At Brilliance, our team is comprised of diamond lovers who are always on the lookout for interesting stories about this rare, brilliant, and indestructible gem. As the universal symbol for love and loyalty, it’s no wonder the diamond is the basis of so many magical legends.
The first use of the diamond as an engagement ring gem was in the 15th century, when Archduke Maximilian presented a diamond engagement ring to Mary of Burgundy. Though the gem was a rarity then, it’s since become the customary stone used in modern engagement rings. Today, the diamond conjures images of rock-solid commitment and timeless romance. But in centuries past, the stone’s symbolism took on an entirely different spin.
Thought to be splinters of fallen stars and the tears of gods, diamonds were worn by the Ancient Romans as amulets in battle to provide strength and courage. As an added measure of invincibility, Roman royalty nestled diamond-bedecked breastplates beneath their armor. They also donned the gem to ward off evil spirits and night demons, boosting the diamond’s potency by wearing it on the left side of the body.
Ancient Hindus believed that diamonds were formed by lightning strikes on rock and that they possessed the power to prevent lightning from reaching the ground. To ward off a lightning strike where you live, try performing the ancient Hindu ritual of touching the gemstone to each corner of your home.
A symbol of dignity and wealth, diamonds were also believed to hold the magical power of detecting honesty. The gem was said to grow dim in the presence of a lie, and to shimmer brightly when the truth prevailed. (Do you think this would hold up in a modern-day courtroom?)
In ancient India, it was believed that diamonds would cure insanity and infections, and were even injected into the bladder to break up bladder stones. Ancient Hindus were very careful to use only the highest quality diamonds in their medicinal practices, as diamonds of inferior quality were thought to cause leprosy, lameness, or jaundice. They believed the bad luck surrounding inferior diamonds was powerful enough to prevent Indra, the king of the gods, from entering heaven.
In Europe, diamonds were pulverized into a powder and then sprinkled on food in an attempt to commit murder. During the 15th century, a Turkish sultan’s son was believed to have killed his father by lacing his food with diamond dust in order to assume the position of king. Swallowing rough diamonds was especially lethal, with the sharp edges lacerating the digestive tract and causing severe abdominal pain and a violent, torturous death. (It’s believed that diamond proprietors promoted this myth to discourage stealing diamonds by ingestion.)
Other Diamond Superstitions and Myths
– Cupid’s arrows are tipped with diamonds
– Removing or altering an engagement ring is bad luck
– If a woman permits another woman to try on her engagement ring, the other woman will steal the heart of her betrothed
– Diamonds release their magical powers when given as a gift, and their powers diminish when traded for money
With all of the legends surrounding diamonds – along with their enduring beauty and brilliance – it is no surprise that this remarkable gemstone serves as the perfect symbol for enduring love.