gave the name of άδάμαs, that is, " invincible," Latinized by "
adamans," to this gem, because they believed it capable of resisting
every chemical agent, without itself experiencing the least alteration.
In fact, the hardness of the diamond is such that it scratches all other bodies, while it cannot be scratched by any.
this perfect hardness is not the only quality for which the gem is
prized. It holds the first rank for other reasons ; and in all ages it
was most precious, and possessed an excessive value. The diamond is
rare, not only because it is much in request, but also because it is
found only in certain countries, almost always mixed with other
precious minerals, in a comparatively small quantity, and scarcely ever
in a state of complete crystallization : it appears that Nature
elaborates it with infinite difficulty and is therefore not lavish of
diamond, then, is a mineral substance, crystallized in octahedrons and
dodecahedrons, as also in almost all the derivations of these two forms.
Its brightness is so superior to that of every other precious stone, that it is always distinguished as adamantine.
Its natural surface is often unequal ; its sides are lined, somewhat convex, and generally appear dulled,