About one to three billion years ago, a unique process began that would one day deliver to you a pristine, one-of-a-kind relic––be it the diamond engagement ring, diamond studs, or diamond pendant you cherish today. Extreme heat, pressure, and the perfect storm of circumstance is how the diamond journey began some 100 miles deep within the earth.
Humans first discovered natural diamonds in caves in India between 4 and 6 B.C., but millions of years had passed from the time they were formed to this rare moment of discovery. The ancient, underground volcanic pipes in which natural diamonds are located are extremely difficult to find, and centuries of volcanic eruptions are all that’s responsible for propelling these rare gems to the surface. These rough, unpolished diamonds were a remarkable revelation, and quickly made their way to Europe and China, where they eventually became symbols of status and power among kings and queens. This is because the diamond represents enduring strength. Its name comes from the ancient Greek word “adamas,” meaning “unbreakable.”
Because natural diamonds are one of the hardest natural materials on earth, their shaping and carving––which began in the 14th Century––was initially done with primitive techniques following that of stone. Later it was discovered that the uncut gems could be shaped and shined by their own dust, which is a process still used today.
After Archduke Maximilian of Austria proposed to Mary of Burgundy with a diamond engagement ring in 1477, diamond history would change forever. This rare gem began to take on a new identity, one that stood for commitment, romance, and everlasting love. Today, natural diamonds continue to be a timeless and enduring symbol of love, strength and pure, all-natural beauty. Each one is as unique as you are. Now, as heirlooms often passed on through generations, they represent lifelines––a diamond journey that can be traced billions of years back to the deepest corners of the earth, where it all began.
De Beers Group’s Senior Vice President of Sustainable Impact talks to us about what it means to lead boldly, in a different way. Passionate about making a positive difference, it’s easy to be swept along by Katie’s energy, enthusiasm and her desire to succeed – not only for her industry, but for our society.Read More