In the world of jewelry, the diamond is the most standardized stone. Indeed, several variables are taken into account in the evaluation of its value and its rarity such as its size, its color, its purity and its weight. These physical characteristics, unique to each diamond, are known internationally as the “4Cs”, from English Carat (weight), Color (color), Clarity (purity) and Cut (size). These characteristics are valid regardless of the shape of the stone (brilliant, emerald, pear, princess, etc.). From these, the price of the stone can be determined.
What is a certificate?
A certificate is the identity card of a stone. Established by an independent gemological laboratory, it is an official document which lists and certifies the physical characteristics of the diamond based on objective quality criteria.
Today the certificates are therefore both identity documents but also guarantees as to the quality of the gems. They also make it possible to recognize the diamonds identified in an indisputable way (which can be useful in the event of theft), to make price comparisons of equal quality, to carry out an accurate evaluation of the stone with the insurance companies (in the event of claims for example) or even to negotiate in a viable way the price of the diamond during a sale (especially if it is crimped since the setting does not allow a reliable observation).
The nomenclature of the certificates is subject to strict rules with an international standard given by the GIA (Gemological Institute Of America) and the HRD in Antwerp, which are the most renowned.
THE DIAMOND IN HISTORY AND ITS SYMBOLIC
Where does the name "diamond" come from?
The word diamond comes from the ancient Greek "adamas" which means "the indomitable", "the invincible" and which was already used at the time to designate the diamond in relation to the hardness of the stone.
What is the place of the diamond in history? What is its symbolism?
While legend has it that diamonds have been mined for 6,000 years in India, the first evidence of its existence and mining dates back to the 4th century BC. JC with Sanskrit texts in India. The first emperor of India then set the amount of taxes levied on the exploitation of “vajra” (“diamond” but also “lightning” in his translation). However, a Hindu proverb affirms that the “vajra is scratched only by another vajra”, so that we can conclude that the vajra is none other than the diamond.
The mostly transparent color, the brilliance and the hardness of the diamond have long made the crystal a sacred stone with multiple virtues and powers.
Indeed, the Buddhist tradition places the diamond at the center of its philosophy of vajrayana (or "way of the diamond" according to which the diamond like the truth are eternal) while Hinduism associates diamond and lightning in its very language ("vajra" , as seen above), two elements associated with the god Indra.
In India, it is further said that “He who wears a diamond will see dangers averted. This notion of invincibility served as arguments for Indian merchants to value and sell these crystals within the Roman Empire. Presented as a talisman, the diamond escaped aesthetic criteria. Perfectly shaped stones were never to cross the borders of India since they were reserved for the upper castes, the Brahmans.
In the time of the pharaohs, the diamond symbolized the sun, synonymous with strength, courage and truth; it was placed in the middle of the ansate cross of the Ankh sign, an Egyptian hieroglyph meaning “life”.
The Greeks and Romans, on the other hand, associated a strong mysticism with diamonds which is said to be “adamas” (indomitable, invincible) in certain Greco-Roman texts. Greek mythology thus saw in the diamond divine tears or pieces of stars while the Roman believed that cupid's arrows were surmounted by diamond points (the crystal being then associated with eternal love).
Pliny the Elder goes so far as to speak of the diamond as a “rare joy of opulence, invincible and refractory to any violence which breaks under the action of goat's blood” in the 1st century BC. JC The goat being the symbol of evil, baseness and demonic forces. The diamond was therefore seen as a symbol of purity and Good.
The diamond was then considered the precious stone par excellence, giving strength and luck. It would also strengthen the love of the spouses by removing discord, keeping wild animals, ghosts and all the terrifying presences of the night at a distance. It is even said to be a prodigious antidote against poisons.
In the Middle Ages in the West, diamonds were credited with healing properties. Popular belief was that it healed by simple affixing to a part of the body. It was not until the Renaissance that it was realized that ingesting diamond dust killed more than it healed. The death of Pope Clement VII after swallowing a drug based on diamond powder reversed beliefs and the crystal was then considered poisonous and became an instrument of court intrigue.
A stone of power, the diamond has long been reserved for male sovereigns. It was not until 1477 that the trend faded and began to reverse with the first engagement ring set with a diamond. Indeed, the Archduke of Austria, Maximilian I of Habsburg breaks the tradition of metal rings by offering Marie de Bourgogne a ring adorned with a diamond. The wearing of the engagement ring, or wedding band, on the ring finger, on the other hand, dates back to the time of the Egyptians, who believed that the “vein of Love” connected the heart and the left ring finger.
Today, the diamond symbolizes love, constancy and resistance as well as births in April and 60 years of marriage. He would also have the virtues of strength and patience.