Diamonds have a long history of being desired objects. “A diamond is the most valuable, not just of precious stones, but of all things on this earth,” wrote Roman naturalist Pliny in the first century AD.

The world’s fascination with diamonds began in India, where diamonds were mined from rivers and streams. According to certain historians, India started exchanging diamonds as early as the fourth century BC. Indian diamonds, along with other exotic goods, made their way to Western Europe via caravans travelling to Venice’s mediaeval markets. Diamonds had become trendy accessories for Europe’s nobility by the 1400s.

Diamonds did not become fashionable until craftsman and women learned how to cut them to reveal their brilliance, which happened around 1300 in Europe. Many styles of jewellery that are still produced today started out as practical goods. Clothes were kept together with clasps, which gave rise to pins and brooches. Early seals and indications of identification, rank, and power were made of rings and pendants.