Simply put, diamonds are the kings of gemstones. Diamond is the birthstone for April, is nature’s hardest material and has a unique place in world history.

History of Diamonds

The word diamond comes from the Greek adamas (which means indestructible). The earliest references to diamonds come from the 4th century BC in India. Diamonds eventually spread east and west through trade from India and became valued for their ornamental use. India was the only real source of diamonds until they were discovered in large quantities in Brazil in 1725.

Diamonds continue to be popular today. In 2015, 135,500,000 carats of rough diamonds were mined globally. That translates to about $18.3 billion Canadian. Aside from colourless diamonds, naturally occurring fancy-coloured diamonds are growing increasingly popular. These include yellow, orange, red, pink, blue, brown and green diamonds.

Famous diamonds throughout history include the Cullinan diamonds, the Hope diamond and many more.

Diamond Shapes

Diamonds can come in a wide variety of shapes which give the stones unique characteristics. Shape will affect how light is reflected, giving off a different type of ‘sparkle’.

Learn more about the various shapes of diamonds.

A round brilliant cut diamond set in a ring

The 4Cs of Diamond Quality

Up until the last century, there was no universally-accepted system for evaluating and grading diamonds. The Gemological Institute of America created the standards that the jewellery industry now uses to judge all diamonds: the 4 Cs – Colour, Clarity, Cut and Carat Weight.

Diamonds - GIA