Around 2,500 years ago diamonds were first discovered in India, though the oldest known diamond is thought to be 3.3 billion years old (old, considering the Earth itself is around 4.5 billion years old).
Russia is now the largest producer and exporter of diamonds, but India and Brazil were amongst the first to export. Since then, South Africa and the Democratic Republic of Congo have been producing diamonds. Botswana, Canada and Australia started mining new sources in the 1980's which increased diamond production.
Diamonds are the hardest natural substance on Earth, and the only gem formed from one element - carbon. It gets its name from 'adamas' which means indestructable.
Diamond jewellery has been popular for many years, and the first engagement ring was given to Mary of Burgundy in 1477 by Archduke Maximilian of Austria. 400 years before this, diamonds were first incorporated in a Hungarian Queen's crown, and in 1407 diamonds were first documented as being cut.
Diamonds were originally thought to offer protection from curses and bring good luck, but today they are considered a fine jewellery precious gemstone.