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July 26, 2021

The History of Diamonds

Beautiful, classic, and sophisticated, the diamond is more than just aesthetically pleasing - it’s a symbol of commitment, love, and romance. The stone’s name is derived from the Greek word adamas, meaning unbreakable or unconquerable, which aligns itself with the diamond’s historic commemoration of forever love.


Natural diamonds were first discovered in caves in India between 4 and 6 B.C. after being formed for millions of years in underground volcanic pipes whose eruptions propelled the rare, uncut gems to the surface. These rough, unpolished gems were considered remarkable and quickly made their way to Europe and China, where they became symbols of power, wealth, and status among royalty.

Archduke Maximilian of Austria famously proposed to Mary of Burgundy with a diamond engagement ring in 1477, changing the history of the diamond and the diamond engagement ring forever. The diamond became the modern symbol of commitment, romance, and everlasting love. Additionally, diamonds are passed down through generations as priceless, sentimental heirlooms.

How Diamonds are Formed

Mined, natural diamonds are formed inside the Earth’s mantle, approximately 90-240 miles below the surface, over millions (or sometimes billions) of years under the perfect conditions of heat and pressure. Surprisingly, diamonds are similar to coal, as they are both composed of carbon. The difference between the two is the way in which the carbon atoms are arranged and formed. Once formed, the diamonds are brought to the Earth’s surface via volcanic eruptions or movement of the subduction zones that bring them to the ocean floor.

Diamonds are one of the hardest natural materials on Earth. The process of carving and shaping them with primitive techniques began in the 14th Century. Later, it was discovered that these uncut gems could be shaped and shined by their own dust, which is a process that is still used today.

From formation billions of years ago deep within the Earth to the one-of-a-kind stones you love today, natural diamonds have come a long way. They continue to be a timeless and enduring symbol of love, strength, and all-natural beauty that is meant to be adored, cherished, and passed down through generations. Gary J. Long Jewelers carries a large selection of beautiful diamonds in all shapes, sizes, and styles. Come visit us today to select or create your special custom piece!