A DIAMOND, THE GIFT OF PROMISE
We always hear about the value of a diamond as related to the 4 C’s, carat, cut, color and clarity. We always hear about the monetary value. Today I’d like to talk about what, in my opinion, is an even more important value. That is the emotional value. The value of a promise.
We see images almost daily of someone on one knee before their loved one about to propose marriage, usually with a tiny box containing a diamond engagement ring being offered up. The recipient often shedding tears of elation, the excitement impossible to suppress. Or there’s the very common scene in a restaurant of the soon to be betrothed suddenly spotting a bright twinkle atop their decadent dessert and screeching with surprise, while onlooking patrons await the answer. The affirmative response commands applause by all. It’s not only the emotions of the couple experiencing the exchange, it also tugs at the heartstrings of most witnessing this promise of a lifetime, even when it’s on the jumbotron at a sporting event.
I would like to inject a personal note at this point, so please forgive me, or just skip over this paragraph. My son met his beautiful wife at a baseball game. When he was ready to pop the question, he proposed at the exact spot where they met at the stadium. Romantic right? He wrote his proposal on a baseball and gave it to her to read. Romantic right? Here’s the best part. They were in the stadium standing next to a dumpster! Romantic right? No diamond at that point, just a baseball. But in my humble opinion, it was way more romantic than anything he could have done. Diamonds vs baseballs? I mean, really? Two major baseball fans. A proposal written on a baseball and presented at the very spot they met? What could be more romantic? Don’t worry, she got a diamond later. Perhaps I should try to start a new tradition. A baseball instead of a diamond. Relax ladies, I wouldn’t dream of it! After all, diamonds are a girl’s best friend!
Diamonds were first used as engagement rings during the Renaissance period. It represented the ultimate gift of love, and still does. Although the tradition of diamond engagement rings soared to popularity in the late 1940’s when the De Beers advertising campaign used the slogan “A diamond is forever”, a catchphrase that remains well used today.
When it comes to a diamond, while the quality and the monetary value is important, it’s not nearly as significant as the value of the promise of love and devotion that it represents. It’s no small wonder that the giving of a diamond evokes such strong emotions.
The earliest diamonds were discovered around the 4th century BC in India, although the diamond deposits were formed 900 million years ago. The diamond is rated 10 on the Mohs scale and is the hardest mineral on earth. Perhaps that’s one reason why it’s a symbol of an unbreakable bond of everlasting love. It’s the birthstone of April and denotes the 60th wedding anniversary.
A diamond is not only one of the most precious gems in the world, it also represents a precious union, a precious promise of a future life together of two souls becoming one. Often a diamond will become a family heirloom that is passed down for generations to treasure and appreciate. While diamonds are found in all forms of jewelry, probably the most cherished is the engagement ring, the ultimate representation of the deepest love.
The tradition of wearing a diamond engagement ring on the fourth finger of the left-hand dates to the ancient Romans who believed that this ring finger had a vein that ran directly to the heart. The Latin word Vena Amoris translates to mean “vein of love”.
Ancient Romans believed diamonds were from the outer rings of the stars that had fallen to the earth. As the saying goes, a diamond is forever. The stars in the sky are forever.
As always, until next time…Make a wish upon a star. Stars are the diamonds in the sky.