The diamond is the symbol of eternity, and with good reason. Diamonds are not only rare and spectacularly beautiful, but also enormously strong, forged under massive pressure and heat, ripped from the Earth by massive volcanic eruptions and sent up, coming to rest in darkness, waiting for intrepid miners and speculators to bring them the rest of the way into the light of day.
Diamonds actually form in the mantle, about 90 miles below the Earth’s surface — far deeper than the deepest hole ever dug by humans. Scientists believe that very nearly 100% of the diamonds we see today were brought up from the mantle during what are known as “deep volcanic events” that took place when the Earth was much hotter than it is today. The speed with which the diamonds were brought upward (and thus rapidly cooled) locked their crystal structures in place, giving them their legendary strength.
It’s that same strength that makes actually cutting a diamond so difficult. The word “diamond” shares a root with the word “adamant”, which translates from the Greek as “untameable” or “invincible”. Diamond cutting requires precision tools, patience, and an intricate knowledge of the weak points of its crystal structure.
But even then, the brilliance of the stone may not be fully realized. Special attention must be paid to the angles and ratios of the finished stone, in order to optimize the refraction and reflection of the light that enters through the facets — the “sparkle” and “fire” so prized in white diamonds.
It’s no wonder diamond engagement rings serve as the symbol of enduring love, of a union that can withstand the tests of time and pressure, of a love tested by fire that has emerged, shining and brilliant and strong, on the other side.