Arthashastra

First Proof in the 'Arthashastra'

The first accounts of man's knowledge of diamonds appear in the Arthashastra (Sanskrit, 'Science of Material Gain'), which were written after 321 BC. These ancient texts - some of which are known still to be missing - confirm that diamonds were being traded in India and abroad, and were producing revenue through customs duties and tax.

Larger stones were being retained in an exchequer, so, patently, diamonds had been 'found' and 'identified' long before than this. In specific texts, known as Ratnapariksa (Sanskrit, The Estimation and Valuation of Precious Stones), detailed grading standards are explained with the provison that every diamond needs to be examined by experts.

The logic is, however, often confused with myth. In the 6th century AD, the Ratnapariksa was updated and re-written, and became known as the Brhatsamhita. When commenting on its grading standards, some scientists observed that their distinctive classifications of colour and clarity were 'remarkably similar' to those used on the market today.
 

All historical texts above from: Een Streling Voor Het Oog, Antwerpen 1997

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