Diamonds are forever, as the saying goes. But why are diamonds considered the ‘forever’ stone? How have they become so universally popular?
To sum it all up, and to bring forth the simplest explanation, they are the ‘it’ stone because they are the hardest natural stone on Earth, and that hardness all comes down to the structure of a diamond. Even the name diamond originates from the Greek word ‘adamas’ meaning unconquerable, they were even used in early history as engraving tools.
Many people believe the most popular way a diamond is formed is through the metamorphosis of coal, yes, the coal that naughty children get from Santa Claus. In fact, this is one of the rarest ways from which a diamond is formed, so to all the children out there who got coal for Christmas, we are very sorry for your disappointment.
Carbon is the essential chemical element in the formation of diamonds. The same carbon present in all living organisms. This concentrated carbon is subjected to high pressure and heat 90-240 miles below the Earth’s surface, also known as the mantle, where the diamonds are formed. The diamonds are then carried from the mantle to the Earth’s surface by volcanic eruptions. Diamonds are then mined by either pipe mining, through the trunk of a volcano or by what is called alluvial mining, which occurs at riverbeds or oceans.
Many people believe the myth that diamonds are a dime a dozen, so why are they priced the way they are? Surprisingly 80% of the mined diamonds are called bort diamonds, or in laymen’s terms diamonds that aren’t of quality use. In fact only 1 in 10,000 of the mined diamonds is 1 carat or more. So, yes, gem quality diamonds are a lot rarer than people think, which is one of the reasons they are a significant symbol of forever.
But diamonds didn’t always mean forever. In India 3,000 years ago people didn’t recognize the value of diamonds. Instead they had a different value, and were believed to have the power to ward off evil. They were the talismans of the era. During that time diamonds were also believed to cure illness, and many would ingest these precious stones, thinking they had a major healing power. At one point in time they were even though to be poisonous, and were avoided at all costs. Little did they know the diamond would become the most precious stone in the world.
The worth of diamonds wasn’t recognized until the middle ages, and even then only the wealthy were allowed to wear the precious stone, as a sign of their social status and a sign of a couple’s commitment between betrothal and marriage. Interestingly the first proposal with an engagement ring was in 1477, performed by a man named Archduke Maximilian Austria to his future wife Mary of Burgundy. Ever since then diamond engagement rings have been the customary symbol of love and commitment between couples. It must have been a very special proposal.
Hundreds of years later the diamond is still the most precious representation of love, even if the selections and presentations are a little different. We’ve notice a lot of the conventions have changed over the years. Many couples walk through our doors to pick out the perfect diamond engagement ring together, a practice that wouldn’t have been accepted in early history. One important convention that will always stay the same is the placement of the engagement ring, which is always on the fourth finger of the left hand, believed by the ancient Greek’s that the ring finger has a vein directly connected to the heart.
Even diamond conventions have changed over the thousands of years since diamonds were considered a precious stone. Now there are a variety of diamonds available. For example, the diamonds we carry at Wheat Jewelers include Yehuda Clarity Enhanced diamonds, Star 129 diamonds, as well as a man made stone similar to diamonds called Moissanite. Despite the ever changing technology, the withstanding popularity of diamonds is proof that diamonds will forever be a symbol of love.