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The Legends and Myths behind Diamonds

By Frank

Highly experienced diamond polisher who loves to share his knowledge with you. Continues to stun his colleagues with interesting - or simply bizarre - facts about diamonds and gems.

February 5, 2020

Throughout history diamonds have fascinated mankind because of their captivating beauty. Many know that diamonds symbolize a lot of things such as eternal love and commitment. However, these precious gems embody much more. For thousands of years superstitions, myths and legends surround diamonds. Read ahead and find out about the beliefs throughout history.

Historic legends and myths of diamonds

Due to their long history, diamonds have different meanings to different civilizations. They symbolize love, spirit, wealth and magical powers. But back in the day they also used diamonds to cast spells, poison and heal.

Cure or poison?

In the middle ages people thought that diamonds had magic healing powers to cure illnesses such as depression, infections, heart diseases and many more. They placed a diamond on a part of the body to enhance the healing process. For this reason, warriors would wear particular diamonds when going into battle. However, the public soon discarded this belief in the Renaissance. Pope Clement VII swallowed a medicine which was based on a powdered form of a diamond and died. After the incident people believed that diamonds were not healing stones, but were actually poison. After this discovery, the Turkish Sultan Bajazet’s son poisoned hist father in 1259, by adding the powdered diamond to his food.

Some also believe that diamonds embody bad luck and death. Earlier we wrote about the Hope Diamond, which according to the legend is cursed. Society believes that it causes bad luck and death not only for the owner, but for anybody who ever touched it.

myth of healing diamonds

Invincible Rome and Greece

All over the world there are different myths associated to diamonds. The word diamond comes from “adamas”, which is Greek for invincible and unconquerable. According to the Greek legend, Cronus had changed a man called Adamas into a precious stone. The stone acquired strength and good fortune. They saw it as an antidote for poison and a reinforcement of the love between married couples.

Ancient Greeks and Romans also believed that the fire seen in diamonds was a symbol for the flame of love. This gave the diamond a more romantic meaning. In expressing their love, they didn’t need words nor explanations. An individual diamond in a ring says all that the heart feels. It was the ultimate symbol of love.

The reflection of evil

Ancient Indians used diamonds as a defense mechanism. The sparkle of the diamond would simply reflect evil. The saying goes that “he who wears a diamond will see danger turn away”. Just like the ancient Romans and Greeks, the Indians saw diamonds a symbol of clarity and invincibility. They would attract lightning bolts that would overflow the wearer with divine strength.

reflection of myths and legends behind diamonds

Ancient Egypt

In ancient Egypt, diamonds were a symbol of courage, power and truth. They also represented the sun. The pharaohs placed diamonds as a centerpiece in the ankh. This is a cross with a closed oval on top. In ancient Egypt this was the symbol of life.

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