We shall probably never know when the first diamonds were discovered but, we do know that from ancient times until the 17th century, all the world’s diamonds came from India.
Brazil is well known for being the 5th largest producer of gold in the world. The first gold rush goes back to 1690s however, only few know that they had a glorious past in diamond mining as well.
We have to go back to 1729 when the first diamonds were discovered in the state of Minas Gerais. This started a diamond rush which led Brazil to become the most important diamond source in the world.
Throughout the 18th century, Brazil was the world leading country in diamond extraction while today they represent only 0.02% of the production.
Sadly for Brazil, in 1866 the first diamond was discovered in South Africa resulting in large scale mining activities - modern diamond mining was started - which, consequently, took away the primacy from Brazil.
With today’s discovery of new diamond mines in Bahia, Brazil might be able to expand its production and could become one of the world’s largest diamond producer again.
In the later part of 2016, near the city of Nordestina, in the state of Bahia, a new diamond mine was discovered. This could be increasing Brazil’s diamond production up to 10 times and place the country among the world's top 11 producers.
The Brazilian national production follows the rules dictated by the Kimberly Certification Process which makes their diamonds traceable and quite attractive to the international markets as the country is not experiencing civil or religious wars and, therefore, they have no blood diamonds. All their production is of “conflict-free diamonds.”
What an exciting discovery and news for the diamond industry and for the consumer.
And just at the right time, when we thought we had to travel to a star to get our diamonds ..... I am talking about “Lucy” the star made of crystallised carbon (pure diamonds) named after the Beatles song “Lucy in the sky with diamonds.”
The only small insignificant problem is that 'Lucy' is some 50 light-years from the Earth!