While, most women consider diamonds, as did Marilyn Monroe to be a girl’s best friend! Considered to be the supreme gift and symbol of love, diamonds are forever! Since, as far back in time as time immemorial, diamonds and other precious gemstones have been associated with love and power, including having mystical and healing powers. Shrouded in myths and beliefs, they also have a great number of superstitions that come with owning diamonds or other gemstones. So much so, history’s reputed beauty Queen Cleopatra of Egypt was superstitious about owning diamonds.
Made from carbon that has been compressed for millions of years, the word Diamond is derived from the Greek word adamastos, which means unrelenting and unconquerable. However, unlike Cleopatra, King Louis IX of France valued diamonds and made it a law that all diamonds were to be reserved for the king alone. Today, it has become the symbol of love with lovers gifting diamond engagement rings or love pledge rings, or rich men gifting diamond jewellery to their wives or mistresses.
Diamonds, beautiful as they are have to be worked on by expert diamond cutters to reveal their true brilliance and fire within. While, the cut and polish of diamonds is what adds to their lustre, when buying diamonds the four C’s of carat weight, colour, clarity and cut have to be borne in mind. The spark and flash, fire and ice of diamonds, as any jewellery expert or gemmologist will tell you, is only released after it has been cut, and then too only if it is cut well.
The first diamond came from Golconda, India, as did the much-celebrated Indian beauties, the Kohinoor, the world’s greatest diamond, including the Great Mogul and the Orloff. Exchanging hands several times, the Kohinoor now rests in the Tower of London after Queen Victoria and her henchmen cleverly seduced a 10-year old Maharaja Duleep Singh into gifting it to her on her birthday. They re-cut the 191-carat diamond in 1852 reducing it to a mere 108-carats, all to mislead people into thinking that it was not the Kohinoor. The 280-carat Great Mogul found in 1650 has disappeared and its whereabouts are unknown. The Orloff which formed one of the eyes of an idol in an Indian temple weighed nearly 200 carats. Now part of the Kremlin treasures having been eventually bought by a Count Orloff it was stolen by a French deserter from a Hindu Temple in 18th century Mysore in southern India. He bought it to re-kindle his romance with the German Princess who was to become Catherine the Great of Russia, but failed to achieve the desired outcome.
Perhaps, due to their hardness, people believe diamonds can impart strength and drive away nightmares. In ancient times, diamonds were also used as protection against wild beasts and to heal illnesses. Many believe wearing diamonds attracts good fortune and imparts confidence, purity of body, mind and spirit.
Diamonds must be cared for otherwise they lose their beauty, shine and lustre. Clean them with a soft brush, water and a little ammonia. They should be kept away from lotions, creams etc., including household cleaners that contain chemicals, as these can ruin their sheen. Diamond jewellery should be stored separately, rolled in cotton or soft tissue paper to prevent any rubbing together. Preserve their beauty in velvet lined boxes!
Care for them well and you will find out that Diamonds are Forever!