History and Legend of Diamonds

The marriage of Mary of Burgundy and Maximilian of Austria, 1477

It's all about romance ... (with a little history and lore to keep it interesting!) Some people say it started back in 1477 when the young Archduke of Austria gave his beautiful bride-to-be, Mary of Burgundy, a large diamond set in a simple ring. As he placed this ring on the fourth finger of her left hand and said, "Will you marry me?", a tradition was born. And no nobler tradition exists today than that of giving nature's most beautiful gift to someone you cherish as a representation of the love you share.

The ancient Greeks believed diamonds to be crystallized dewdrops and splinters from the stars given to mortals as gifts from the gods of Olympus. They referred to the diamond as "adamas" or unconquerable - suggesting the eternity of love it so rightfully represents.

The beauty of the diamond, even in its unpolished state, has long been cherished by civilizations around the world. African Shamans, holy men within a tribe, treasured the diamond for its beauty and power. It was an ancient and eternal symbol of a perfected man whose divine spirit shines forth through the protection it offers.

Diamond has been heralded as the philosopher's stone. It is said that he (or she) who possesses the philosopher's stone can find supreme and unalterable wisdom, knowing Truth, the greatest of all treasures. To the mystic the diamond represents perfect love - a love that transmutes all that is lifeless to immortal.

The diamond has been seen as a symbol of man in search of his divine spirit. As the rough diamond is born from the ground dull and lifeless, so the spiritual man begins his journey in the world with his true luminosity hidden. In the hands of a skilled lapidary, the diamond is transformed into a crystal of light and fire. Such is the spirit of man revealing its inherent beauty as it is ground and polished by the life he lives.

Because it was believed that diamonds endowed the wearer with gifts from the gods, they were often mounted into the swords and breastplates of Kings. Thought to provide personal strength, invincibility, courage and magical powers over enemies, warriors stayed clear of anyone wearing diamonds in battle. It's no wonder the King always came out of battles alive. But was it the fact that warriors avoided them or was it because diamonds are indeed magical?

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