Diamond Jewelry Yesterday And Today
Diamond jewelry in its numerous forms has taken a status that is elevated above jewelry made with other gemstones. But what is it that makes diamond jewelry so special? What sets diamonds above other precious stones? While people today have their own reasons to value and treasure their diamonds, the elevated status of diamond jewelry is not limited to the present time and culture. The use of diamonds in jewelry and accessories goes back for centuries, and this precious stone has a history steeped in superstitions that raise it far above its modern day status. Diamond Jewelry in Ancient History People in ancient cultures first used diamonds for practical purposes such as shaping stones and weapons. However, because of the rarity and unique qualities the diamond possessed, people began to believe it had supernatural powers. They would wear them as amulets to ward off evil spirits. Ancient Greeks and Romans believed diamonds were the tears of the gods and splinters from falling stars. The Hindus attributed so much power to diamonds they would place them in the eyes of some of their statues. Later Beliefs and Superstitions about Diamonds It was later believed that diamonds could not only bring success and luck but could also counter the effects of astrological events. Many would wear diamond jewelry as charms believing that doing so would attract others and heighten sexual prowess. Through the centuries, rings began to perpetuate the talismanic role of the diamond. During the Middle Ages and Renaissance, every ring that was set with precious stones was not so much considered a piece of jewelry, but more like an amulet that conveyed certain powers including fearlessness and invincibility upon the one wearing it. This belief set the stage for monarchs to begin wearing diamond jewelry as symbols of power. Diamond Jewelry: Beauty and Prestige The Middle Ages was also a time when people really began to cultivate the diamond's aesthetic qualities. Small amounts of diamond jewelry appeared in thirteenth century Europe with the diamond set as an accent among pearls in splendidly wrought gold. By the sixteenth century, the diamond became the larger and more prominent in response to the development of diamond faceting, which enhances its brilliance. During the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, diamond jewelry became the ultimate display of authority with the stones representing wealth, power and prestige. Diamonds appeared in royal jewelry of both men and women and later among the greater European aristocracy. One of the earliest diamond cutting industries is believed to have been in Venice some time after 1330. There is no recorded explanation for the upsurge in the popularity of diamond jewelry. The tradition of giving rings for the engagement and marriage ceremonies as tokens of love has taken the diamond into its current popularity. While diamond jewelry today is not believed to have supernatural powers, it still plays a prestigious role in people's lives. Diamonds continue to hold great fascination as the world's ultimate symbol of love. Its natural beauty and rarity are qualities that make diamond jewelry such a special gift.