelry has diamonds; the first gem thought of by couples to mark their commitment to each other.
The Brilliant Cut
Since the 1400s, different cutting techniques have been used to bring out the fire and sparkle within diamonds. In the evolution of diamonds for jewelry, continual striving for the best method is found in the round brilliant cut created in the early 1900s.
A brilliant cut creates 58 sides (facets) on the gem. Each precision cut is designed to give maximum light reflection to the stone, delivering the flash and sparkle associated with a high-quality diamond. The round brilliant cut is now the most popular cut for engagement rings.
The Latest in Modern-Day Evolution of Diamonds — A New Creation Process
De Beers is still a strong force in the diamond gemstone market, but there’s a major new player in the industry — laboratories. In what is, perhaps, the ultimate evolution of diamonds, technology now allows us to create real diamonds in laboratories.
Traditionally obtained through the hard slog of mining from the earth’s natural resources, securing diamond crystals is now much simpler and quicker.
While artificially creating diamonds has been around for many years, the quality of stones previously obtained was mostly for industrial purposes. However, technical advancements have now moved diamond production forward to gem-quality stones.
Lab-created diamonds offer benefits
, including being able to supply on demand, helping reduce the need for mining of natural resources. In addition, as technology keeps improving, the cost of lab-grown diamonds keeps reducing. A lab-created diamond comes in roughly 50% or more under the price of a mined diamond.
Choices for Your Diamond Engagement Ring
At Carbon Diamonds, we source high-quality manufactured diamonds from reputable laboratories who continuously strive to reduce their carbon footprint for our exquisite range of jewelry.
If you’re after an engagement ring with a difference, our Bespoke design services
can create a custom piece matching your personal style and taste. Choose from our affordably priced lab-created gems to design and style intricate heirloom pieces or modern classics. You will be thrilled with your custom ring.