To the overwhelming majority of humanity, one gem stands above all the others. And while some may dispute whether it is the most beautiful of the various gemstones, its reputation as the most important is virtually unchallenged. Its status is evident from a commercial point of view.
White Diamond Inside Black Diamond | Color Abbreviations | Clarity Abbreviations
The diamond business dwarfs the trade in any other type of gemstone, and today provides a livelihood to millions of people on six continents. In terms of 20th century economics, the success of the diamond as a commodity is largely a result of the way in which it is marketed in its rough form.
Clarity Enhanced | Weights and Measurements | Learn about engagement rings |
For more than 100 years, the diamond trade has been dominated by a single company, De Beers Consolidated Mines Ltd. Through its London-based trading arm, the Central Selling Organization, or the "Syndicate," as it is widely referred to in the trade; De Beers controls the distribution of about 85% of all rough diamonds to the world market.
Through its ability to control the flow of diamonds into the market, De Beers has succeeded in sustaining the monetary value of the stone for decades and broadening the diamond's market base. Once considered the sole domain of the very rich, diamonds became in the 20th century merchandise within reach of the ordinary consumer.
Modern Sources of Diamonds
The modern era of diamond history dates from the discovery of diamonds in South Africa. Before then, diamonds were mainly sourced in India, and later Brazil. Diamond is the hardest natural substance known, with a value of 10 on the Mhos hardness scale. The difference in hardness between diamond and corundum, the material with a value of 9 on the Mhos scale, is far greater than the difference between corundum and talc, which has a value of 1. This study is relevant to people involved in the trade and manufacture of gemstones.
Studying a gemstone out of context provides only part of the picture. A colored gemstone of limited value may make for an intriguing gemological study, but this would not necessarily reflect its importance from a business standpoint. The diamond is geologically fascinating, but the need for an in-depth understanding of its gemological properties is even more important in light of the stone's commercial role. So, too, is an insight into how it came to achieve this status.
Origin & Formation
The Bible is widely regarded as containing the first references to the diamond. The verse that is cited most often is Exodus 28:18, which describes the breastplate worn by the high priest. Among the various stones which were set into it was the "yahalom" as it was called in the original Hebrew. While some skepticism exists regarding the identity of that stone, in Modern Hebrew the word for diamond is "yahalom". Yahalom is again referred to in Ezekiel 28:13.
Another word, thought by some Bible commentators to refer to diamond, is "Shamir". Ezekiel 13:8 describes "Shamir" as being harder than flint, Jeremiah 17:1 tells of its being able to cut characters in stone, and in Zechariah 7:12 it is compared to the hearts of the stubborn people, hardened against the words of the prophets who preceded him.
The Sources of Diamonds
The word "diamond" is derived from the Greek word Adams, meaning "unconquerable." In earlier literature, Adams referred to iron or iron alloys, but by the first century B.C. it was being used to identify diamonds. In his 37-volume encyclopedia, Natural History, the Roman scholar Pliny the Elder tells of the legend of the Valley of Diamonds, which he says is found in the East. "The most valuable thing on earth is diamond," he wrote, "known only to kings and engendered in the finest gold. Six kinds are known and, of these, the Indian and Arabian are of such unspeakable hardness that when laid on the anvil they give the blow back with such force to shatter hammer and anvil to pieces".
An even earlier reference to diamonds was made in the Artha-Sastra, by Kautilya, which outlines the economic and legal system being used in India at that time. The manuscript reveals that diamonds were actively traded in the region, and describes the system by which they were regulated and taxed.
Mining Companies in South Africa | Issues in Southeast Asia | World War Trade | Europe Diamonds | World Federation of Diamond Bourses WFDB | Expansion Theory | Buy Diamonds in India | How to Mine Diamonds | Israel Diamonds
Rothem Collection manufacture Diamonds since 1942.
Our stock of Diamonds is a first hand stock and we are the source for Diamonds for many wholesale buyers arround the world including many stores and chain stores. If you are a privtae buyer or wholesale looking to buy a single Diamond or even a stock of perfectly designed Diamonds in Wholesale pricing, please contact us to receive an excellent price offer.
Crystallography of Diamonds
Crystals | Rhombic Dodecahedron Crystal | Cube Rough Diamonds | Grain Lines | Cutting Diamonds | Amorphous Rough Diamonds | Octahedron Diamond Rough
Diamond Propeties -
These articles outlines the physical and optical properties of the diamond. Definitions of terms used and descriptions of systems of measurement are included in the body text of the following articles.
Diamond Hardness | Gravity | Optical Structure | Refractive Index | Light Dispersion
Back to Diamonds.