Diamond Symbols and Diamonds in CultureWhen we long for life without difficulties, remind us that oaks grow strong in contrary winds and diamonds are made under pressure. - Peter Marshall
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Diamond Symbols and Diamonds in Culture

Symbols and Culture

  • Ancient Greeks wore Diamonds on their shields when they went into battle believing the stones could lend them invincibility.
  • In medieval times diamonds were worn as an amulet because they were believed to be able to detect poison. However, that was not their only function where poisoning was concerned. Catherine di Medici, Queen of France in the 16th century, had a favorite means of getting rid of her enemies. She used death by diamond powder. Diamond powder, ingested orally, is deadly. Not because it is poisonous, but because in a pulverized form the unique sharpness of the mineral tears minuscule holes in the digestive tract.
  • The connection of diamonds with poison was originally spread about because this belief would certainly stop mine workers from swallowing diamonds with the intent of stealing them. 
  • In India, each caste of people was allowed to own diamonds of a specific color. Priests and rulers could own white, landowners and warriors could own brown, merchants - yellow and the lower class - gray. Only kings could possess all colors of diamonds.
  • During the Middle Ages, it was only men who wore diamonds, as a symbol of their courage and masculinity.
  • In 13th the century, Louis IX of France proclaimed that only the king could wear diamonds and forbid all women (including queens and princesses) to wear them.
  • Since no tool could cut them, it led many to believe that diamonds had supernatural powers.
  • Diamonds have intrigued humans for many centuries.  Their rarity and beauty have given them a place in cultures ever since.
  • Diamonds were also said to aid intuition believing that as a man places the engagement ring on a woman's finger, the potential bride will instinctively know if this is the right man for her.
  • In 5th century England diamond rings were often called "scribbling rings" because lovers used them to engrave romantic messages to each other on window panes.
  • The ancient Greek philosopher Plato wrote about diamonds as living beings, embodying celestial spirits.
  • Diamond is the U.S. State gemstone of Arkansas.
  • In today's modern world, "one-hour eyeglasses" are only possible with the use of diamond tools, which can quickly and accurately shape the lenses.
  • Diamonds are perfect for use as observation windows in space probes, such as the 1978 Pioneer 13 space probe to the surface of Venus. This is because diamonds can withstand extremely high temperatures and corrosive conditions and because they are transparent to most forms of light and electromagnetic radiation.
  • Diamonds are the traditional gift for a 60th wedding anniversary.

Diamonds are a Girl's Best Friend

Giving diamonds to symbolize love (pure, indestructible, and beautiful) began in 1477 when the Archduke Maximilian of Austria gave a diamond ring to Mary of Burgundy to signify their engagement. Today, people keep this tradition alive by presenting diamond rings to their intended spouses - from which came the saying "Diamonds are a girl's best friend."

Diamonds are a Girl's Best Friend - Music Lyrics

Here are a few lines from Gentlemen Prefer Blondes:

The French are glad to die for love
They delight in fighting duels
But I prefer a man who lives
And gives expensive jewels

Diamonds!!... Diamonds!!...
- I don't mean rhinestones -
But Diamonds, Are A Girl's Best, Best Friend


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