The word ‘diamond’ comes from the Old French word diamant which in turn came from the Latin adamas. Adamas was originally used to describe several kinds of stone; later, the variant word diamas was used to refer specifically to diamonds. Adamas may have come in turn from the old Persian word aziman meaning lodestone (the mineral magnetite, a natural magnet; lodestone meant ‘leading stone’ in Old English).
So ‘diamond’ is a cousin of the adjective ‘adamant,’ meaning stubborn and immovable. Since the diamond is the hardest gemstone, this makes sense.
The Hope and the Koh-i-Noor Diamonds are two of the most famous diamonds in the world. The 105 carat Koh-i-Noor is supposed to have given the owner the power to rule the world. It originally belonged to the rulers of Persia; it is now in the British Imperial State Crown, in the Tower of London. The 45.52 carat Hope Diamond is greyish blue, and forms the pendant of a diamond necklace that is now in the Smithsonian (it’s on your right). People once thought that it had been stolen from an Indian statue, but it actually was cut from a blue diamond that was part of the French crown jewels. Legend has it that it was cursed, and brought bad luck to its owners. Wilkie Collins based the stolen diamond of his mystery novel The Moonstone (1868) on stories about the Koh-i-Noor and Hope Diamonds.
The Hope Diamond is one of the subset called fancy colored diamonds. They are the rarest diamonds, being not white, but nearly any other color: various shades of pink, champagne (beige), yellow, blue, purple, green, or black, for example. My favorites are the pink diamonds, not that I’m in the market or anything. I’m just looking, thanks. The gorgeous pink diamond above is the Darya-ye-Noor (Sea of Light), one of the Iranian crown jewels. It is rather nice, don’t you think?