Mystery

Mystical properties of diamonds

In both works, the diamond is described as the jewel 'above all others', although this is based largely on divine and mystical beliefs. Prized because of its unique hardness and optical qualities, it embodies an ancient mystical concept, which endowed it with magical powers. As a protector and benefactor, it was at the very forefront of ancient Indian desire. The 'ideal' rough diamond was octahedral in shape. 

It needed to have 'the six sharp points, the eight identical plane facets, the twelve narrow, straight edges', while the nature of its optical properties - clarity, transparency, colour, fire and iridescence (the changes in colour that occur when it reflects light from various angles) were carefully enumerated. 

The extreme rarity of a diamond that met the highest standards had the effect of 'lighting up the room with the fire of the rainbow'. 'He who wears a diamond will see dangers recede from him whether he be threatened by serpents, fire, poison, sickness, thieves, flood, or evil spirits', claimed the Ratnapariksa. 

Divine and mystical, white octahedral-shaped diamonds were consecrated to the god Indra, the deity of the deities. Black 'diamonds' were sacred to Yama, god of death, and all crystal shapes of an unknown 'kadali' colour were dedicated to Vishnu, god of the heavens. 

Diamonds were also treasured for their remedial properties through their harmony with the solar system and for their interpretation in horoscopes. The Hindus believed that swallowing the powder of the highest quality diamonds imparted energy, strength, beauty, happiness, and long life. 

Chhotalal confirms that diamond ash is still used in same Indian medical circles, as being the most effective cure. Emanating from such deep-rooted beliefs as these, it is certain that the 'mystical concept' preceded the diamond's use as a 'too
l'.


All historical texts above from: Een Streling Voor Het Oog, Antwerpen 1997

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