Diamonds now known to most people only became popular in the 1400s. Diamonds were first discovered as early as 4 BC and originated from India. India had the greatest amount of diamond deposits until in the 18th Century Brazil took over as the main diamond producer and then in the 19th Century South Africa took over the lead. Throughout history diamonds have almost always symbolised eternal and lasting love.
Diamonds is the hardest of all gemstones and it is made of one element carbon. A diamond can only be cut with another diamond. Diamonds are formed deep within the earth and reach the surface by volcanic eruptions. Some diamonds are more than three billion years old. Diamonds come in several colors, including yellow, red, pink, blue, and green, and range in intensity from faint to vivid. Generally speaking, the more saturated the color, the higher the value.
One of the most famous diamond is the Hope Diamond. This 45.52 carat steel blue diamond was donated by the jeweller Henry Winston to the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in 1958.
The Hope was originally a rather flat, blocky 110-carat rough and legend has it that the infamous Hope diamond brings misfortune to whoever owns it. The Smithsonian museum has fared just fine so far, stating on its website, it "appears to have maintained the Hope curse-free."