THE UNCONQUERABLE GEM
Some say April babies are the luckiest of all, since diamonds are their birthstone. Yet diamonds have a history as beautiful as the gems themselves.
First discovered over 3,000 years ago in India, diamonds are found today in remote parts of the world, such as Australia, Russia, Botswana, and South Africa. Most diamonds are more than 100 million years old, and many are over three billion years old, making diamonds the oldest of all gemstones.
Diamonds are the hardest substance known to mankind, made of 99.95% carbon that is crystallized deep within the earth. It is little wonder that the gem’s name come from the Greek’s name for diamonds "adamas,” which means unconquerable.
The diamonds’ unique hardness and high refractive index have inspired legends. To the Greeks, they were teardrops from the gods. To the Romans, they came from the falling stars that tipped the arrow of Eros, the god of love. For Hindus, diamonds were the lightning that armed the hand of the god Indra.
Diamonds have been credited with the power to bless their owners with strength, courage, success and enduring love by association. However, diamonds have only been part of courtship for the last 500 years. Archduke Maximilian of Austria gave Mary of Burgundy what is considered to be the first diamond engagement ring in 1477. Today eight out of ten American brides receive a diamond ring on their engagement.
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