Diamond Legends & Superstitions

Throughout history, many different time periods and cultures have created unique myths and legends about diamonds. Considering their rarity, value, and of course their beauty, it is easy to imagine how a rumor about loose diamonds could quickly become an accepted superstition.

Diamond legends tend to deal with one of three topics: health, knowledge, and love. We are all familiar with the close association between diamonds and love, but in the past diamonds and other gemstones were thought to have both medicinal and enlightening properties. Read on for some of the most intriguing diamond myths from around the world.

Diamond Legends About Health

Rough Diamonds

One of the most prevalent diamond superstitions, persisting even to this day, is that diamonds will protect their wearer from the Evil Eye. The myth of the Evil Eye dates all the way back to Ancient Greece. It states that a malicious glare, which can originate practically anywhere, including from mysterious, invisible forces, can cast a curse on its recipient. The Evil Eye is supposed to cause misfortune, illness, and even death in some cases.  Wealthy women wore diamond necklaces – especially pendants – in hopes that the diamond’s sparkle would blind the Evil Eye.

Have you ever wondered why, in numerous countries, the engagement ring finger is traditionally located on the left hand? It stems from an old diamond myth. The practice of wearing engagement rings and wedding bands on the fourth finger of the left hand is believed to have originated in Ancient Egypt. The (incorrect) reasoning behind it was that there was a vein that led directly from that finger to the heart.

In Ancient Rome, royals and prominent warriors wore diamond-laced breastplates for protection against health issues and the weapons of their enemies. Ancient Romans believed that diamonds were the tears of the gods, or pieces of fallen stars.

In India, diamonds were thought to cure insanity and prevent the wearer from being struck by lightning. In medieval Europe, it was believed that wearing diamonds or carrying them on your person would ward off the plague. Based on the 75-200 million estimated deaths that resulted from the Black Death, I’m going to say that superstition was provably false.

Blue fancy diamond photo

There were also cautionary diamond legends about a person’s health. Old medical superstitions discouraged people from buying and wearing blue diamonds, because their color was too close to that of the Evil Eye.

Diamonds with culets were supposed to be avoided, as well. The culet is the very bottom of a diamond’s pavilion, shaped in a point or as another facet. It was believed that evil spirits could enter the stone through the culet and put a curse on the diamond’s wearer.

Knowledge & Diamonds

Loose Diamonds

Historically, diamonds have also been thought to have mystical powers of knowledge. Some have claimed that diamonds can detect a lie. The gem is supposed to sparkle brightly around the truth, and dimly in the presence of a lie.

Diamonds are also said to reveal infidelity. In the 1600s, men were advised to place a diamond under their pillow to warn them if their wife was cheating. What exactly the diamond was supposed to do indicate an unfaithful wife is unclear, but I am sure this diamond superstition caused a fair bit of unnecessary marriage troubles.

Diamonds & Love

vintage three-stone halo

In today’s world, diamonds are closely associated with love, and often seen as a symbol or representation of the feeling. In the past, however, this association was often taken too far and created a lot of fanciful diamond myths. For example, it was long believed that diamonds were the magical ingredients on the tips of Cupid’s arrows, making anyone struck by them fall in love.

Three-stone rings traditionally symbolize the past, present, and future of a relationship. However, two-stone rings used to be overwhelmingly popular among the European upper classes. This is because there was a well-known legend that two diamonds could actually propagate and have “baby diamonds”. So, two diamonds would be set closely together in engagement rings and pendants in hopes that they would procreate and create more diamonds.

One legend about diamonds and love that lives on to this day revolves around letting another woman try on your engagement ring. The superstition claims that if you loan your diamond engagement ring to another woman to wear, she will steal the heart of your fiancé.

What is your favorite diamond superstition? Are there any diamond legends that we missed here? Feel free to share your stories, questions, and any photos of your diamond jewelry in the comments below!