What is the diamond’s history in Paris?

  • When was the first diamond cut in Paris?
  • How did the diamond earn its reputation in France?
  • Who is the oldest diamond jeweller in Paris?


  • Even though Antwerp has the strongest reputation as the ultimate diamond city, diamonds certainly also have a rich international history. Before the diamond took up its unchangeable position in Antwerp, other cities, including London, Frankfurt, Amsterdam and Paris also enjoyed a firm stance in the industry. What is the diamond's history in Paris? How has this history influenced diamonds in Paris today?

    When was the first diamond cut in Paris?

    Even though the diamond already had a great deal of significance among the Egyptians, Greeks and Romans, it took until 1407 for the first official cutting methods to take hold. Diamonds began to be cut by a successful guild of jewellers and gemstone cutters in Paris with established methods for the first time. Even though the methods and the final result no longer resemble how we perceive cut diamonds today, it did mark the start of a rich evolution.

    The guild was one of the few places where diamonds were cut until Lodewijk van Berchem discovered that they could be cut with diamond dust in Bruges in 1434. He also introduced the concept of symmetry and facets in diamond cutting.

    How did the diamond earn its reputation in France?

    The incredibly strong diamond already had an unsurpassed reputation before it could be cut into the beautiful shapes we are familiar with today. This gemstone's hardness symbolised invincibility and immortality. This was something also noted by King Louis IX, who introduced a new law in the 13th century, which reserved diamonds for the king. He was the only one permitted to adorn himself with the exceptional stone. However, within 100 years, the diamond was popular with the entire royal family in Paris, both for men and women.

    The European aristocracy often served as an example to the French court regarding style and culture, resulting in the diamond quickly spreading as an exclusive luxury item. Some wealthy merchants were already wearing diamonds by the 17th century.

    Who is the oldest diamond jeweller in Paris?

    When people think about diamonds in Paris, one of the first names to come to mind is Mellerio dits Meller. This diamond house has been around for approximately 400 years and has been run by the same family for 14 generations. Important historical figures like Maria de Medici, Marie Antoinette and the Empress Eugénie always opted for the house when buying their jewellery. Their exclusive and incredibly expensive items of jewellery are never made more than once. The house, therefore, does not have a fixed collection and only works with unique designs.

    Where can I order competitively-priced, fine jewellery in Paris? How can I obtain personal guidance when choosing my jewellery and diamonds in Paris? Ask our diamond experts for advice or make an appointment in our showroom in Paris.
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