If you have never seen a diamond before, people might liken it to star fragments, or a “tear from the Gods”, further enshrouding this precious stone in royal mystery. For years, we have been under the impression that diamonds are scarce, and that, at some point in time, there will be none left to be mined and decorate our fingers with. This myth, however, is just a clever marketing strategy first dreamed up by De Beers (formerly De Beers Consolidated Mines, Ltd.), the internationally renowned diamond trading cooperation. With the help of US ad agency, N.W. Ayer, De Beers branded the diamond as a man’s measure of love and devotion.
Suddenly, the size and style of the diamond became more important than the diamond itself. In the early 1940s, Ayer even ran a column on “Hollywood Personalities” showing off the most extravagant diamond jewels worn by famous movie stars gracing the red carpet. This sparked an even bigger diamond craze and envy between social classes. Add to that, the slogan “A Diamond is Forever”, and the campaign was complete – the diamond became the symbol of everlasting, romantic love, especially when worn on the fourth finger of the left hand. The tradition of wearing an engagement ring or wedding band on, what is now aptly known as, the ring finger, dates back to ancient Egyptians, who believed that a line runs from the ring finger directly to the heart.
De Beers’ marketing campaign only explains the modern obsession with diamonds – what about their role throughout history? First discovered around 2500 BC, diamonds have been used in cultures all around the world. The Greek philosopher, Plato, believed diamonds to be living beings brought to earth to share their celestial energies. The Greek term for diamonds is “adamas”, meaning invincible – this may explain why Greek armies rode into battle wearing diamond-studded breastplates. Protected by this seemingly indestructible stone, they believed they too would become invincible. The diamond soon became a symbol of great strength and was used to ward off evil, as well as gain power.
Diamonds were first used as healing agents in the Middle Ages, when they were known as “miracle stones”, and used to treat common ailments such as skin diseases, stomach flues, depression and even mental illness. This idea has prevailed throughout modern society, and diamonds are still used for their energetic properties. By simply holding a diamond or placing it on a certain part of your body, it will absorb positive as well as negative thoughts and emotions, and radiate them outward. Diamonds are also used as meditative visual tools: by using it as a visual focus, one can deepen their meditational practice whilst charging the stone with rejuvenated energies.
Whether people are attracted solely to the diamond’s royal appearance, the myths surrounding it, or its energetic properties, differs from person to person, but it isn’t all that hard to see why the diamond has become the most desirable stone on this planet. People are intrigued by its long-standing history, drawn to its luxurious, inimitable beauty, and enchanted with its association with everlasting love.