The French are glad to die for love. They delight in fighting duels But I prefer a man that lives and gives expensive jewels. A kiss on the hand May be quite continental But diamonds are a girl’s best friend.
The ultimate, it is rare and revered. As close to perfection as a gem can be. After gazing into a diamond and experiencing it’s sparkling spectrum of light within, it is easy to see why we have been entranced by this rock since man first laid eyes on it.
There are many “facets” that sets the diamond apart from the rest. The most obvious is it’s flash and fire. The ancient Hindus called them “Vajra”, meaning lightening. In ancient Greece the word invincible – “adamas” described them perfectly and is the root of the word we use today. The Greeks believed this gem came from the heavens as splinters of stars that fell to the earth, tears of the Gods or crystallized lightening.
Oddly, diamonds have been found in South America and Africa that came from outer space! The extraterrestrial diamonds were possibly created in Super Novas and carried in asteroids that impacted the Earth some 3 billion years ago. Pretty mind boggling, right? The ancients Greeks were once again spot on, however; the diamonds they discovered were created deep within the Earth.
Did you know that diamonds are the hardest natural substance known to man? Only another diamond can scratch a diamond. Due to it’s unequaled strength it is used as an abrasive material. For many centuries it has been an engraving tool for cameos, cutting stones and drilling pearls. I use diamond tipped drills often in my work. Without them it would be impossible to drill other stones.
In 16th Century England uncut diamonds were set into “scribbling rings.” The exposed points were used by lovers to etch romantic vows into the window panes of their beloved. Very romantic but, the association with diamonds and love dates back much further. In 1477 Archduke Maximilian of Austria gave a diamond ring to Mary of Burgundy as a promise for their future marriage. The trend began then and continues today.
9 billion dollars of diamonds are sold each year, many ending up in engagement rings. The finger chosen for such a special ring is traced back to the belief that the “vena amoris,” or vein of love, runs from the heart down to the tip of this finger.
The notorious winged matchmaker was no stranger to this stone. Cupid’s arrow was said to be tipped with a sharp diamond. The “sensational color” of diamonds is because they are colorless. Their absence of color is why they pull in and send out a virtual rainbow. These white diamonds are the most popular, however; they do come in some varying hues. Other elements trapped in diamonds like nitrogen and boron can cause diamonds to take on yellow, brown, or black hues. One very rare diamond of an intense blue fetched 8 million dollars!
I don’t want to get on my soap box BUT, we do have ethical obligations when making choices in this day and age. Obviously if you want to purchase a fur it should not be from an endangered species. One would have to be a modern day “Cruella de Ville” to think of wearing baby seal or lynx. There was a time when ivory jewelry was popular, now purchasing ivory would be a sin.
It is also a sin not to treasure an old piece from a grandmother – we have evolved but can still appreciate the craftsmanship and beauty in antiquities. That leads me to the quandary that surrounds diamonds. Diamonds are a sensitive issue. It is hard to know what the sale of these innocent beauties have supported. When you are looking to make that special purchase make sure the dealer/retailer abides by the laws and only uses “conflict free” diamonds.
To look into this further you can research the “Kimberley Process,” and other restrictions placed on the sale and import of diamonds. Something that represents “everlasting” love should not fuel warlord’s atrocities. Now, that being said, let me end on an high note –
To quote the glamorous Zsa Zsa Gabor, “I have never hated a man enough to give him back his diamonds.” I can’t agree more. How about you?