The History of Diamonds and its Many Aspects


“Diamonds have nourished men’s fantasies and are synonymous with power, not even human from non-human divine forces. They are the gift from the Gods.” Pliny the Elder.

“I do not care about diets. The only weight I am interested in is the weight of a diamond.” (May West 1892–1980)


A few facts about diamonds

Diamonds are crystallized pure carbon and are the only stones comprising one element.

A diamond is one to three billion years old and is the hardest known natural material.

80% of the mined diamonds are only good enough for industrial use.

One diamond out of a million will be a 1 karat of high enough quality to be considered gem class.

Diamonds have gotten their name after the Greek word Adamas (invincible), an adequate word for the hardest stone.

They credit King Louis IX of France with a proclamation that the royal house can only wear diamonds. But by the 15th century, diamonds were finding their way to the masses. Loose diamonds and engagement rings, diamond jewelry


The 4 things you have to take into consideration

There are four ways to determine the value of a diamond; color, clarity, cut, and carat.


The history of finding out what is a carat is actually quite interesting. Jewelers in the bazaars of the near east used the seeds of the Saint Johns-bread tree, because of their consistent weight and size, to establish the weight of a precious stone. In the year 1907, the carat weight was officially set as 1/5th of a gram.


In modern times, the preferred presentation of a beautiful stone is to cut it so it has faces or facets. This was not always the accepted way to show a stone. In Roman times, it was considered vulgar to wear faceted stones. It is interesting to note that a stone in the cabochon shape type derived its name from the Norman-French word caboche, which means head.

In current times, cut refers to the arrangement of facets and proportions of the diamond.

Currently, the ideal cut is considered a brilliant cut. Various people contributed to the evolution of the brilliant-cut.

One of them being Vincenzio Perruzzi, a Venetian grinder, from the 18th century developed a pattern for cutting the stone to increase the number from 17 to 33 facets.

Henry Morse, who in 1860 opened the first diamond grindery on American soil in Boston, is considered the father of the American cutting industry. His supervisor, Charles M. Field, is credited with inventing the modern diamond cutting machine. He was the first man to cut what they call the American cut diamond.

These photos of two pieces of antique jewelry that belonged to my great-great-grandmother, show the diamond before the brilliant-cut was invented. You can see on the backside, that the stones were covered with gold.






Mr. Tolkowsky and the brilliant-cut

The Russian mathematical genius, Marcel Tolkowsky (a member of the biggest and most powerful diamond dynasty of the time), calculated the required steps for the ideal brilliant-cut, which he describes in his book, Diamond Design published in 1919. Mr. Tolkowsky developed the round brilliant cut.

The evolution of the diamond cutting industry has not stopped at the round brilliant cut. They have invented different shapes and cuts with more facets since. Modern shapes include; the Round Brilliant, Oval, Marquise, Pear, Princess, Emerald, Trillion, Radiant, the Eighty-Eight, and the Crown of Light (TM) with 90 facets.

The admiration of the diamond grew in the 1950s, especially with engagement rings. This continued to grow with the popularity in Hollywood with manufacturers like DeBeers providing jewelry for such notable movies as “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend”.

The GIA (Gemological Institute of America) established the diamond purity and color scale. As presented on their website, GIA states “Diamond Clarity refers to the absence of inclusions and blemishes”.


 FL: Flawless No inclusions or blemishes are visible to a skilled grader using 10× magnification.
 IF: Internally Flawless No inclusions and only blemishes are visible to a skilled grader using 10× magnification.
 VVS 1 – 2: Very Very Slightly Included. Inclusions are difficult for a skilled grader to see under 10× magnification.
 VS 1 – 2: Very Slightly Included. Inclusions are minor and range from difficult to somewhat easy for a skilled grader to see under 10x magnification.
 S 1 – 2: Included. Inclusions are noticeable to a skilled grader under 10x magnification
 I 1 – 2: Imperfect, Eye Visible Inclusions. Inclusions are obvious under 10× magnification and may affect transparency and brilliance.


Grades of color follow the English alphabet; the purest or most colorless diamond is rated with a D to F grade. See the following for more grades.



While there are differences in color between D, E, and F diamonds, a gemologist in side-by-side comparisons will be able to see it. Rarely by the untrained eye, it will be visible. D-F diamonds should only be set in white gold/platinum. Yellow gold reflects color, negating the diamond’s colorless effect.

