Diamond History

 
Ancient texts first refer to the use of diamonds in India from at least 400BC, where they were believed to be of divine origin, and used as the eyes of Hindu devotional statues.. The Greeks believed them to be the tears shed by the gods; the Romans thought they were the scintillating fragments of fallen stars. History has always associated diamonds with mystery, divinity and preciousness. 15th century kings wore them as symbols of courage, strength and invincibility, and as time went on the sense of romance and legend associated with them endured. The tradition of wearing a diamond ring as a symbol of betrothal dates back to 1477 when Archduke Maximilian of Austria gave a diamond ring to Mary of Burgundy. To this day these magical, brilliant, beautiful gems are cherished and valued as symbols of enduring love, constancy, sincerity and innocence.

As old as time itself, diamonds were formed between
3.2 billion and 900 million years ago in the fiery depths of the earth’s interior, finding their way to the surface through volcanic eruptions of molten lava.

Today diamonds are mined and produced in countries around the world but it was in the late 19th century that discoveries in South Africa led to diamond mining as a modern industry. The first diamond was found in 1866 when a young boy, Erasmus Jacobs found a stone on the family farm, on the banks of the Orange River. A subsequent discovery in 1871 of a diamond on the Colesberg Kopje led to the diamond rush and the development of the Kimberley Mine. Kimberley became the focus in the 1870s and 1880s of immense wealth, and fierce competition, most notably between Cecil John Rhodes and Barney Barnato. The end result was the birth of the De Beers Consolidated Mines Ltd. Today southern Africa accounts for over half of the world’s rough diamond supply.

To transform an unremarkable stone to a sparkling precious diamond takes between hours and months of skilful and artistic cutting and polishing..The stone must be faced in such a way as to reflect and refract the maximum amount of light. The end result is a brilliant marriage of fire and ice brought together in one perfect stone.

 

Where do Diamonds come from?

Natural diamonds are mined in approximately 25 countries. More than 90% of the world’s natural gem-quality diamond production comes from Africa, Russia and Canada. More than 50% of the diamond mining industry comes from Africa and in particular Angola, Botswana, Congo and South Africa.

Australia, Congo and Russia are the largest producers of industrial quality diamonds and the United States is the largest producer of synthetic diamonds. The story of diamonds in South Africa began in December 1866. A young boy of 15 years old by the name of Erasmus Jacobs found a transparent stone on his father’s farm on the south bank of the Orange River. History was made and to this day South Africa is a major diamond producer in the world.

Being a major producer of Diamonds has afforded South Africa to build a valuable jewellery design and retail trade. We are proud of our traditions and place as producers and designers of top class jewellery.

 

Diamond Integrity

There are many issues surrounding the diamond from its origin to cutting and finally it’s destination and selling with regards to different social and ethical standards. Included in this are conflict diamonds, corruption and environmental degradation. SASSEENS belong to the Diamond Dealers Club of South Africa.Together with De Beers, members endorse the strict criteria regarding buying and selling diamonds.

 

 

Conflict free or Blood Diamonds

The diamond dealer should be affiliated to a recognised governing body to ensure that ethical standards are adhered to during the sale of a diamond. Ideally, the person that is assisting you when you are discussing your new jewellery piece should be directly involved in the process of it's manufacturing.

 

Wikipedia - Diamond

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