And the Answer is ..
India. Land of ancient spirit, mysticism and allure. How fitting that this is the earth from which Diamonds were first discovered and revered for their unique and valuable qualities.
Named commonly in Sanskrit as “vajra, thunderbolt” and “indrayudha, Indra’s weapon” we get a glimpse into the Indian concept of this precious stone. The bolt of lightning is most fitting for the blazing light which a Diamond reflects and shines, and also for its unconquerable hardness. Indra, in Hindu scriptures is the warrior god, respected and feared, yielder of great power and strength.
Hindu legend has it that when the powerful and pure King Bala was sacrificed to the gods, after the flames, the bones of his body became the seed of gems (and had the power of the gods in them). Serpent gods plundered these seeds and in their hasty flight deposited the seeds through the seas, rivers, mountains and forests – becoming a resting place for them.
Thus a Diamond was highly revered not only for its beauty – they believed it would bring upon its owner happiness, prosperity, children, riches, grain, cows and meat. It would also bring protection from danger such as by serpents, fire, poison, sickness, thieves, flood or evil spirits.
A Diamond which flashed the colors of the spectrum, while being colorless, was viewed as fit only for the king and greatest among men.
In the earliest known source to this precious stone, a Sanskrit manuscript called the “Arthasastra, Lesson of Profit” refers to: “(a diamond that is) big, heavy, capable of bearing blows, with symmetrical points, capable of scratching (from the inside) a (glass) vessel (filled with water), revolving like a spindle and brilliantly shining is excellent. That (diamond) with points lost, without edges and defective on one side is bad.” – Here the tremendous strength, durability and even beauty of the diamond are noted.
“In the “Ratnapariksa” of Buddha Bhatta , a 6th-century text on gems, relates: “A noble substance scratches that which is noble and that which is not; the diamond scratches even the ruby. The diamond scratches all and is not scratched by any.”
This far back, as early as the 4th century BCE , the Diamond already began to bear the markings of what today is recognized as a symbol of beauty, durability, status and peerless quality.
Today India is not one of the 10 top diamond producing countries. However India does still produce diamonds. To see how India compares with the 22 other countries worldwide in diamond production click on this story: What countries do diamonds come from?
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