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DIAMOND

 

Comes from the Greek word, "adamus" which means unconquerable. Fitting that it should be the gem most used to symbolize ones' love. Diamonds started their history as being worn only by men as they were supposedly able to instill courage and virtue to soldiers in battle. It wasn't until the mid-nineteenth century when Agnes Sorel, mistress to King Charles VII of France, began wearing diamonds and started the new fashion for women. The myths and facts associated with the diamond transcends cultures and continents, and the prominence of this stone is inscribed in the Greek, Indian, English, French, German, Hebrew, Latin, Arabic, Japanese, American, African, Korean, Polish &

Chinese cultures, among others. The world’s first known reference to this gemstone comes from a Sanskrit manuscript, the Arthsastra (which translates as The Lesson of Profit) written by Kautiliya, a minister to Chandragupta of the Mauryan Dynasty (322 BC – 185 BC). Roman literature makes its first distinct mention of diamonds only in the first century AD, in reference to the alluvial diamonds found in India and Borneo. The ancient Greeks and Romans believed they were tears of the Gods and splinters from falling stars. Cupids' arrows were supposed to be tipped with diamonds, having thus a magic that nothing else can equal. Plato wrote about diamonds as living beings, embodying celestial spirits.  The Hindus believed that they were created when bolts of lightning struck rocks. They even placed some in the eyes of some of their statues. Jewish high priests turned to diamonds to decide the innocence or guilt of the accused: a stone held before a guilty person was supposed to dull and darken, while when held before an innocent one to glow with increased brilliance… The Romans wore diamonds because these were thought to possess broad magical powers over life’s troubles, being able in particular to give to the wearer strength, invincibility, bravery, and courage during battle. Kings, in old days, led the battles on the battlefields wearing heavy leather breastplates studded with diamonds and other precious stones because it was believed that diamonds possessed God given magical qualities and powers far beyond the understanding of common man. Thus, warriors stayed clear of Kings and those who were fortunate enough to have the magical diamonds in their breastplates.

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