A STORIED STONE

Diamond History Gallery
Click to zoom and browse (12 images)

Mesmerizing, mythical, mysterious, the diamond has for centuries symbolized unparalleled beauty, power, magic, and invincibility. It has been associated with beautiful women, ancient mystics and sages, and storied warriors alike.

The ancient Greeks believed that diamonds were tears of the gods, Romans that they were splinters of fallen stars. (In fact, the Romans weren’t so very wrong: Dying stars, also called cool white dwarfs, have a diamond core.) The philosopher Plato believed diamonds to be living beings that embodied celestial spirits and were even capable of reproduction!

Pure Magic: Battle Lore

Diamonds have been at the heart of myth and legend since their discovery. In large part because it could be destroyed by neither knife nor fire, the diamond was known in antiquity as a “stone of invincibility.” (Thus the Greek word for diamond, adamas, means invincible.) Kings led armies into battle wearing breastplates studded with diamonds. Medieval knights, too, wore diamonds on their armor in the belief the stones could render them unvanquishable. The lore may have become something of a self-fulfilling prophecy, because enemies gave warriors sporting such regalia a wide berth.

Mysticism: Spirituality & Healing

A diamond’s prisms of light make it a symbol of illumination and, therefore, a spiritual stone. Some mystics believe that, placed on the Third Eye, it encourages psychic development and clairvoyance; unites body and mind and brings inner peace; and can banish negativity, increasing physical, mental, and spiritual energy.

But the benefits don’t stop there. Among its other purported gifts are a capacity to slow aging, regenerate the body’s cells, prevent cardiovascular disease, sharpen vision, help balance metabolism, and shore up resistance to addiction.

Romance: One Great Beauty Deserves Another

For centuries, diamonds have been a symbol of love, power…and exceptional beauty. Small wonder they figure in some of the great “conquests” of history.

In 1936, The UK’s Edward VIII abdicated the throne to marry American divorcée Wallis Simpson. The canary-yellow, pear-shaped diamond clips he gave her, called The Windsor Yellows, are fitting tokens of a romance that, metaphorically speaking, felled a monarch.

Elizabeth Taylor owned two of the world’s most prized diamonds: the heart-shaped Taj Mahal Diamond and the 69-carat “Burton Taylor Diamond.” Both were presents from Richard Burton — befitting gifts for the woman then and often since considered the most beautiful woman in the world.

Diamond History Gallery
Click to zoom and browse (12 images)