Researchers of Harvard University Asia claim that the first uses of diamonds dates as far back as 4000 BCE to 3800 BCE. According to Peter J Lu a graduate at the university, his studies confirm that the ancient Chinese used diamond to polish ceremonial axes.
The two axes found which were 13 to 33 cm in length were used as tomb stones for wealthy Chinese individuals. The tomb stones studied were found in the Najing Museum and a cultural site in Zhejiang province. Both these artefacts were part of the Liangzhu culture of China.
The tomb stones were made out of a mineral called Corundum, a form of aluminium oxide with a percentage of iron, titanium and chromium. Due to the hardness of the mineral, researchers believe that diamonds were used to polish the tomb stones. They came to this conclusion by examining the stone under an atomic force microscope that showed the polish surface resembled that of modern diamond polishing.
Lu said he was amazed such methods existed years ago and that these are the same techniques used today. Lu believes that the ancients used fatty animal hide that helped identify diamonds from other minerals. Critics believe that Lu’s research is credible mainly due to the fact that the tomb stones were found in an area which was only 150 miles away from a number of diamond deposits.