Diamond comes from the Greek word ADAMAS, ADAMANTOS, which means Unconquerable, Invincible. Its name is a testament to its occult powers. In many legends and lore, you find this belief that if you want to conquer your enemies and win battles, you have to wear a diamond. Thus, the name, ADAMANTOS or Conqueror.

A diamond is crystallized carbon and has the same chemical composition as graphite though they differ a lot in physical structure. While graphite is the softest, diamond is 10 on the Mohs hardness scale (compare with sapphire and ruby which are 9 on the Mohs scale). This means that only a diamond can cut another diamond.

Diamonds form in the Earth’s mantle. They are truly ancient, from 1 to 3 billion years old. They surface via volcanic eruptions of a magma called kimberlite. Kimberlite is an ingenious rock that contains olivine, calcite, serpentine, garnet, apatite and other upper mantle mineral deposits.

The earliest diamonds were found in India in 4th century BC. In 1867 diamonds were discovered in South Africa. Today diamonds come from Russia, Botswana, Congo, Angola, South Africa, Namibia, Guinea, Ghana, Australia, India, Brazil and Canada. But South Africa maintains its position as a major diamond producer.

Diamonds come in many varieties of colors: white, blue, yellow, orange, red, green, pink and black. They are mostly transparent but some can be opaque. Only the transparent ones are used in jewelry.

Colorless or white diamonds are the most popular but it is the yellow and brown diamonds that are the most commonly occurring diamonds in nature. Brown and yellow diamonds are often referred to as 'champagne' or 'cognac' diamonds. The rarest diamond is of the red variety. The colours of diamonds can be altered by high temperature and irradiation treatment.

Diamonds have a high refractive brilliance; it refracts light in all directions at the same velocity (note, diamonds are one of the few gemstones available today that does this). They shine like fire due to this high dispersion of light.

Diamonds without eye-visible inclusions are rare. These flawed diamonds may be treated with lasers to remove inclusions and glassy resin are used to fill in the cracks and fissures.

Some diamonds fluoresce when they are subjected to ultraviolet light. This means that they emit a soft blue glow as long as they are exposed to the light. Some continue to glow even after the ultraviolet light is removed. This is because the particles within the diamonds are still excited by the radiation and this phenomenon is called phosphorescence.

Diamonds can be irradiated to become radioactive. With this technology, batteries can be made to last a lifetime by embedding these treated diamonds in them. This has huge significance in the medical industry, just think of pacemakers, hearing aids, hand-phones, anything that runs on batteries.

In the old days, only those privileged few were able to own diamonds. Today diamonds can be produced in laboratories and unlike the common myth that is spread in propaganda, diamonds are not rare.

In “The Quest of the Absolute” by Balzac in 1834, we read of the obsession of turning carbon into diamonds by alchemical means. Today this has become a reality.

Occultists believe that diamonds have occult powers. In order to exercise its full power, diamonds should be worn on the left side of the body where the heart is. They also believe that if a diamond is touched by someone who is sinful and wicked, then the occult powers of the diamond is lost forever. It would then become a CURSED diamond.

One such cursed diamond is the Hope Diamond. According to legend, it was stolen from the head of an Indian deity in an ancient temple. Since then, ill fortune and death befell all its possessors.

Another famed story that has to do with cursed diamonds is the Affair of the Diamond Necklace. It was a scandal that attracted considerable public interest in 1780s France. It dealt with the theft and disappearance of the most valuable piece of diamond jewellery in the nation. Eventually it led to the French Revolution and the beheading of her King and Queen. The thief, Jeanne de la Motte, was put in prison for life and branded with the letter V, for Voleuse, “thief." [Note, in the book, The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne, women who confessed of committing adultery were publicly shamed by wearing the letter A; A of course, stands for adultery].

However, not all diamonds were cursed. They were also believed to possess the power to preserve the lives of kings and queens. For example, Queen Elizabeth of England and Queen Isabella of Spain were saved due to the protection of the diamonds they wore.

Diamonds were considered the symbol of purity and it was used as a talisman against all evil. However, this same diamond must not be touched by evil and any demonic forces of all astral planes.

Menstruation was considered filthy and impure. Thus, women who were menstruating had to remove their diamond until after the flow was over.

Ancient Hindu astrologists classified diamonds in three categories, male, female and neuter. They also emphasized repeatedly of wearing only pure specimens of any semi-precious and precious stones; for a deformed gemstone carries danger, a dirty one holds grief and uneven-shaped stone brings unhappiness. Stones that are black invite trouble; while triangular, square and five-sided shaped stones bring quarrels, fear and even death. Some stones attract fortune and peace and these are the ones we need in our lives.

Diamond besides being a stone of nobility was also used as an amulet and charm for protection against the night-mare and the dreaded goblin that Europeans feared so much.

Diamonds are a symbol of wealth, success and victory. A diamond represents the purity of the soul shining flawlessly. It was said that diamonds shone brightly on the wearers who were faithful to their loved ones and spouses. If the diamonds became dull, it meant that the wearers had committed unfaithfulness (adultery) towards their beloved. This belief was written in the plays of Shakespeare. Today, diamonds are the gemstone for engagement and wedding rings.