Fashion & Life Style

How Diamonds Have Changed Over The Past 50 Years

To this day, diamonds remain to be one of the most precious and stunning stones from nature. Diamonds are well known for their amazing durability and brilliance. Due to that, they’ve become essential parts of luxurious jewelry and some sturdy industrial materials.

The gemstone is so popular that it became a birthstone for April. This means that babies who were born in April will identify with the diamond.

Diamonds are so well established that their history must have tickled your curiosity. Continue reading to find out the origin of diamonds and how they’ve changed over the past 50 years.

The Origin of Diamonds

Did you know what diamonds need to go through before it reaches the jewelry stores? Let’s start from the very beginning. Diamonds form deep in the earth through extreme heat and pressure until they’re ejected up, near the earth’s surface.

Diamonds can survive being violently ejected to the surface because of their hardness. They’re graded with a 10 on the Mohs Scale, the highest grade of any material. If that was the case, how can they be cut and polished into jewelry? Technology has advanced enough to let people do so.

Of course, paying for the use of such equipment is part of why diamonds are so expensive. The effort, time, and craftsmanship that are devoted to your dream diamond deserve such compensation.

The Early History of Diamonds


Diamonds have been desired by people throughout history. It all began in India where chunks of the gemstone can be gathered from their rivers and streams. Some historians even claim that India has been trading diamonds as early as the fourth century BC.

However, India’s diamond resources were limited so only the wealthiest of the country’s classes were able to afford them.

The shift in trend happened when Indian diamonds found their way to Western Europe’s markets. They were transported in caravans to Venice and by the 1400s, it has become the most fashionable accessories of Europe’s elites.

However, with India’s already limited supply of diamonds, they encountered a shortage in the early 1700s. Diamonds were discovered in the gravels of Brazil’s local rivers. Brazil then emerged as a new source of coveted gemstone. The country dominated the diamond market for over a hundred and fifty years since.

Modern Diamonds: De Beers and South Africa

There are several stories about the discovery of diamonds and the rise of its industry. But many cite that the beginning of the modern diamond market took place in Kimberley, South Africa in 1866. An entrepreneur named Cecil Rhodes established De Beers Consolidated Mines back in 1888.

By the 1900s, De Beers practically controlled about 90% of the world’s natural diamond production. The yearly production of rough diamonds was under a million carats in 1870 but it tripled by the 1920s.

After fifty more years, the annual production of diamonds reached a whopping 50 million carats. By the end of the 1970s, there were three most sought-after rough diamond producers in the world. Those are South Africa, the former Soviet Union, and Zaire which is now the Democratic Republic of Congo.

By the 1980s, Russia and South Africa produced high-quality diamonds consistently. If that wasn’t enough to amaze you, the diamond industry surpassed 100 million carts per annum in the 1990s.

Now, we’ve reached the point where diamonds are produced in laboratories besides being mined. The production of lab-grown diamonds helped in meeting the consistently high demand for this gem. Consequently, these lab-grown gems are more popular, especially among younger generation consumers. As such, lab-grown diamond engagement rings, diamond stud earrings, and diamond tennis bracelets are often found in shops, especially online.

Online shopping aside, technology has helped the industry evolve so much. It’s to the point where diamonds have more uses than just being accessories. They can be incorporated into different objects, like industrial materials and beauty products.

Diamonds and Discoveries in the 1900s

During the last two decades of the 20th century, the diamond industry witnessed massive changes. For example, satellite technology was able to detect locations that may contain diamonds. Consequently, the number of diamond source discoveries began to multiply.

Hence, in 1985, Australia, one of the developed countries, discovered a major diamond resource. De Beers was not one to waste an opportunity so they made a deal with Australia. Australia was to distribute all rough diamonds to De Beers, excluding the pink diamonds.

We mentioned earlier that the Soviet Union was one of the primary producers of rough diamonds. De Beers also made a deal with them so the company can distribute the Soviet Union’s rough diamonds.

The 1990s was filled with outstanding accomplishments and milestones for the diamond industry. On a similar scale as the establishment of De Beers, the diamond market expanded dramatically in that year.

Its growth led to the beginning of establishments for diamond-cutting and selling all over the world. And all of this was happening despite the wildly fluctuating economy.

Just as they’re entering the year 2000, Canada also discovered a diamond source. The 1900s were truly filled with discoveries for the diamond industry.

Lab-Grown Diamonds



In the 2000s, the diamond industry witnessed a growing interest in lab-grown diamonds. They’re diamonds that were synthetically produced in laboratories through technology. With a diamond seed and other elements, they simulate the creation process that natural diamonds undergo.

The two methods used for this are High-Pressure High Temperature (HPHT) and Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD). Despite its recent popularity, HPHT has been around since the mid-1950s. And despite being called “synthetic diamonds”, they are in no way fake.

Lab-grown diamonds are graded just the same way as natural diamonds through the 4 Cs. They’re also ethically sourced and eco-friendly which makes them the perfect choice for consumers with the same values.


The diamond industry has only grown over the past 50 years and more. From the discovery of diamond sources to the establishment of De Beers, it has only been going forward.

More sources have been discovered in other countries and continents, allowing the market to expand further. Technological advancements have also been a great contributor to this expansion. The satellite was just one of the ways to find diamond sources.

And if you couldn’t find them, you can make them with the proper equipment and materials. Lab-grown diamonds have been appealing to several consumers because of the values they stand for. And who wouldn’t want diamond jewelry that they can wear guilt-free?

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