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April’s Diamond: A History of Commerce, Conquerors, and Ceremony

Diamonds may be a girl’s best friend, but long before Marilyn Monroe sang about the most beloved accessory of every bride-to-be, the diamond meant a great many other things to a variety of cultures.

In fact, the diamond — April’s birthstone — carries the weight of history with it, ranging from a symbol of strength to one of the marketplace. That is, from talisman to marketing tactic, the diamond is as interesting to read about as it is to look at:

 

  1. Ancient Goods, Ancient Commerce

Historians believe the beginning of the diamond market likely occurred in 4th century India, where diamonds were first gathered at riverbanks and streams throughout the country. As time progressed and the Silk Road gathered momentum for several hundreds of years, diamonds were traded alongside other material goods, eventually becoming a staple among the wealthy elite in Europe.

Up until this point, India was believed to be the only country capable of supplying diamonds. However, the precious stones were discovered in the 18th century in areas throughout both Brazil and Africa, thereby increasing the overall availability of such carbon-based riches through modern day. Today, Russia and Australia are also known for their robust diamond deposits.

 

  1. Mining for More Power

No gem is without its lore, and the diamond is no exception. For example, named “Adamas” by the ancient Greeks, the stones were said to enhance the strength and invincibility of the warrior wearer, as suggested by the name (“Adamas” meaning “inflexible” or “lasting”). The diamond was also allegedly considered a talisman for such figures as Napoleon, Louis IV, and Julius Caesar, as it is considered “the stone of winners.” 

In terms of the source of diamonds, however, the Greeks believed the stones to have been tears fallen from the gods of Olympus down to Earth, whereas the Romans thought them bits and pieces shed from the outer layers of stars.

 

  1. Cheers to De Beers

We would be remiss to discuss the history of the diamond without delving into the rich capitalistic endeavors of De Beers. After all, it was their 1947 marketing campaign that launched the diamond into the vernacular of engagement ceremonies with a simple slogan: “A diamond is forever.”

Once this wide-reaching campaign took off with unprecedented success, jewelers hopped onto the bandwagon, upselling their wares and eventually coining the “Four C’s” of engagement rings: color, cut, clarity, and carat weight.

 

Whether you’re searching for a birthstone accessory or the stylistically-perfect engagement ring, Hemming Jewelers can help! Browse our selection of varying cuts and carats, or simply stop in to ask us a few questions before you pop the question to her.  In either case, Jacksonville’s #1 independent jeweler will be ready and waiting for you! Contact us today by calling (904) 354-5959.