Diamond. n.s. [diamant, French; adamas, Latin.]
The diamond, the most valuable and hardest of all the gems, is, when pure, perfectly clear and pellucid as the purest water; and is eminently distinguished from all other substances by its vivid splendour, and the brightness of its reflexions. It is extremely various in shape and size, being found in the greatest quantity very small, and the larger ones extremely seldom met with. The largest ever known is that in the possession of the great Mogul, which weighs two hundred and seventy-nine carats, and is computed to be worth seven hundred and seventy-nine thousand two hundred and forty-four pounds. The diamond bears the force of the strongest fires, except the concentrated solar rays, without hurt; and even that infinitely fiercest of all fires does it no injury, unless directed to its weaker parts. It bears a glass-house fire for many days, and, if taken carefully out, and suffered to cool by degrees, is found as bright and beautiful as before; but if taken hastily out, it will sometimes crack, and even split into two or three pieces. The places where we have diamonds are the East Indies and the Brasils; and though they are usually found clear and colourless, yet they are sometimes slightly tinged with the colours of the other gems, by the mixture of some metalline particles. Hill on Fossils.
This diamond was my mother's: take it, heart;
But keep it 'till you woo another wife. Shakesp. Cymbeline.
Give me the ring of mine you had at dinner;
Or, for the diamond, the chain you promised. Shakespeare.
I see how thine eye would emulate the diamond: thou hast the right arched bent of the brow. Shak. Mer. Wives of Winds.
The diamond is preferable and vastly superior to all others in lustre and beauty; as also in hardness, which renders it more durable and lasting, and therefore much more valuable, than any other stone. Woodward's Mett. Foss.
The diamond is by mighty monarchs worn,
Fair as the star that ushers in the morn. Blackm. Creation.
The lively diamond drinks thy purest rays,
Collected light, compact. Thomson's Summer, l. 140.