Ancient Greece and Diamonds

April 8, 2015
Stewart Kuper

Diamonds are well known for their beaming quality, rarity, and spellbinding properties. But many are unaware that Diamonds have a history as rich and beautiful as the precious stone itself. The word diamond comes from the Greek, Adamas, which means invincible. Diamonds were reserved for only the rich and powerful in Athens. Ancient Greeks believed that Diamonds were the tear drops of the Gods, which rarely fell for the sake of humanity. Moreover, it was thought that diamonds had magical powers in battle. Kings would gallop into battle with diamonds plated on their chest armor. Enemies would be dazzled and terrified at the same time as the king literally sparkled before them.
A Lesson in Diamonds
Diamonds are ultra-compressed carbon. The atom structure of a diamond is beautiful: perfectly symmetrical and squared. It has the highest hardness and thermal conductivity out of any known substance in the universe. You can drop a diamond into the sun. What’s more, diamonds are older than life itself. Many diamonds can be carbon dated back to three million years ago. They are a remnant of a different world; a wormhole into a world forgotten.
In the 1700’s, Diamonds were most abundant in India. Ambitious explorers and entrepreneurs voyaged to India with hopes of plumbing from the depths of the earth a beautiful forgotten treasure. These diamonds would be brought back to Venice where they were traded all over Europe. Today, Diamonds are found everywhere: Canada, Russia, Lithuania, and China.
Discovered in South Africa, in 1905, Fredrick Wells discovered the largest Diamond of all time. It was in the shape of an Artichoke and as large as an orange. It was turned over to King Edward of England, and was eventually fragmented into nine large diamonds and 100 smaller ones. The three largest are on display in the Tower of London.