Diamond rings are the most common form of diamond jewelry, but diamond earrings, bracelets and necklaces are also quite popular. In fact, diamond jewelry has been around since the days of the Roman Empire, although it took almost 1500 years before diamond jewelers had figured out how to cut diamonds into attractive shapes that displayed their “fire,” or shine and brilliance. Diamond earrings are but one way that people adorn themselves with this mystical, precious gem.
A Fascinating History
Chances are that the first diamond jewelry was from India. The tremendous geologic forces required to form diamonds exists mainly in regions of the world where one tectonic plate slams into another; the Himalayas, where the Indian subcontinent plows into Central Asia, is one such place. Loose diamonds from deep underneath these mountains have been known to appear in the rivers that flow south and westward from the Himalayas: the Ganges, the Brahmaputra and the Irriwaddy have all been sources of these rough, octagonal crystals.
Before diamond jewelers had learned the art of precision cutting, diamond earrings weren’t particularly beautiful; rough and dull-looking, they were nonetheless prized for their hardness.
One early example of diamond jewelry in the West was actually a crown made for a Hungarian princess well over 1000 years ago. One of the first diamond wedding ring was the one given to Marie of Burgundy on the occasion of her wedding to Archduke Maximilian I of Austria in 1477. It wasn’t until over fifty years later however, during the reign of Henry VIII of England that diamond cutting had reached a level that was suitable for jewelry such as diamond earrings.
Dull and Lifeless
If you had been buying diamonds back then, you’d have been disappointed; those early cuts did not show the kind of brilliance that we see in fine diamond jewelry today. It wasn’t until the 1800s that art of diamond cutting had reached a level of refinement that allowed the gem’s real beauty to shine through the way it does in contemporary diamond jewelry.
Fiery and Brilliant
Today, there are many different cuts to choose from when buying diamonds. Round cuts and square cuts both have characteristics in their favor, but a relatively new cut, called the “princess,” has been gaining in popularity over the past thirty years or so. This particular cut combines the best features of round and square cuts, and causes the least wastage of all cutting methods – so the gem retains much more of its original weight. All three cuts however will make for highly attractive and valuable diamond earrings.