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First Diamonds came from India  or  Indian Ranis wear Diamonds


India is generally accepted as the first known source of diamonds, which were found among the gravel of river beds, many centuries BC. We now know, of course, that these alluvial diamonds had been ejected from the earth by fierce volcanic activity, swept up along by water and jostled against companion rocks and sediments over millions of years, before reaching their final destinations.


To say that diamonds were first “discovered” or “found” in India implies “identification”, but one can only speculate as to why or when someone first bent down to pick one up. Out of curiosity, perhaps, to take a closer look at something unusual that stood outfrom the rest? They can appear in several different shapes or retain their octahedral crystal form. Some are naturally distorted or have been broken, along with others that became rounded during the journey from their source. Others may look clouded or '”frosted”, but are soon recognised by the practised eye.

The initial discovery may well have been in 2,800 BC, when the Dravidians were sieving for gold, but references to diamonds by name, rather than to hard and 'invincible' substances, did not appear in Indian texts until the 4th century BC. Chhotalal believes that the words vairam (Tamil), vajra, hira, hirak (Sanskrit), almas (Arabic) and the 'invincible' adamas (Greek) were applied to many hard metals and minerals, besides diamonds, in earlier times. Some consider that the Hebraic jahalom (diamond, stemming from 'to overcome') of the Old Testament was incorrectly translated in the Authorised Version of the Bible in AD 1612.

Earlier translators used 'crysolite', now an archaic word, which they applied to any yellow or green-yellowish gem. Others could find no evidence to support the earliest dates. Like others, they cast doubt on Biblical references in Exodus, set around 1,200 BC. These should have been interpreted as meaning the hardest substance known at that time - perhaps corundum or iron. But, from all his exhaustive research, some do not appear quite so certain about a referenee in the Prophet Jeremiah (17:1), where the diamond is described as a 'tool for engraving', and this is dated around 600 BC.


On this site you can learn more about the breathtaking history of Indian diamonds.



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 All historical texts on this website: Een Streling Voor Het Oog, Antwerpen 1997

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