Diamond Ring

“…owning old second-hand diamonds is better,… than none at all” so said Mark Twain.

“Daahmonds are a girl’s best friend” breathed Marilyn Munroe and, according to Zsa Zsa Gabor, “I never hated a man enough to give him back his diamonds”.

Throughout the ages diamonds have captivated our hearts and imaginations, and very little has changed with this everlasting, sparkling, valuable gem we love in our lives.

Born billions of years ago deep down near the center of the earth, diamonds are one of our most enduring treasures. First discovered in India 4000 years ago, diamonds were around as the clocks ticked over the different millennia and are sure to be here until the end of time.

Diamonds have a power and attraction so strong that they have been sought after, fought over, ascribed magical powers to and worshipped by royalty, celebrities and regular folks alike. The Greeks thought diamonds were, “ splinters of stars fallen to earth” or, “tears ofthe gods”, while the Romans believed Cupid’s arrows, “were tipped – with diamonds”. No other gem has evoked the emotional significance of the diamond – and it is the only gift that says, “I love you” more eloquently than words.

Diamonds are one sure way to capture a woman’s heart, as Archduke Maximillian of Austria discovered in 1477. Young Max approached his true love, Mary of Burgandy, dropped to one knee and proposed marriage. Mary was speechless and apprehensive. How could she know that her suitor’s love was everlasting? She was doubtful and uncertain. Max slowly and carefully opened the little velvet box clutched tightly in his hand to reveal a large, dazzling, diamond ring. Mary melted instantly and the tradition of the diamond engagement ring was born. This tradition has crossed all cultural barriers and to this day, the diamond is the ultimate symbol of deep and everlasting love and affection.

Diamonds, extremely difficult to find and extract from the earth are given status that places them on a pedestal above any other gem. Is it this rarity and value that creates the aura around them? Or is it, that just as we are unique and individual, so too, no two diamonds are ever the same? Diamonds range in colour from pink to purple, blue, green, yellow or red and are cut into different shapes and sizes. These diamonds are called “Fancies”, but it is the totally colourless diamonds that are the most valuable. Fancy stones, although extremely rare, have become more popular recently due to the increased demand for settings in white gold and platinum. Despite the fact that the most valuable rocks tend to be brilliant white, such as The Star of South Africa, the most famous ones are not, such as the Hope – blue and the Tiffany – yellow.

Diamonds add glamour and glitz to all and every occasion and according to Hollywood stars adorned and dazzled by diamonds, they are elegant, expensive, mysterious and, “unlike men, will never let you down. Diamondswill be your best friends no matter how many wrinkles you have or kilos you gain. Are not afraid of lifetime commitment and come with valuation certificates so you know exactly what you’re getting, won’t make you pregnant… and you can have as many as you can handle at any one time”.

Diamonds certainly are the most talked about jewels of all time. Whether favoured by royalty, lusted after by celebrities or merely dreamt of by most of us, we all seem to fall prey to this rock’s enduring strength and qualities. It is the only gift, birthday, engagement or anniversary, that thrills, delights and charms with its beauty and radiance and the symbolism of unending time. As the saying goes, a diamond really is forever!

by Selwyn Kahn