diamond myths

The Mythology and Magic of Diamonds: Folklore and Symbolism Throughout The Ages

Over time the diamond has become known for it’s immense value and it’s worldwide popularity, especially among the wealthy. It is surely the most popular of all gemstones on the market today and that might have something to do with the fact that it has come to represent eternal love and everlasting commitment. However, before the days of multi-million dollar De Beers marketing campaigns and Tiffany’s luxury stores, for centuries, the diamond was shrouded in mystery and mysticism. Many different theories and myths arose from the farthest corners of the world. Here are some legends that allude to the more supernatural of qualities associated with diamond myths from throughout history.

 

The word “Diamond” comes from the ancient Greek word “Adamas” which means invincible. In fact in Classical Greek literature, Plato suggested that diamonds were actually living creatures that embodied celestial spirits. Then by the first century AD, The Romans went on to add that diamonds were actually the tears of the Gods, and the splinters of the stars that had fallen to earth and eventually used in the tip of a cupid’s arrow.

 

The diamond had also long been used as a barometer to determine one’s guilt or innocence when accused of a crime. Jewish high priests believed that a diamond would darken if held before a guilty person, but when held before an innocent person, it would illuminate. I’m sure this made for a lot of guilty verdicts at the time, but within Judaism it was believed that the diamond could differentiate between true or false. It’s safe to say that some diamond myths are more dangerous than others.

 

In many cultures throughout history (and even up until this very day), the diamond has been considered an agent for healing. It has been used for a wide variety of purposes such as: to treat depression, stomach pain, memory loss, nightmares, tiredness, infections and various other mental health and heart related health issues.

 

In Hinduism, the diamond was considered to be a result of lightning striking rocks, and was even thought to have been a lightning conductor itself. Many Hindu sculptures have diamonds for eyes. The Persians believed that diamonds were created by Satan to tempt human beings, while God had no need for gems of any kind. As you can see there’s a lot of variety, but there’s a theme with their connections to gods and demons.

 

In the 16th century, Catherine De Medici dealt out the death penalty by diamond powder. The guilty party would be force fed diamond powder until they keeled over and died. Many assassination attempts on various members of the aristocracy were made by attempting to poison them by diamond dust. This association, of diamond poisoning, may have been used to dissuade people from stealing diamonds from mines by swallowing them, which was a popular method of diamond theft until that period. Were people actually being poisoned with diamond powder? We may never know, because this is one of those diamond myths that’s much harder to debunk.

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