The fascination for diamonds began in India among the upper social classes of the country, but little by little they were introduced along with other exotic goods to the medieval markets of Western Europe. By the 1400’s, diamonds began to gain traction as fashion accessories among the upper classes of Europe.
In 1477, Archduke Maximilian I of Hamburg proposed to his great love, the heir to the House of Burgundy, Duchess Maria, with the first diamond engagement ring. In this way, the love story of Maximiliano and María was the beginning of a tradition full of promises of love, sparkles and kisses that has persisted for more than 500 years.
In 1477, the Archduke Maximilian I of Hamburg proposed marriage (through emissaries and ambassadors) to the Duchess Maria of Burgundy – whom he did not know – with a diamond ring that he gave to his father, Charles the Fearless, Duke of Burgundy. The ring was not your typical engagement ring with a large diamond on top, but rather were tiny diamonds that formed an “M”.
The diamond engagement ring that we all know was an invention of the De Beers miner with the collaboration of the New York advertising agency NW Ayers. A totally different product to everything that was known at that time.
De Beers not only invented the engagement ring, he did something much smarter, he invented the myth that surrounds engagement rings. I create a way to emotionally force people to buy diamonds, reinventing the idea that diamonds are a necessity rather than a frivolity.
The advertising agency NW Ayer, was the first to use innovative techniques such as social psychology and product research. They employed, if not invented, product placement, gifting diamond rings to movie stars and paying the media to showcase artists using the diamonds.
The organic process of diamond formation requires 4 ingredients: carbon, pressure, heat and time. All natural diamonds were created 1 to 3 billion years ago deep in the earth (160 kilometers under the earth’s mantle), at a temperature of at least 400 ° C with a pressure of 19,910,345 kilos per square meter (30 kilobars) .
Diamonds are an allotrope of carbon, which means that they are one of the many forms that this element can take. Other allotropes of carbon are carbon, soot, and graphite (which is what pencil tips make). Technically diamonds are just very, very, very compressed pieces of carbon.
Carbon is an element that is found in almost everything, even in the composition of the human body. It is a component of the atmosphere, the oceans, and many of the life forms on the planet.
The diamonds emerged from the depths of the Earth through the chimneys of kimberlite, (a type of volcanic igneous rock) that form the roots of certain super powerful volcanoes that go up to 3 times deeper than large volcanoes such as Mount Saint Helena. When those volcanoes erupted millions of years ago, they brought diamond kimberlites to the surface.
But diamonds do not come out of the ground as we see them in jewelry stores, in reality, if you saw a rough diamond you would not recognize it as such. After they are pulled out of the ground, these stones must be exfoliated, cut and polished to transform into the bright and attractive diamonds that we know.