As you go browsing diamond jewelry in San Diego, do you ever imagine what the first ever diamonds looked like? When were they found and where? How long and rich is the history of diamonds, including those in diamond jewelry in San Diego?
Every diamond in natural diamond jewelry in San Diego has come a long way
Diamonds are formed deep in the Earth under extreme heat and pressure. They are brought to the surface or near the surface by deep-source volcanic eruptions. Before they reach the jeweler’s case, natural diamonds have to go through several stages of cutting. That’s how these beautiful and alluring gemstones come to existence, but how does their history intertwine with ours?
India was the first
It is believed that first diamonds were found in India. Some historic sources suggest that diamond trading existed in India in 4th century B.C. Diamonds were prized for their ability to refract light and they were mostly used for decorations and talismans. Only the exceptionally wealthy could afford them.
Medicine in the Dark Ages
In 327 B.C. Alexander the Great brought the first diamonds from India to Europe. Soon, diamonds and other exotic goods were part of the trade between India and Europe. However, a considerable amount of time passed before diamonds were included in diamond jewelry.
During the Dark Ages, diamonds were thought to possess medicinal properties. It took centuries for diamonds to become perceived as items of value and not medicine.
The start of diamond jewelry
It was in 1074 that the crown for a Hungarian queen was adorned with uncut and unpolished diamonds. Another three centuries passed before Point Cut was invented. The Point Cut looks like two pyramids attached at the bottom. This cut allowed diamonds to be cut for the first time without much waste. Point Cut was revolutionary because until then only well-formed diamonds were used as jewelers didn’t have the technology nor techniques to cut them properly.
Table cut was invented soon thereafter, and in 1520 Rose Cut was designed. In 1681 came Peruzzi Cut, and so on. The cutting and faceting techniques evolved steadily, but diamonds were still very rare. They remained so until unprecedented reserves were found in South Africa in 19th century.
In 1477, the first diamond engagement ring was gifted to Mary of Burgundy by Archduke Maximilian of Austria. It was a Point Cut solitaire and even though it may have been a chance that the ring featured a diamond, this event was a precursor of the diamond engagement ring tradition.
Enormous deposits found in South Africa paved the way for the modern diamond jewelry in San Diego and everywhere else
In 1866 a boy found brightly colored stones by a river in South Africa. One of the stones was later identified as a diamond. When it was inspected, it was found that it weighed 21 ¼ carats. The diamond was later named Eureka.
The discovery of South African diamond deposits transformed jewelry trends. Diamonds became available to pretty much anyone who could afford them.
The blaze of gas and electric lighting in 19th century brought out scintillation much better from diamonds than other colored gemstones, so diamonds became highly sought after and amply used in jewelry designs.
Interested in looking at a vast collection of diamond jewelry in San Diego?
Leo Hamel Fine Jewelry & Engagement Ring Store is San Diego’s largest independent jewelry store. We carry a luxurious collection of new and like-new diamond jewelry of the finest quality. Make sure you drop by our showroom on San Diego Avenue and subscribe to our catalog to stay ahead of special deals and amazing new arrivals. We’re here to help you find your dream jewelry with the least effort and maximum pleasure!