Near Colorless  

While containing traces of color, G-J diamonds are suitable for platinum or white gold setting, which would normally betray any hint of color in a diamond. Because I-J diamonds are more common than the higher grades, they tend to be of great value. An I-J diamond may retail for half the price of a D diamond. Within the G-J range, price tends to increase 10-20% between each diamond grade.

Faint Color  

Beginning with K diamonds, color (usually a yellow tint) is more easily detected by the naked eye. Set in yellow gold, these warm colored diamonds appeal to some and are an exceptional value. Others will feel they have too much color. Because of its perceptible color tint, a K diamond is often half the price of a G diamond.

Very Light Color  

Diamonds in the N-R color range have an easily seen yellow or brown tint but are much less expensive than higher grades.

Light Color  

For almost all customers, S-Z diamonds have too much color for a white diamond.



The old history of diamond mining

The declining market dominance of the DeBeers syndicate, additional sources in Russia and Canada, and the disaster around blood diamonds have intensified the importance of the origin of the diamond.

Before the year 1725, when diamonds were found in Brazil, India was the only source worldwide. And it can be documented that diamond mining in India goes back to at least the year 800 BC. Presently, some 65 percent of diamonds come from African countries.

One could continue writing about this beautiful stone. Loose diamonds and engagement rings


Is your diamond an investment?

If you consider your diamond as an investment, it, of course, should be a good one. If not as an investment, I think when you see a stone, it should be love at first sight. It is the brilliance you see first. The four C’s would come as a secondary concern.

Traditionally, one would go to the trusted shop in town but in modern times, buying online is a common practice. One must be sure to find a trustworthy source.


If you love diamonds, you definitely need this book

The Nature of Diamonds is a comprehensive look at nature’s most coveted gem. This book is detailed and illustrated with beautiful photographs. It tells you the history seen from different angles.




Most women will love diamonds. Getting a nice diamond ring for your engagement is something all women will love. So, gentlemen, do save some money to buy a lovely ring as it will have to last a lifetime, hopefully.

I have made a special page for you. It holds a collection of things you might find interesting. Before you leave, have a look at Recommendations.


Photo Source: Private Photos



Thanks for the information and the content about the diamond. I remember some few years back I had a clear mineral which I guess was a diamond as I was cutting glass and could also scratch them. One day we were seated somewhere with an Indian guy I asked him what Gem was this he told me this just a useless colourless stone. And with those few word I threw it away I regret why I did that because even today I feel that could might have been a precious stone because it was even breaking in unique shape..Oooooh Poor Me

Jun 22.2017 | 12:25 pm


    Good afternoon Martin,

    First of all, thank you for visiting my website.
    Now I must say I am sad to hear your story as it might have been a diamond. It is too late now to cry about it but it is still a shame.
    If you ever again should find a pretty stone do not throw it away anymore, better investigate and find out what it is.

    Wishing you all the best for the future.

    Regards, Taetske

    Jun 22.2017 | 02:14 pm


Thanks Taetske for providing such insight on diamonds. You are not far from the truth when you stated that “when you see a stone, it should be love at first sigh”. I always go oh…ah whenever I walk into a diamond shop, they always seem to have this explainable impact on one’s emotion.
Thanks for sharing, one thing I have definitely learnt from reading your article is ways to determine the value of a diamond through it’s colour, clarity, cut, and carat.

Best wishes

Aug 17.2017 | 02:52 pm


    Good afternoon Aisha,

    I am happy to hear you found this information interesting. I am like you, in a shop like that I can go a bit funny. A stone has to speak to you that is why I used the term love at first sight. I love the pieces which I inherited with the old diamonds and wear them on special occasions. Hope to see you again.

    Regards, Taetske

    Aug 17.2017 | 03:22 pm


Thanks for sharing this article on the diamond. Diamond is and will always be a precious stone. Ever since I was a child I have made a promise that on the day of my wedding I am going to buy my would be wife a diamond ring to use for our wedding ceremony. I am still keeping the dream alive. Diamond is not just any stone that can be accessible anyhow like that. Thanks for sharing this knowledge. 

Feb 27.2019 | 02:38 pm


    Good afternoon Olalekan,

    I think that is a nice idea to give your would be wife a diamond ring, I am sure she will love it. Perhaps you could give it to her when you ask her if she will marry you?

