Gem Trivia and Mythology
Written and researched by Margaret Odrowaz-Sypniewska, B.F.A.

Diamonds were worn by aristocratic families to ward off the plague during the Middle Ages. The poorest people always died first, since they lived closer to the docks, where the ships often brought the plague from other countries. The rich had an idea that since the poor went first, that displaying their wealth (diamonds) would keep them from infection. This just goes to show how naive people were about what really caused the plague.

Gem Table of Contents


Grimaldi, David A. Amber Window to the Past New York: Harry N. Abrams, Inc., 1996.

Kendall, Leo P. Diamonds, Famous and Fatal. Fort Lee, N.J.: Barricade Books, 2001.


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