In the ancient period, diamonds were so much more than just magnificent pieces of jewellery. It was a symbol of important sentiments and virtues of many cultures. What many people are not aware of is that diamonds were also considered the most mysterious creatures on the planet. From early mankind, diamonds were seen as a magical medium that connects man and natures unseen forces that control his destiny. Ever Since they were discovered in the early BC, these precious stones have been associated with many legends and fables of different cultures from all over the world. Some of them are as follows:
Let’s begin with India which is the kingdom of mythology and many other folktales. Krishna a crucial deity in Hinduism, was portrayed in various characters such as a God-child, a naughty child as well as an almighty hero and a supreme king. His love story with Radha was seen as the purest form of love and is one of the most popular love stories of all time. Krishna granted a diamond to his love Radha even though they could not spend the rest of their lives together. Just like the moonlight, her beauty shone and reflected in the diamond. It is believed that this diamond was none other than the world famous Kohinoor diamond. In ancient India, it was also believed that diamonds were created when lightning bolts struck rocks and hence diamonds attract diamond attract lightning. Due to the diamonds incomparable cut and clarity, it was believed to be a symbol of invincibility and power.
During the 3000 BC, also known as the pharaohs year diamonds were placed in the Ankh also called as “Crux Ansata” which in Latin is translated as, ‘cross with a handle’. The ankh symbolized, ‘breath of life’. Pictures of Egyptian Gods often include them carrying the ankh by its loop, or carrying one in each hand. It is observed in the hands or in the reach of almost every Egyptian deity and Pharaohs. The diamonds were in the loop of the Ankh as it symbolized the sun which stood for courage and strength.
The Romans and Greeks viewed diamonds as fallen teardrops of God. They had many strong beliefs and ideas with regard to diamonds. Many were of the understanding that diamonds were splinters or parts of broken fallen stars. The Romans believed in the concept of cupids and stated that their arrows were tipped with diamonds. And so diamonds are strongly associated with various aspects of love. The Renowned philosopher Plato stated that diamonds were living beings and have supernatural spirits inherited in them.
During the eighth century, diamonds became closely related to the term, ‘Adamas’ which in Greek is translated as invincible and undefeatable. According to the Greek literature, the Legend Chronos turned Adamas, a young man into a precious stone. He possessed astonishing strength and excellent fortune. He was also known to be a remedy for poison and reawakened love between couples with disputes. In ancient times, warriors on the battlefield wore heavy leather breastplates that were studded with diamonds because diamonds were believed to possess magical and supernatural powers that were beyond human understanding. During the medieval period, diamonds were thought to have healing abilities and was considered as a “miracle stone”. It was believed that they had the ability to cure many mental and physical illness and disease. Diamonds could cure the injured part by simply being placed on it. Earlier people thought consuming diamonds can cure people immediately. However, this was proved wrong when Pope Clement VII consumed a medicine that was made up of diamond powder and passed away within some time.
The Jews believed that diamonds could recognize the innocent and the guilty hence high priest jews used it as a medium to judge to determine criminals. It is said that diamond would sparkle if placed in front of the person who is being truthful and darkens when placed before the guilty.
Here are some legends that are not traced back from a specific origin but are just popular beliefs that are believed to date.
The Egyptians first began the custom of wearing the engagement ring on the fourth finger of the left hand because it connects the vein of love to the heart.
Diamonds that are cut in such a way that it points at every corner of the home, protect it from lightning and currents.
Alexander the Great discovered the Valley of Diamonds during one of his trips to India. It was guarded by a number of snakes, Alexander used mirrors to frighten the snakes with their own reflection to get to the diamond.
The most famous myth is that the world-famous Titanic sank because it had the famous diamond, ‘The Hope’ on it.
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