Jul 18, 2012 2:10:26 AM

The Fascination of Diamonds

Posted by Icing On The Ring tag icon LA diamonds, Icing on the Ring, LA Jewelry District, jewelry stores in downtown Los Angeles

The Fascination of Diamonds

Today, diamonds continue to hold a deep fascination as the world’s ultimate symbol of wealth. Whether you are thinking of acquiring diamonds for investment purposes, or to delight a loved one with the ultimate gift, visiting the jewelry stores of the downtown LA jewelry district will afford you the experience of professional guidance in your search for the perfect diamonds.

The LA diamond district, downtown LA is renowned as the first destination of choice to anyone who is seriously considering the important purchase of diamonds. Knowing a little of the history of the gems should make viewing the array of diamonds on offer in the downtown LA jewelry district more interesting.

History of Diamonds

The name “diamond” is derived from ancient Greek meaning “proper, unalterable, unbreakable, untamed.” Diamonds are thought to have been first recognized and mined in India, where significant alluvial deposits of the stone could be found many centuries ago along the rivers Penner, Krishna and Godavari. Diamonds have been revered in India for at least 3,000 years, but may date back 6,000 years. Early references to diamonds in India come from Sanskrit texts. Diamonds have been treasured as gemstones since their use as religious icons in ancient India. Their usage in engraving tools also dates to early human history.

Even though the diamond is the hardest of all gemstones, it is the simplest in composition. It is common carbon, like the graphite in a lead pencil.

Every natural diamond is immensely old, formed long before dinosaurs roamed the earth. The youngest diamond is 900 million years old and the oldest is 3.2 billion years old! Billions of years ago the elemental forces of heat and pressure miraculously transformed carbon into diamond in the cauldron of boiling magma that lay deep below the surface of the Earth. The volcanic mass in which this crystallization took place thrust upward and broke through the Earth’s surface to cool in kimberlite and lamproite pipes. It is in these pipes (diamond mines) that most diamonds are found today.

Diamonds as a Symbol

The ancient Greeks and Romans believed diamonds were tears of the gods and splinters from falling stars. The Hindus attributed so much power to them that they placed the gemstones in the eyes of statues of their deities. Not only was it believed that diamonds could bring luck and success, but also that they could counter the effects of astrological events. There were many who wore diamonds as charms believing in their ability to heighten sexual prowess and attract others. Plato even wrote about diamonds as living beings embodying celestial spirits. Their purity, durability and beauty also made them popular amongst medieval royalty.

Diamonds have stood for life, power, love, hope and magical powers. A large, flawless diamond is known as a paragon. Perhaps it is that excellence that the kings in olden days tried to embody as they would wear into battle heavy leather breastplates studded with diamonds and other precious stones. Because of the belief that diamonds possessed the magical qualities of the gods and held powers far beyond the understanding of the common man, the warriors stayed clear of the kings and others who were known to have the magical diamonds in their breastplates.

It wasn’t until 1477, when Archduke Maximilian of Austria gave a diamond ring to Mary of Burgundy that the tradition of diamond engagement rings began. Even the reason the woman wears it on the third finger of the left hand dates back to the early Egyptian belief that the vena amoris (vein of love) runs directly from the heart to the top of the third finger on the left hand.

Diamond Deposits around the Globe

Today, diamonds are mined in more than 25 countries around the world, on every continent but Europe and Antarctica. However, only a few deposits were known until the 20th century when scientific understanding and technology extended diamond exploration and mining around the globe. For 1,000 years, starting in roughly the fourth century B.C., India was the only source of diamonds. In 1725, important sources were discovered in Brazil, and in the 1870s major finds in South Africa marked a dramatic increase in the diamond supply.

Diamond mining as we know it today began in South Africa in the late 19th century. The top diamond-producing countries, accounting for 80 percent of the world’s rough diamond supply, are Botswana, Russia, South Africa, Angola, Namibia, Australia and The Democratic Republic of the Congo. It is a current misconception that the world’s diamonds come primarily from South Africa, as clearly diamonds are a worldwide resource.

Use of Diamonds in our Modern World

The popularity of diamonds has risen since the 19th century because of increased supply, improved cutting and polishing techniques, growth in the world economy and innovative and successful advertising campaigns.

The hardness of diamonds contributes to its suitability as a gemstone. Because they can only be scratched by other diamonds, the gem maintains its polish extremely well. Unlike many other precious stones, diamonds are well-suited to daily wear because of their resistance to scratching – perhaps contributing to their popularity as the preferred gem in engagement or wedding rings, which are often worn every day.

Hopefully, if you visit the downtown LA jewelry district in search of diamonds, your experience will be more meaningful with some of the background on the origin and discovery of these precious gems.

By visiting family-owned and operated Icing On The Ring, in the jewelry district, downtown LA, your search for the right diamond will be assisted by our professional guidance. Icing On The Ring can be contacted by calling 1-888-565-6150.





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