    Thank you for your comment on my website. I hope you have downloaded your free PDF?

    Regards, Taetske

    Feb 27.2019 | 03:44 pm


Hi Taetske,

This is one of the best quality post about history of diamonds and it’s many aspects. After reading your article, I have learned important knowledge about this precious stone. One of my friends is an antique lover and he always tries to collect different stones and diamonds with all its historical information. I believe he will be happy to see this information. I am going to share this with him. Thanks for your effort on this article.

Feb 27.2019 | 02:39 pm


    Good afternoon Mzakapon,

    Thank you for your comment. Nice to see you again.

    I also love antique jewelry and that is why I keep these 2 pieces of my great great grandmother in high esteem. When you wear them they really look beautiful.

    Regards, Taetske

    Feb 27.2019 | 03:49 pm


When I was growing up I had the privilege of seeing a diamond and to tell the truth I was only told it was a diamond. 

To many, a diamond is a tiny stone that holds a lot of value. This is my first time reading about the history of mining diamonds.

I see diamonds as jewelry but also as an investment. 

Feb 27.2019 | 02:40 pm


    Good afternoon Ajibola,

    Thank you for visiting my website and leaving a comment. I hope you downloaded your free PDF?

    I am sure that diamonds will fascinate people forever. Most women will love their diamond jewelry and men often buy them as an investment. 

    Regards, Taetske

    Feb 27.2019 | 03:56 pm


I absolutely love this insightful article because it is full of great information. This is fascinating and intriguing to me. You did an excellent job of providing education and resources.

Diamonds are very scares to get, I have always known the 4Cs that is essential in diamond i.e carat, cut, clarity and colour. These are very essential in identifying the best diamond.

Thanks for this eye-opener.

Feb 27.2019 | 02:42 pm


    Good afternoon,

    Thank you for your comment on my diamond post. I hope you downloaded your free PDF?

    Nice to hear you enjoyed reading my article. I hope to see you again.

    Regards, Taetske

    Feb 27.2019 | 04:04 pm


Hello, you have good information here on diamonds and their history. I would think more women anyway would choose a diamond they absolutely loved over any as an investment. You want to be able to wear what you have on a regular basis. I would be disappointed if I had diamonds I felt were too valuable to wear outside the house. Either way, they are beautiful!

Feb 27.2019 | 02:42 pm


    Good afternoon Stephanie.

    I also think it is of no use to have jewelry you cannot wear as you are afraid it might get stolen or lost. I do have some pieces in the safe as they are not for everyday use.

    Thank you for your comment. I hope you downloaded your free PDF?

    Feb 27.2019 | 04:09 pm


Hi Taetske,

Thanks for publishing such a precious review on fabulous and breathtaking diamonds. I have read your article very carefully and I have gotten lots of information about diamonds. Before reading your article I had no idea about diamonds and now, I have acquired some knowledge about these precious stones. Thank you for your good post.

Feb 27.2019 | 02:44 pm


    Good afternoon Tawhid,

    Thank you for your visit and leaving a comment on my website. I hope you downloaded your free PDF?

    Nice to hear you enjoyed my post on diamonds and that it gave you some interesting information.

    Regards, Taetske

    Feb 27.2019 | 04:18 pm


This is a great article! Very informative!  I love this article – exhaustively put! I’ve never seen a real diamond before but I have read a lot about it because it fascinates me a lot seeing them in pictures!!! I wonder what I will do if I ever see one or better still have one myself! (Winks).Diamond is the hardest material (as far as my little chemistry tells me). You just taught me another thing I did not know before – 1 carat = 1/5th of a gram and the diamonds’ color or grade! 

Thank you for sharing this great information

Feb 27.2019 | 02:44 pm


    Good afternoon Jay,

    I am happy to read you picked up a couple of things from my post. Yes, why not have a diamond. Perhaps your wife will wear it, that is nearly the same.

    Thank you for your comment. I hope you downloaded your free PDF?

    Regards, Taetske

    Feb 27.2019 | 04:27 pm

Seun Afotanju

Thanks for making an informative review on diamonds, indeed they are more than just precious stones, it’s one of the most beautiful things I have seen and you weren’t telling a lie telling me to save up for such beauty as every woman would want to possess such gem. I’m also interested in knowing what does it cost to invest in diamonds. Would appreciate a response from you. 

