Diamonds Bewitching Stories From Antiquity--Part 2
At DSF Antique Jewelry we’re very passionate about craftsmanship, history, and preserving the legacy of fine jewelers of the past. Passion along though is not enough to be successful and reputable in this business. Our knowledge, combined with over four decades of constant research, is what enables us to offer our customers unique, rare and authentic finds. We really want to share this knowledge with you. This is how an idea of establishing weekly “Learn Something New About Vintage and Antique Jewelry” editorial series was born. Please check back our website often and share with your friends who are also curious about all things antique!
In the Diamonds: Bewitching Stories From Antiquity we learned how diamonds are made and some unusual beliefs surrounding the diamonds from antiquity through today. Let’s take a look at some of the powers diamonds are said to have.
Diamond’s Power To Strengthen a Family
The Italians theorized that a diamond has unique power to maintain harmony between husband and wife. This is how diamond got its name--pietra de reconciliazione. The stone’s strength is believed to give an extra strength to any marriage, as well as help both partners maintain their spiritual purity and faithfulness to one another.
Affluent natives in India would sprinkle small samples of the precious material from a white cloth onto an infant's head during a naming ritual, with the effect being that baby would grow to be a pure and virtuous member of society. Diamonds were used as a magical charm to protect a sleeper against evil dreams and children from monsters. A dream involving diamonds was a sign of the success and happiness that the dreamer was to come into.
Healing Powers of Diamonds
During the tragic times of the black plague epidemic, diamonds were commonly worn to protect the wearer from the lethal disease. Queen Elizabeth I was believed to have worn a diamond on her neck for this purpose.
In the Mani Mali it states that an ill shaped diamond carried danger, a rough diamond brought about unhappiness, a dirty diamond was symbolic of grief, a black diamond means trouble, and that three, four, five, and six cornered diamonds carried quarrels, fear, death and fortune respectively. If, however, these diamonds were well cut or flawless, they would carry no harm. In 1473, Serapion describe the powers of the diamond to drive out ghosts, misfortune, calamities, as well make the person who wears it courageous and magnanimous. Camilius Leonardus believed that diamonds are immensely helpful for “lunatics or others possessed by the devil, and once worn upon the left arm gave one the power to conquer enemies, cave courage over wild beasts, making the wearer bold strong and undeniably capable”.
Abundance of Tall Tales About Diamonds
An early theory as to the creations of diamonds held that diamonds can, well...reproduce. One account from the sixteenth century reports that a woman had hidden two diamonds in a jewelry box, and when she returned to it several years later, she found several diamonds along the original two. There are many folk tales that include episodes of beefsteaks being thrown into caves and other dangerous crevices. The purpose of this perfectly good meat being thrown there was to bait eagles into flying into these caves to retrieve the steaks, which by then would be covered in diamonds and gems.
The ancients believed in the power of diamond, and many such beliefs continue to be held, for as an anonymous verse tells us:
The evil eye shall have no power or harm
Over him that wears the diamond charm
No king shall be able to thwart his will
And even the gods shall his wishes fill