- The Greeks named this gemstone adamas, meaning invincible.
- Diamonds may be nearly any color in the rainbow plus browns, grays, and white. Shades of yellow are most common, followed by colorless. Blue, black, reddish, and greenish are more valuable (some extremely so).
- Diamonds have a Mohs’ hardness of 10. Diamond is four times harder than the next hardest natural mineral, corundum (sapphire and ruby).
Lore & Legend
Ancient Romans believed that diamonds were symbols of hope, strength, invincibility, courage and that the wearer could not be conquered by their enemies. This legend inspired kings and knight to wear heavy leather breast plates studded with diamonds and other precious stones when they went into battle.
In Judaic lore the brightness of the diamond was believed to be linked to the truthfulness and innocence of the wearer. If your diamond became dim you were thought to be guilty of lies or other sins. Even in the14th century Jean de Mandeville wrote, “It happens often that the good diamond loses its virtue by sin and incontinence.”
Diamonds were thought to be first mined in India. In the earliest days diamonds were not cut or altered. The diamonds were taken from the earth, cleaned, polished and the used for ornamentation. It wasn’t until the 1500s that cutting techniques were used and diamonds were faceted and shaped.
One Roman myth was that Cupid’s arrows were tipped in diamonds so it makes sense that over the years this beautiful stone has gotten a reputation as being the gift of love. Today diamonds are associated with eternal love and pure love. In this century diamonds have become a part of wedding and engagement rings.
Give your loved one a gift to show your love for them, here are some great ideas.
Each Month in 2012 Ilene from Art Jewelry by Ilene Kay features the current months birthstone.