The Power of Stones : Diamond

Known as the "King of Gems," the diamond is the only stone composed of a single element, Carbon, in its crystal form. More often than not, when people think of a diamond, they picture a stone clear to the point of glass or ice. Diamonds can be clear, but there are also yellow and blue varieties. In point of fact, though it has been called the worlds most beautiful stone, 80% of all diamonds mined are dull and unattractive. They are not put to waste however. As the world's hardest natural substance, 140 times harder than the second hardest mineral corundum, and 1000 times harder than quartz, these ugly duckling diamonds are used for industrial cutting and grinding machinery. The only substance that approaches diamond's hardness is the metal tantalum and two synthetics, carborundum (silicon carbide) and borazon (boron nitride).

Diamonds are found mainly in volcanic "pipes" of serpentinized olivine known as kimberlite or alluvially. Some diamonds are also occasionally found in meteorites. Interestingly enough, elemental carbon, which forms the word's hardest substance, also forms graphite and charcoal, some of the softest substances in the world. Diamond is the more unstable form of carbon and will gradually turn into graphite over the course of millions of years. And while graphite and charcoal are both good electrical conductors, diamonds are nonconductors. Also, while coal and diamonds both come from carbon, coal does not become diamonds. The formation of diamonds from carbon is a long and volcanic process.

As late as the Middle Ages, tests to verify whether a stone was a diamond were simple and ineffectual. Possibly you have seen a "diamond test" in a movie where a gem was used to scratch the surface of a glass or mirror. While a diamond will succeed in scratching the glass, so will corundum, beryl, topaz, zircon, spinel, quartz, and many other stones. For this reason, what was called a diamond in ancient texts and folklore may not have been a diamond in fact.

The term diamond usually referred to any stone with magickal powers. Diamonds have been credited with warding off the evil eye, but the stone allude to may have been quartz or white sapphire. The Rabbi Jebudah of the Talmud described diamonds being placed in the carcasses of cooked fowl which then came back to life and flew away. Rabbi Benoni, a 14th century mystic, said that diamonds brought on spiritual ecstasy and made the wearer invincible, but his contemporary, the alchemist Pierre de Boniface said invisible. Bishop Marbodus asserted that diamonds had the ability to cure madness. According to the 16th century Camillus Leonardus' Speculum Lapidum, diamond could dispel fear, quarrels, and demons. On the left arm (and set in gold), the stone bestowed courage and victory over one's enemies, tamed wild animals, and dispelled ghosts and nightmares. It also counteracted all poisons. Some said that ingesting diamond powder bestowed courage, but others felt it was a deadly poison itself or at least itat it could tear apart the stomach and intestinal lining.

Some ancient scholars felt that two gems placed together would mate and produce offspring gems. Sir John Madeville explained that mated diamonds would create baby diamonds which would grow bigger with May dew. Other writers claimed that the gems could die and lose their luster.

Notwithstanding the number of divorces among diamond wearers, the stones are said to bring constancy to lovers and serenity. Worn on the left side, these gems are said to cure sexual dysfunction, so perhaps that is the secret. They are also said to counteract strife, pestilence, epilepsy, dyslexia, tuberculosis, glaucoma, and autism. The gem is credited with the ability to correct the musculature of jaw and shoulder blades and arrest the progress of most disease.

Modern crystal mystics say diamonds enhance brain function and even give it the ability to adjust the structure of the skull, realigning cranial bones. Diamonds break up blockages in the crown chakrahs and personality and help align with the higher self. This jewel is also said to enhance the power of other stones (especially emerald and amethyst) and the energy of its wearer. Very large diamonds are considered unlucky, while diamonds of normal size are generally said to bring luck. But if you have diamonds, aren't you lucky already?