The Ancient Greeks believed diamonds were splinters of stars fallen to earth. Perhaps the hardest substance known to humankind, they are in actuality made of crystallized carbon, formed under intense heat and pressure. The volcanic activity of centuries ago brought diamonds to the surface. They can be found in volcanic rock or are often washed out from the earth’s crust by rivers. Fairly unremarkable in their uncut state ( they tend to resemble very interesting pebbles! Jewelry designer Todd Reed has had a phenomenal career using these in his work, questioning our ingrained notions of what is beautiful and of value! Diamonds do have an ability to reflect and refract light that is unparalllelled among gems, once they have been faceted.
Hindu’s refer to a diamond as ‘vajra’, meaning lightning, due to the light it throws off and its incredible strength. A time honored symbol of everlasting love, the most cherished white diamond stands for life, joy and innocence. The “traditional solitaire diamond ring practice” of wearing the ring on the third finger of the left hand dates back to the early Egyptians, who beleived the the vena amoris, or vein of love, ran directly from the heart to the top of the third finger on the left hand.
In recent times diamonds have developed, for those who care, a darker reputatation. The United Nations in the year 2000 adopted UNANIMOUSLY a resolution stating that diamonds were “fuelling brutal conflict in the nations of Sierra Leone and Angola” and “playing a strong role in prolonging and reinforcing the control of rebel groups. and finaincing civil wars”. The Kimberley Process was initiated to certify the origins of any diamond. This process of documentation is intended to ensure that no one could purchase diamonds from mines in these war torn places without knowledge. It is not a perfect system and diamonds that are not certified “conflict free” still float into the pipleline. ( I have a wee bit of a bias against diamonds!..sorry!) The most dependably conflict free stones seem to originate in Canada or Australia. If you do feel that you MUST have a diamond, please be sure of the origins of your sparkler…it’s for peace!
Until the late 1400’s only royalty and clergy were allowed to wear diamonds….but in 1477 the Archduke Maximillian of Austria gave a diamond ring to Mary of Burgundy, and after that, they simply became all the rage amongst those who could afford them!
Diamonds can be any color of the rainbow. Yellow is the most common color found, with white after that. The blue, black, reddish and greenish ones are the rarest and most valuable. If you are a beautiful April baby, and diamonds , for whatever reason, are not your “thing”, white topaz or white sapphire ( stones I prefer to use) are considered proper alternative birthsotnes for April!
Recently, in England, a diamond tea bag, valued at $14,000 was created by Boodles jeweller to celebrate a tea company’s 75 th birthday. Word has it that it is going to be auctioned off for charity…wonder what a cuppa that will taste like? Happy birthday April!