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You have probably heard the slogan “diamonds are forever,” coined by the De Beers marketing campaign in 1947. The most successful marketing campaign of our day, this slogan is recognizable across America, and has inspired popular culture in various ways, including the film Diamonds Are Forever (1971). Today, diamonds continue to be the most popular engagement ring adornment. As many couples choose alternative wedding styles or engagements, diamond rings persist as the single symbol of endless love. De Beers’ campaign reversed the decline of the diamond market, but the human appreciation for diamonds extends further than an advertising success story.
Apart from the clarity and intense refraction which make the diamond so aesthetically valuable, diamonds hold symbolism today which dates back thousands of years.
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Ancient Greeks called diamonds adamas, meaning “unconquerables.” Our word adamant derives from this word, and the fictional alloy adamantium, draws on the same idea of hardness and invincibility. Greek mythology and writings tell us that Greek gods wore and used diamonds in their most precious or strong accoutrements. Chronos’ sword, Heracles’ helmet, and Prometheus’ ever-binding chains were all eternally strong because of their diamond composition.
Roman poets adopted this Greek tradition of diamonds as the strongest, most unbeatable substance, by claiming the gates of Hades, which can only be entered after death and can never be exited through, were diamond as well. In medieval Europe, diamonds were referred to as “tears of gods,” and kept as amulets in battle. From the reign of Charlemagne, diamonds gathered increasing popularity among people, who associated diamonds with strength, power, eternal life, and safety. In the age of Louis XIV, Jean-Baptiste Tavernier quested to find jewels for the king and came back with the world’s largest diamond—a whopping 900 carats. This account shows the immense value diamonds had accrued, simply for their beauty and strength. The symbolism of invincibility likely derives from diamonds' property of hardness.
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Under Bezeled Accent Diamond Ring
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Knife Edge Wedding Band
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Round Diamond Stud Earrings
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The tradition of giving engagement rings to one’s betrothed dates back to ancient Rome. The Renaissance gives us the first recorded use of a diamond engagement ring. Diamonds were rare and expensive, so simpler metal bands persisted, but those who could afford diamonds preferred them.
Other cultural traditions, such as a Tibetan philosophy of “the Diamond Way,” see the diamond as a symbol of human progress. As a diamond moves from coal to brilliant, long-lasting gem, a human can become refined even with humble beginnings. This philosophy is metaphorical, but many cultures still believe today that diamonds imbue the wearer with power.
Diamonds have been associated with health, representing long life and heart health. Some believe they bestow clarity and rationality on the wearer, while others believe they promise lasting romance. Still others associate diamonds with inner peace, insisting that they represent harmony and beauty within and without. Diamonds are said to represent the perfect form of an individual’s mental state, inspiring the wearer to strive for positivity and joy.
From all of these cultural backgrounds, diamonds have come to primarily symbolize eternal love. This concept derives from the concept of strength and invincibility represented by diamonds, combined with the association with engagement. In the Renaissance, some people began to use diamonds in engagement rings because they wanted their marriage bond to be unbreakable. The De Beers campaign monetized on that romantic, loving idea. An unbreakable bond should be sealed by an unbreakable stone. A marriage should be protected by eternal strength.
Looking back as far as Western culture’s beginnings, in ancient Greece, we see the promise of strength and beauty that diamonds offer. Today, nothing has changed. Diamonds remain the pinnacle symbol of eternity, inner strength, and beauty.
Lab grown (white) diamonds contain the same symbolism and meaning like natural/mined diamonds. Since lab made diamonds have the same physical, chemical, and visual elements like the popular go-to choice, natural diamonds, they also represent a strong, everlasting love. However, there are these distinctive qualities lab diamonds have versus natural diamonds:
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Diamonds are often clear (white), but other diamond colors exist as well, because of the chemical deposits surrounding them. Individual symbolisms are associated with each color.
Diamonds have long been associated with many different meanings and symbolisms. Here are some of the most common symbolisms associated with diamonds:
1) Love and Commitment: Diamonds are often used as a symbol of love and commitment, particularly in engagement rings and wedding bands. The durability and rarity of diamonds are seen as a fitting representation of the strength and longevity of a romantic relationship.
2) Wealth and Status: Diamonds have historically been associated with wealth and status, as they are a luxury item that is both rare and expensive. Wearing or owning diamonds can be seen as a sign of affluence and success.
3) Perfection and Purity: The clarity and brilliance of diamonds have led them to be associated with qualities such as perfection, purity, and innocence.
Overall, the symbolisms associated with diamonds can vary depending on the context and culture in which they are used.
Yes, lab-grown diamonds can also symbolize love and commitment in the same way that natural diamonds do. This is because lab-grown diamonds have the same chemical and physical properties as natural diamonds, and they are often visually identical to natural diamonds as well.
For many people, the symbolism of a diamond engagement ring or wedding band is not necessarily tied to the stone's origins or how it was created, but rather to the sentiment and meaning behind the gesture of giving or receiving the ring. The meaning of a diamond as a symbol of love and commitment can be just as strong and significant, whether the diamond is natural or lab-grown.
While all colored diamonds are relatively rare, some colors are rarer than others. The rarity of a colored diamond depends on the hue, saturation, and intensity of its color. Here are some of the rarest colored diamonds, listed in order from most rare to least rare:
Red diamonds: These are the rarest colored diamonds in the world, with only a handful of them known to exist. They get their color from a rare distortion in the crystal lattice structure of the diamond that causes it to absorb green light and reflect red light.
Blue diamonds: Blue diamonds are also extremely rare, with only a few known to exist. They get their color from the presence of boron in the crystal lattice structure of the diamond.
Pink diamonds: Pink diamonds are very rare and are found primarily in the Argyle Mine in Western Australia. Their color comes from a distortion in the crystal lattice structure of the diamond that causes it to absorb green light and reflect pink light.
Yes, blue diamonds are real. While diamonds are commonly associated with being colorless, they can actually occur in a wide range of colors, including blue. Blue diamonds get their color from the presence of trace amounts of boron in the diamond's crystal lattice structure. The amount of boron present in the diamond determines the intensity of its blue color. Blue diamonds are relatively rare, with only a few known to exist.
Lab-grown diamonds, also known as synthetic or cultured diamonds, have the same physical, chemical, and optical properties as natural diamonds. Some of their key characteristics include:
1) Composition: Lab-grown diamonds are made of pure carbon atoms arranged in a crystalline structure, just like natural diamonds.
2) Hardness: They have a hardness of 10 on the Mohs scale, which is the highest rating possible and makes them extremely durable and resistant to scratching.
3) Clarity: Lab-grown diamonds can be produced with very high levels of clarity, as they are grown in controlled environments with fewer impurities than natural diamonds.
4) Color: Like natural diamonds, lab-grown diamonds can be colorless or contain trace amounts of other elements that give them color, such as nitrogen or boron.
5) Size and shape: Lab-grown diamonds can be produced in a variety of sizes and shapes, including round, princess, emerald, and pear.
6) Price: Lab-grown diamonds are generally less expensive than natural diamonds of similar size and quality, making them a more affordable alternative.
Overall, lab-grown diamonds are virtually identical to natural diamonds in terms of their physical and chemical properties, but they are produced in a controlled environment rather than mined from the earth.