Published 18th April 2013
The name diamond is derived from the ancient Greek word Adamas, which translates as unconquerable, unalterable and unbreakable. Diamonds are thought to have been first recognised in India in 4th Century BC, although these deposits would have been formed some 900 million years ago or more.
It is thought that until the 18th Century, India was the only known source of diamonds, but when the diamond mines of India were depleted, people started to look for other sources. Small deposits were found in Brazil, but this was not enough to keep up with the demand for what had become a hugely desirable material.
A diamond single stone ring with 2.2ct stone (FS18/292), estimate £5,000-£7,000
It was in 1866, when Erasmus Jacobs found what he initially thought was just a pebble on the banks of the Orange River that things really changed. This 'Pebble' turned out to be a 21.25 ct diamond. A few years later a massive 83.5 ct diamond was found. This sparked a huge interest in the area and gold prospectors arrived in their thousands. This resulted in the first large scale mining operation to start, which became known as the Kimberely Mine.
This increase in supply of the precious diamonds meant that the price for them decreased and they became less popular, as people realised they were not so rare and instead started to look to coloured stones such as sapphires, emeralds and rubies.
Today, the demand for diamonds is great and they achieve some extremely good prices at auction.
A diamond single stone ring (FS18/293), estimate £8,000-£12,000
The two illustrated examples above are being offered in the fine jewellery auction on 24th April 2013, where there are some stunning stones on offer (you may have already seen my previous blog on the two stone crossover ring). The first is a single stone diamond ring (FS18/292), with circular brilliant cut diamond, measuring approximately 8.1mm x 5.2mm and estimated to weigh 2.2cts. It has a six claw setting between baguette cut diamond single stonbe shoulders and carries a pre-sale estimate of £5,000-£7,000.
The second illustrated example is again a single stone ring (FS18/293), with circular brilliant cut diamond which weighs approximately 4.5cts and is in a curtain claw setting. This beautiful ring carries a pre-sale estimate of £8,000-£12,000.