Diamonds are beautiful and the process involved in their creation, whether that be mined or lab grown, is one of complexity. It is its beauty and sparkle which has led to it being the most popular gemstone with its very own set of myths and legends.
History of the diamond
The word diamond itself, originates from the Greek work for invincible. It is thought that is was given this name due to its strength and longevity which now makes it almost invincible! Over the years diamonds have been used a symbol for many things, but always positive. Whether acting as a symbol for strength or its commitment, the diamond has always been thought of very highly.
The most common use for diamonds today is in engagement rings as a token of love between a man and woman. An engagement ring signifies the couples desire to get married and spend a lifetime together. It symbolises the sealing of their promise to stand by each other and love each other unconditionally.
This tradition is believed to have originated from the Romans where women used to wear rings to let everyone know that she was owned by her husband. The very first diamond engagement ring was given to Mary of Burgundy by Archduke Maximillian of Austria in 1477. It is thought to be this event which triggered the tradition for the rich and royal of Europe to give diamond engagement rings.
These traditional diamond rings were later crafted and styled in the Victorian times by mixing diamonds and gemstones together into floral patterns. These rings developed the name ‘posy rings’.
The crafting of diamond rings then continued throughout the Edwardian era where diamonds and jewels continued to be paired together.
Given how frequently they are given and received now, diamonds have gone from being something only owned by the rich and royal, to being an item most have given or received at some point in their life time. The diamond has become much more accessible and is now available for everyone to enjoy, no matter what their earning or occupation, there is a diamond to suit everyone.
As with everything in history, diamonds come hand in hand with their own myths and stories of how they came about.
The theory of how diamonds came about is that diamonds were first discovered in 400BC in Indian riverbeds. The were valued so highly when they were discovered because they were found to be almost indestructible. Their sparkle and shine also made them stand out against anything else that had discovered at this time.
Diamonds began being used as the eyes of statues with the Hindus believing that this would keep evil away. In Greece, they had similar beliefs about the mystical powers of diamonds, believing they were tears of God. The Romans believed they were fallen stars.
At this time, there were no tools strong enough to cut a diamond and this indestructible characteristic encouraged the ideas related to magical and supernatural powers surrounding the diamond. Beliefs ranged from it being able to heal to it being able to seduce. Anything you wanted the diamond to do, it seemed to have the power for!
Being thought of so highly, only the most powerful of people were thought worthy enough to own them. This is why royals were the only people who got their hands on diamonds originally. They were associated with strong men such a monarchs, quite a contrast to the more recent image of diamonds being a girls best friend!