Feb 27.2019 | 02:45 pm


    Good afternoon Seun,

    Thank you for your comment on my post. I hope you downloaded your free PDF?

    I am sending you a link which will tell you a bit more about investing in diamonds.
    When one invests it is always good to spread. So put some money in stocks, gold and perhaps diamonds too.

    Regards, Taetske

    Feb 27.2019 | 03:25 pm


This is a very interesting and informative article about diamonds. The way you started was very attractive and now I know how to determine the value of a diamond, which is so cool! 

I will share this post with my cousin. She’s crazy about diamonds.

Thank you so much for this useful and accurate content!

Feb 27.2019 | 02:46 pm


    Good afternoon Anna,

    Happy to hear you got some information from my post. I hope your cousin will also like my post. Let’s face it are we not all a bit crazy about diamonds?

    Thank you for leaving a comment on my website. I hope you have downloaded your free PDF?

    Regards, Taetske

    Feb 27.2019 | 04:36 pm


Hmmm, diamonds are a ladies best friend.  The coolest part of this entire article is I never thought of diamonds as an investment.  

We always consider precious metals like gold and silver.  I am going to look into the history a bit more and see if this is an investment for me.

I also love how you put together the history.  That puts a story to the brilliance of a diamond.

Thank you for the great information.


Feb 27.2019 | 02:50 pm


    Good afternoon Dale,

    Thank you for your visit and leaving a comment.

    I bet your wife will be so pleased that there is a chance you might invest in diamonds. You have the investment and she can wear it. Nice to hear you liked my diamond story.

    Regards, Taetske

    Feb 27.2019 | 03:18 pm


When the words of diamond came to mind, Kohinoor remembered. The Koh-i-Noor also spelled Kohinoor and Koh-i-Nur, is one of the largest cut diamonds in the world, weighing 105.6 carats (21.12 g), and part of the British Crown Jewels. In the 16th century, this Kohinoor was adorned in the Mughal court. Anyway, read the article and found out more about the diamond. Many of us in India use diamonds combination with Zodiac. It is also a symbol of nobility. Having diamonds in the house means a kind of security as well. I also love a diamond ring for my wife. I hope that one day I will fill my desire with hard work. Thank you sincerely for the informative article.

Feb 27.2019 | 04:30 pm


    Good afternoon Ranao,

    Thank you for visiting my website and leaving a comment. I hope you downloaded your free PDF?

    One of my Fathers hobbies was astrology so yes, I know what stone fits each zodiac sign. Stones have always fascinated me from when I was a little girl. I like to collect precious stones and also stones I find in nature.

    I will send you a link on another very famous and old diamond.
    Regards, Taetske

    Feb 27.2019 | 04:46 pm


Thank you so much for this really thorough history of diamonds, it was a really interesting read. Diamonds really do have a mystique about them, they are almost expected in any engagement ring! For this reason, I agree that they probably will be a great investment, especially in these uncertain times….

May 19.2021 | 06:45 pm


    Good Morning,

    When I write for my websites, I normally like to include a little on the history of the subject. 

    The diamond business is vast, and this stone has fascinated people worldwide over hundreds of years. I must confess I also like diamonds apart from all the other semi-precious and precious gems. Stones, in all their forms and shapes, have been one of my hobbies since I was a small girl.

    You are right that in uncertain times diamonds are an excellent investment. Easy to transport compared to gold which gets heavy in greater quantity.

    Thank you for your comment on my website. I hope you downloaded your free PDR? Tulip widget.

    Regards, Taetske

    May 20.2021 | 07:16 am


Thanks for this article. My brother wants to propose to his girl, and he wants to get her a diamond ring and asked for my help!

I’m glad I came across your article. It helped me a lot and I will definitely show him your “recommendations” page. I’m pretty sure he will find it helpful.

Thanks again Taetske and have a great day!

May 19.2021 | 06:52 pm


    Good Morning Mariem,

    Thank you for your visit and for your comment. I hope you downloaded your free PDF? Tulip widget.

    Glad to hear the information on my post is helpful. An engagement ring is something important and should be chosen with care. Only go to a trustworthy shop and get a certificate. Perhaps your brother takes a “grow” diamond. You start with a small stone and in some years you can swap it for a bigger one. Over the years, this investment will be worthwhile.

    Regards, Taetske


    May 20.2021 | 07:06 am

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