What is it exactly that gives diamonds their uniquely captivating charm? Is it all in the shimmer, or the chemical make-up? These natural miracles make up a huge portion of the fine jewelry market, and are celebrated in projects ranging from engagement and wedding bands to tiaras, tennis bracelets, and more. Bridal jewelry might just be the most well-known and most obvious fine jewelry genre that incorporates these beauties, and there is no wonder why. Diamonds have long been associated with the romantic, and have become the centerpiece of international romantic tradition in the last few centuries.
The very use of the diamond engagement ring as a mode and method of marriage proposal originated in Austria, but that was not the first instance of romanticizing the diamond. These gemstones have found homes in countless ancient cultures, and their almost otherworldly beauty has given them many nicknames and fascinating origin stories. Some cultures believed they represented the tears of ancient Gods. Others believed they were slivers of fallen stars, or even fragments of the sky above. Seeing them for the first time with no other scientific evidence must have been uniquely mesmerizing. Supernatural conclusions only make sense.
The hypnotic effect diamonds can have has been long and well documented in literature and photography, giving us an insight on the general romantic nature of diamonds. While they are tied to specific romantic traditions, like the diamond engagement ring discussed earlier, they are also romantic in a general aesthetic sense, arousing a sense of deep appreciation for beauty. While this isn’t purely the reason diamonds are so highly regarded by human beings all over the world, it is a primary reason they are used in decorating, fine jewelry products, and why they adorn crowns and royal scepters.
Diamonds have also found use, interestingly enough, as cutting and forging tools. Given the hard nature of the diamond, they cannot be damaged when used for cutting. Our hyper attentive focus on the diamonds in terms of beauty often erases or distracts from the fact that they had and continue to have a lot of practical use outside of purely aesthetic pleasures.
There are so many different ways in which diamonds have become a natural part of our historical development, and the evidence is no clearer than in the modern era. Deepening our understanding of diamonds in a historical context will only help to expand our appreciation of these stunning naturally occurring gemstones.