Diamond comes from the Greek word “adamas,” or “invincible.” And while diamonds were known in Ancient Greece, they actually have their historical origins in Ancient India.
Now when we think of diamonds, we see images of clear or white gems. But this is not the only kind of diamond; in fact they occur naturally in a wide range of colors. These colors were important to Ancient Indian society. All levels of society were allowed to own and wear diamond jewelry, but only a certain color. For example, the highest class, the priests, were allowed to wear diamond necklaces and diamond rings that used white to clear diamonds. Business owners and merchants, in middle status, could wear diamond jewelry containing yellow diamonds. The lowest classes were only allowed to wear diamond jewelry containing gray or black diamonds.
It wasn't until the 1400s, when mining and transportation technology improved, that diamond jewelry became a regular adornment among the rich and royal of Europe. Diamond jewelry was not only worn to show social status, but for a plethora of maladies. Instruction manuals published at the time professed that wearing diamond necklaces and diamond rings cured everything from heart palpitations to the plague.
We now know that diamonds do not hold these curative powers, and adorning diamond jewelry no longer delineates social status. But, as diamonds are invincible, we know that giving diamond jewelry celebrates the invincible bonds we have with our loved ones.