The diamonds splendor has been appreciated for centuries. World-famous diamonds such as the Great Mughal, Kohinoor, Regent, Florentine, Darya-i-Noor, Pigott, Tavernier, and Nassak were produced in India. More than the aesthetic and appealing value, diamonds worn in ancient times were believed to promote strength, invincibility and courage.
The earliest diamonds were found in India in the 4th century BC and were valued because of their strength and brilliance, and for their ability to refract light and engrave metal. They were worn as adornments, used as cutting tools, served as talismans to ward off evil and were believed to provide protection in battle. In the Dark Ages, diamonds were also used as a medical aid and were thought to cure illness and heal wounds when ingested.
Diamond production in India reached its zenith in the 16th century with the maximum output of 1,500 to 100,000 carats. Until the 18th century, India was the only source of diamonds for the whole world. However, when the Indian diamond mines depleted, the quest for alternate sources began. Although a small deposit was found in Brazil in 1725, the supply was not enough to meet the world's demands.
Today, the diamond may be the first choice to express love and commitment, there's still a lot to uncover about its the history. Here are some interesting facts about diamonds that you probable never knew:
* Diamonds were brought to the surface of Earth through intense volcanic eruptions. The eruptions propelled the diamonds, at breakneck speed, hundreds of kilometers from the heart of the Earth to the surface. The molten magma cooled, and on a few very rare occasions, diamonds were born
* Diamonds were formed long before dinosaurs walked our planet. The youngest diamond is 107 million years old, while the dinosaurs were extinct only 65 million years ago
* The diamond is the hardest known substance in the world. Billions of years ago, in a deep layer of the earth, a unique combination of chemicals, pressure and changes in temperature, created diamonds out of pure carbon
* More than half of the rough diamond disappears in the polishing process. It takes two years of apprenticeship to learn the simplest of diamond cuts. It also takes two years for an experienced craftsman to cut the largest and most valuable diamonds
* Diamonds are rare and getting rarer. The last significant discovery was almost 20 years ago. Only around 50 locations around the world were found to contain diamonds viable for mining, with South Africa, Russia and Botswana being the most well-known
* India was the world's original source of diamonds, beginning in the 1400s when Indian diamonds began to be sold in Venice and other European trade centers. The most famous of these is the Kohinoor, which is now part of the British Crown Jewels.
These facts make diamonds more alluring and enticing than ever and we all can safely agree that diamonds have been and will truly be forever.
(Richa Singh is Managing Director, Diamond Producers Association, India. The views expressed are personal)
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)