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The Romans believed that diamonds brought courage and bravery during battle. Jewish high priests used diamonds to decide the innocence or guilt of the accused; it was believed that a stone held before a guilty person dulled and darkened while a stone held before an innocent person glowed with increased brilliance. The Hindus believed that this brilliant gem was created when bolts of lightning struck rocks. Diamond is referred to as the “King Gem”.
It is said that to make an effective talisman, diamonds would have to be given as a token of love or friendship. If bought or sold, they would lose their powers.
Diamonds are said to increase personal clarity and honesty. Supposedly, the higher quality the diamond, the better it supports these qualities. A symbol of innocence, justice, faith and strength, the diamond was believed to make its wearers courageous and victorious over their enemies. When set in gold and worn on the left side, it held the power to drive away nightmares and calm terrible beasts. Diamonds were even thought to be so powerful that they could stop lechery.
Diamond quality is evaluated by four characteristics, called the "4 C's": carat weight, clarity, color and cut. Though many people like to debate the value of each characteristic, most knowledgeable jewelers agree that a balance of all four characteristics make a quality diamond. A proper cut enhances the brilliance of the stone. Diamonds with exceptional clarity reflect their purity. Larger diamonds are more rare, and therefore, the larger the carat size, the rarer the diamond. Similarly, purer colored diamonds are less common and therefore more highly prized.
While India was the world's main source of diamonds for over 2,000 years, most diamonds now come from Africa, Russia and Australia. Of all diamonds mined, only a quarter of them are gem quality.
Generally, diamonds are quite durable. However, diamonds are subject to chipping and fracture when handled roughly. Diamonds should be stored separately. Diamonds can scratch other jewelry as well as each other.