Diamond is the birthstone for April.— The true Diamond is a hard, diaphanous, perfectly transparent stone, which does sparkle forth its glory much like the twinkling a glorious flare.
The true Diamond is the hardest of all other stones, without color, like unto pure water transparent: and if it have any yellowness or blackness, it is a fault in it. This property it has, that the Diamond will snatch color and apply it and unite it to itself; and thus will it cast forth at a great distance its lively shining rays, so that no other jewel can sparkle as it will.
By this excellent emission of its rays or beams, or by this generous sparkling forth of its glory, do the most judicious Jewelers distinguish the true Diamond — the Diamond, from those of bastard kinds.
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The Names of Diamond
Its name in Hebrew — «יהלום» (jahalom), that is «Adamas»: as Exod.28.18. Diamond is the third stone of the second row of stones that was set in Ephod. «αδαμασ» comes of the verb «δαμάζω», that is, «domo» (eng.: to tame); hence by the exposition of St. Jerome «adamas» does signifie «indomitium» (eng.: untamed). And well may it so do, for neither fire nor iron can destroy its glory, or lessen its vertu.
In Arabic, it is called «Hagar sabedhig», and «Adamaz». In Dutch (Grman) «ein Dhemuth», «Demanth», and «Adamant-stein», and «Adament». In Italian and Spanish, it is called — «Diamante». In French, the Diamonds is — «Diamant». Of the natives where it is found «Iraa». In the Malayan language, Diamond is called «Itam».
April Birthstone Diamond. Credits to Steven Depolo @ Flickr
Mystical Properties of the Diamond
A true Diamond is so fare from being hurt by being in the fire stone some days, that it will grow better for it, and the more fair. Pliny (Pliny the Elder) says, that — «a true Diamond can’t be hurt by the force of hammer and anvil: other Diamonds experience teaches us ma be brought into broken pieces, and into fine impalpable powder, by the frequent strokes of an hammer».
The ancients have had a very high esteem of Diamond, insomuch as they have thought it to be endued with divine verities; and such, as that if it were but worn included in a ring, or carried about a body near his heart; Diamond could assuage the fury of his enemies, and expel vain fears from his heart, preserve from swooning, drive away the vanity of dreams, and the terrors of night, and frustrate all the malignant contagious power of poison. It is reported of Diamond that it is endued with such a faculty, at that if it be in place with a Load-Stone, it binds up all its power, and hinders all its attractive venture.
If a true Diamond be put upon the head of a woman without her knowledge, it will make her in her sleep, if she be faithful to her husband, to cast herself into his embraces; but if she be an adulteress, to turn away from him. It has been by Ancients esteemed powerful for the driving away of «Lemures», «Incubos», and «Succubos»; and for the hindering of contentions, and to beget in men courage, magnanimity, and stoutheartedness, as appears by Serapius, and by Evaces in Lapidary. Rulandus (Martin Ruland the Elder), Cardanus, Garcias have all written very much concerning these verities of Diamond, to which Authors I refer the courteous visitor of this site for their further satisfaction, till better opportunities shall give me leave to make further discovery of what may be spoken concerning it.
Its Value according to the Ancient Sources
It is of esteem for that Diamond has been of faced use; what was the sacred use of april birthstone may be read in the book of Exodus, where we find it to be one of those excellent stones which was to have a place in one of those four rows of ouches of gold set in their several orders upon the breast-place of Judgement, upon the Ephod of High-priest.
It is of esteem for its own irresistible hardness, and for the purity of its perfect glory, in which it does excel all other gems of price, and stones of worth.
«A well polished Diamond without fault, of the weight of a pepper-corn, its worth ten Florens or Crowns», — Boetius, p.63. «If a pointed Diamond be fifty fastened in any convenient thing that man may hold it withal, he may not only cut glass wit it, but also penetrate arms with it», — as said the same Author.
There is proverbial use of it, which is taken from its hardness, and applied either to animate of inanimate things: of this use we may era Statius, Hesiode, and Horace. A main use of it there is in the way of Symbols and Emblems: for by it is figured innocence, constance, and fortitude.
«The forms into which most commonly it is cut, is a «Tablet», which consists of plain upper «Table», and four lateral «Tables», two of which are wont to be longer then the other two, that they may make the just proportion of the upper «Table»; and such a «Tablet» as this». Boetius (Anselmus de Boodt) says, «is of form most perfect: a Diamond thus cut weighing one Caratium (Carat) or four grains, is worth fifty Ducats or Crowns». — Boetius, p. 64.
They are also cut in Pyramidal forms, with Quadrangles, but these are of less value then the «Tablets». The finalist of these best Diamonds are valued at very high prices, the biggest are infinite value.
Cardanus (Geronimo Cardano) in his book «de Subtilitatibus (De subtilitate)», makes mention of a «Diamond that is at Antwerp, which wants one scruple of the weight of an ounce, and is valued at the worth of and fifty thousand Crowns». — Cardanus, de subtl., p. 345.
The shivers and dust of a good, perfect, true Diamond are admirable vertue, and of very great worth, esteem and value: for by their hardness hay do divide all gems: the engravings of all other gems hay are not only profitable but necessary; for whatever precious stones excellent hardness joined with their glory, purity, and beauty, they will want help of these, or they will not easily be either cut, graven or polished.
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