The Imagination of Diamond Picture

The diamond ( from the ancient Greek ἀδάμας (adamas) meaning invincible ) is one of the best-known and most sought-after gemstones. Diamonds have been known to mankind and used as decorative items since ancient times; some of the earliest references can be traced to the Indians. Diamond's hardness and high dispersion of light make it useful for industrial applications and jewelry. One of the characteristics of diamonds that make them so desirable as jewelry is their tendency to disperse white light into its component colors, giving the diamond its characteristic "fire." Diamonds are such a highly traded commodity that multiple organizations have been created for grading and certifying diamonds based on the four Cs which are carat, cut, color, and clarity. Other characteristics, such as shape and presence or lack of fluorescence also effect the desirability and thus the value of a diamond used for jewelry. Perhaps the most famous use of a diamond in jewelry is its use in engagement rings. This use became popular in the early to mid 1900's due to an advertisement campaign by the De Beers company, though diamond rings were used to symbolize engagements since at least the 15th century. The diamond's high value has also been the driving force behind dictators and revolutionary entities, especially in Africa, using slave labor to mine blood diamonds to fund conflicts.

Historically, it has been claimed that diamonds possess several supernatural powers:

A diamond gives victory to he or she who carries it bound on his left arm, no matter the number of enemies.
Panics, pestilences, enchantments, all fly before it; hence, it is good for sleepwalkers and the insane.
It deprives lodestone and magnets of their virtue (i.e., ability to attract iron).
Arabic diamonds are said to attract iron greater than a magnet.
A diamond's hardiness can only be broken by smearing it with fresh goat's blood.
In traditional Hinduism one should avoid contact with a diamond which surface area is damaged by a crack, a crowfoot, round, dull, speckled area or which is black-blue, flat, and if uncut, other than the (ideal) hexagonal shape.

Because of their extraordinary physical properties, diamonds have been used symbolically since near the time of their first discovery. Perhaps the earliest symbolic use of diamonds was as the eyes of Hindu devotional statues. In Hinduism Indra uses Vajrayudham or the thunderbolt as his primary weapon. Vajra is the word for diamond and ayudham means weapon in Sanskrit. Another name for it was Agira which means fire or the sun. In fact there are 14 names counted to be given to a diamond in traditional Hinduism.

The oldest dated printed book in the world is called the Diamond Sutra, a Chinese text dates from AD 868 and was found in the Mogao Caves. Sutras are most used to describe the teachings of Buddha. In this case the title of the Sutra refers not to the diamond itself but to a 'diamond blade that will cut through worldly illusion to illuminate what is real and everlasting'. Jewel imagery forms a central part of Buddhism: the triple-jewel represents 'Buddha', his teachings 'Dharma' and the spiritual community 'Shangha'. The book presently resides in the British Library.

Many cultures use divine intervention to explain the origin and creation of gemstones, and diamonds were no exception to this. In Greek mythology for example it was the youth on the island of Crete that disturbed Zeus and who were then (as a form of punishment) transformed into the adamas.

Philosophers however had a more naturalistic approach to explain the origin of gems: Plato for example believed gemstones were a consequence of fermentation in the stars, where a diamond actually formed the kernel of gold-bearing mass. In fact often diamonds were linked to gold, which may have found its origin in the joint occurrence of diamonds with quartzite, quartz veins and an occasional occurrence of gold in them.

In later times, Robert Boyle actually believed that gems (including a diamond) were formed of clear, transparent water, and that their colors and characteristics were derived from their metallic spirit.
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