HISTORICAL AND REMARKABLE DIAMONDS.
Certain diamonds have played so prominent a part in
human affairs that they have become historical, and are entitled to individual names and a special biographical notice.
When it is considered that it constitutes the most important
gem in regal crowns and other emblems of rank and royal
authority, it will be seen there is no material substance which
has exercised such an influence upon the destiny of races and
nations, or has been connected with so many tragical events, as
the diamond. What bloody wars have been waged, what acts
of injustice, oppression, and treachery, have been perpetrated,
all to gain a diadem, the symbol of sovereign power !
Many others, though with no traditional or historical fame,
have an interest on account of their size, beauty, or commercial
value, which entitles them to a rank among the celebrated
diamonds of the world. There are in all, probably, from
eighty to one hundred gems of this species which may be
called remarkable for some inherent qualities or acquired fame
they possess. These have been described by various writers
upon the subject, with a difference of opinion on some points,
but with a general agreement of the leading facts in relation to
a majority of this list, though in regard to a part of the
number there are irreconcilable contradictions respecting their
weight, history, and even identity.
Large diamonds have always been rare ; it has been
estimated that the actual number over thirty carats existing