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TVON - The Different Meanings Ascribed to Diamonds Through History

The De Beers Company hit the mother lode in 1947 when they came up with the slogan “diamonds are forever.” Its lasting power is a testament to the effectiveness of the campaign, as the slogan is simple, recognizable, and popular. So popular, in fact, that it’s inscribed into pop culture—there’s even a movie and a song inspired by the saying!

Today, more than 70 years after the campaign, diamonds are still the top choice for jewelry. There are different kinds of diamonds for engagement rings, wedding rings, and gifts for milestones in life. It endures as a symbol of love, and the campaign reversed the decline in demand that the stone suffered in the 20th century.

A symbol of strength

In Ancient Greek, the word for ‘diamond’ is ‘adamas,’ which means ‘unconquerable.’ This is the root word of the English word ‘adamant’ and is the inspiration for adamantium, a fictional alloy that renders its wearer near invincible. 

Stories of Greek gods depict them with diamonds in their armor or weapons, and some of the most compelling stories in mythology feature items made of diamonds. The sword of Chronos, the chains that bound Prometheus, and Heracles’ helmet are all noted for their strength and are composed of diamond.

In Roman mythology, Hades’ gates are said to be made of diamond, and can never be entered by the living or exited by the dead. Ancient European culture valued diamonds for their ability to withstand pressure; amulets were worn in battle were called ‘tears of gods,’ and their popularity rose from the time of Charlemagne onwards.

Apart from strength, people back then associated diamonds with eternal life and safety. Louis XIV’s reign saw 17th-century gem merchant Jean-Baptiste Tavernier on a quest to find jewels for the king. Tavernier came back with a 116-carat stone he dubbed the Tavernier Blue, one of the largest diamonds ever found. This is the precursor to the French Blue, the central gemstone of the monarch’s crown.

A symbol of spirituality

Tibetan philosophy sees the diamond as a symbol of progress. As this stone moves from coal to gem, so does a human become refined: in speech, thought, and action. Diamonds are also associated with inner peace, representing harmony and beauty from the inside out.

A diamond is a representation of a person’s perfect mental state, and some people wear them because they are associated with health, clarity and, rationality.

A symbol of love

In the Renaissance, we see the first instance of a diamond engagement ring gifted to a betrothed. Simple metal bands were popular, especially among the common folk and the merchant class, but those who had access and could afford diamonds would buy them. 

Diamonds were preferred for their strength; since a couple wanted an unbreakable bond, they loved the symbolic meaning of this choice. The diamond is still a symbol of strength, love, and beauty. Today, our experience of this stone is enriched by more symbolism.

Cultural meaning of colors

Different types of diamonds have different colors, and these have different symbols. Aside from the clear or white kind, which is the most common, there are seven other colors that this gem exhibits. The chemical deposits in a diamond affect its color, but there are also symbolisms for each type.

The warmer colors are associated with energy. Red diamonds, which are rare, symbolize courage, while orange ones represent enthusiasm. Yellow diamonds, which are the most common among the colored types, symbolize happiness and friendship.

The cooler-toned blue diamonds are associated with royalty and power. Meanwhile, pink diamonds represent joy, romance, and creativity. Brown diamonds are linked to inner strength, and black diamonds are associated with sorrow and a desire for forgiveness.


No matter the symbolism or the cultural significance, diamonds have been a mainstay in human history as a symbol of positive things. Giving a loved one a gift with this stone lets you draw from thousands of years’ worth of meaning.

You can get different types of diamonds at our store in the US. Our extensive collection has pieces fit for every occasion, and these are sure to make your loved ones happy!

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