How Valuable Were Diamonds in Ancient Times?

Diamonds are some of the most coveted gemstones in the world, valued for their beauty, rarity, and durability. But how were diamonds valued in ancient times?

Were they as highly prized as they are today? Let’s take a closer look.

The History of Diamonds

Diamonds have been around for billions of years, formed deep within the earth’s mantle under extreme heat and pressure. The first recorded diamond discovery was in India around 800 B.C., where they were initially used for religious and decorative purposes.

Ancient India

In ancient India, diamonds were considered sacred and believed to have supernatural powers. They were used to adorn statues of deities, as well as worn by kings and queens to symbolize their power and wealth. Diamonds were also believed to have healing properties and were used in traditional Ayurvedic medicine.

Ancient Greece and Rome

In ancient Greece and Rome, diamonds were not as highly valued as they were in India. Instead, these cultures prized other gemstones such as emeralds, rubies, and sapphires. However, diamonds did hold some significance – they were believed to be tears of the gods or splinters from falling stars.

The Middle Ages

During the Middle Ages, diamonds became more popular in Europe due to increased trade with India. They were worn by royalty and nobility as symbols of status and power. It wasn’t until the 15th century that diamond cutting techniques improved, making them more brilliant and desirable.

The Modern Era

It wasn’t until the late 19th century that diamonds became widely available to the general public thanks to new diamond discoveries in South Africa. The De Beers company capitalized on this by launching an advertising campaign promoting diamond engagement rings as a symbol of love and commitment.

Diamonds Today

Today, diamonds are still highly prized for their beauty and durability. They are often used in engagement rings, wedding bands, and other fine jewelry. However, there is growing concern over the ethical and environmental impact of diamond mining.


In conclusion, while diamonds were valued in ancient times for their beauty and perceived supernatural powers, they were not as highly prized as they are today. It wasn’t until modern times that diamonds became widely available to the general public and popularized through advertising campaigns. Regardless of their historical significance, diamonds remain a symbol of love, commitment, and luxury today.