Diamonds believed to be first discovered in Golconda – the birthplace of diamonds – which then became India’s diamond centre. One of the most famous stones from Golconda is the blue Hope Diamond.
Diamonds were known to the ancient Greeks and Romans – Pliny stated: “Diamond is the most valuable, not only of precious stones, but of all things in this world.”
Diamonds started to become fashionable amongst Europe’s elite.
India’s diamond supplies began to decline; alluvial deposits in Brazil emerged as an important source.
The Star of South Africa (83.5cts) was found on the banks of the Orange River, triggering the “diamond rush” and the first discovery of ‘kimberlite’ or ‘hard rock’ deposits.
The discovery of these deposits begins the story of the modern diamond industry but production was still below 1 million carats per annum.
Cecil Rhodes formed De Beers Consolidated Mines.
The Cullinan diamond was discovered at the Premier mine (renamed Cullinan) – at 3,106 carats it is the largest rough gem diamond in history.
Annual diamond production reached 20 million carats.
‘A Diamond Is Forever’ campaign was created by De Beers.
Annual diamond production reached 50 million carats.
Annual diamond production reached 100 million carats.
‘Peak Diamonds’ – world production peaks at 177 million carats.