Ask a roomful of people what diamonds mean to them and you can expect a barrage of different answers. If you consider that diamonds have been admired (and envied) since the birth of man; then it's hardly surprising. However, just mentioning the D-word is usually enough to start the conversational-pulse racing.
The ancient Greeks first got excited about diamonds because they believed them to be tears fallen from the eyes' of the gods. A few centuries later the Romans had diamonds down as splinters fractured from shooting stars, while across the globe Hindus had already bestowed divine status on diamonds by using them to bring the eyes of their deities to life.
Astronomers get excited about diamonds because of the recently discovered 'diamond planet'. Otherwise known as BPM37093, this cosmic lump of crystallized carbon has more twinkle than most other little stars. The diamond planet measures a whopping 4000km in diameter and weighs a cool 10 billion-trillion-trillion carats. The only hitch is that this former white dwarf is approximately 50 light years away form home in the Centaurus constellation.
The Queen gets excited about diamonds because she's the lucky owner of the largest one in the world. Cut from the 3,106 carat Cullian Diamond , The Star of Africa weighs a mighty 530.2 carats and can be seen glittering on top of the Royal Sceptre in the Tower of London .
Scientists get excited about diamonds because they are isotopic crystals with a refractive index of 2.417 that score full marks on the MOHS hardness scale. To the layman this means that diamonds is the hardest material on earth, and that they exhibit some unusual scientific properties (such as displaying fluorescence when viewed under ultra-violet light).
Literary types get excited about diamonds because of their metaphoric impact. If in any doubt look no further than: Confucius' ' Better a diamond with a flaw than a pebble without', Ralph Waldo Emerson's 'The lover never sees personal resemblances in his mistress to her kindred or to others. except to summer evenings and diamond mornings, to rainbows and the song of birds' or even Anton Chekov's ' We shall find peace, we shall hear angels, we shall see the sky sparkling with diamonds'.