A Diamond of the First Water

I have never been fond of diamonds. I enjoy color. Give me sapphires, emeralds, opals, and rubies! These gems make my eyes light up. My second marriage produced a husband determined to put a diamond on my hand. I acquiesced, though my heart wasn’t in it. I chose a ring where the engagement and wedding bands intertwined with a small diamond in the center and four tiny diamonds placed above and below the twisting gold. He worried it wasn’t big enough. I worried I would catch it on my sweaters. The ring design was a compromise and the marriage has lasted thirty-one years this month.

I enjoy learning how things are made. I have always wondered about the process of making toothpicks after seeing a Warner Brothers cartoon where they whittled a full grown tree down to a single pick, then placed it in a box with others done the same way. My husband and I try to take the “behind the scenes” tours at various locations to know how things are done. Being on my grandmother’s farm gave me a first-hand view of food production- plant and animal. For years I sewed my own clothing and did that for a living a couple of times in my life. Invention and innovation thrill me to no end.

After my mental health transformation, I was determined to never shy-away from things I didn’t like. My distaste of diamonds became one of my investigations so that I could understand my aversion to that harmless little rock. In my curiosity, I found an unexpected lesson and epiphany. My exploration of this stone led me to understand myself and others in a fascinating new way.

Start with carbon dioxide (CO2) and bury it underground about 100 miles. Apply heat through various means to about 2200°F. Next, add a dash of pressure at 725,000 lbs/sq inch. Allow this concoction to develop for several millions to billions of years. Finally, rush this new substance to the surface using a handy volcano or conveniently falling asteroid to cool and harden. By doing all this, you might get a diamond worthy of a bridal hand. Actually, the exact formula is still a mystery. Diamond formation depends on a perfect storm of circumstances. The key processes appear to be:

  • Begin with the carbon- the building block of all life on planet earth
  • Turn up the heat to clear away the dross and useless bits of muck
  • When it is as pure as it can be, apply tremendous pressure
  • Do this for however long it takes for the finished product
  • After all this inner work, it bursts into the world to allow its light to shine

Of course there is some refinement to be done, but this process doesn’t have to take near as long. It is also under the control of the person handling the newly formed stone.

Many hands are needed to bring a gem of quality into the world. The rough uncut diamond needs to be mapped and marked to determine how large and what shape is best for a specific stone. Once the crystal is ready to be worked, the cutters, brillianteers and polishers have the finished product in their mind. They begin to create the facets that will bring out the best qualities of the diamond. The polishing brings out the fire within the stone so that when it is subjected to light it will have depth and character. This is a tedious process taking several weeks, but necessary for the final result. You can watch this condensed procedure on this >7-minute video.

The Gemological Institute of America describes the anatomy of a round brilliant, like those pictured above, this way:

“In the standard round brilliant, there are 57 or 58 facets. The table facet, usually the largest
facet on the diamond, helps gather light from above and either reflects it back to the observer
or directs it into the diamond’s interior. The crown facets, consisting of 8 bezels, 8 stars, and 16 upper halves, gather and disperse light to create brightness, fire, and a scintillating pattern of light and dark. The pavilion facets, consisting of 16 lower halves, 8 mains, and an optional culet, reflect the light back through the crown to the viewer’s eye.
All of these facets work together creating each diamond’s unique appearance.”

The 4 Cs- color, clarity, cut and carat is how diamonds are graded. A stone that is colorless, with no inclusions or blemishes, cut in an attractive way and has adequate carat or weight is a diamond to be sought after in the world of fine gems. Magnification and subjection to fluorescent light are how to determine these characteristics. The grade of a stone is how it is valued and determines the price one pays for the jewel in question. To the naked eye, less expensive jewelry can be equal to the shine and brilliance of their more pricey counterparts.

I was struck by the descriptions and explanations in the diamond-making process. Each of us in our everyday lives goes through a similar development of birth, challenges, breaking, questioning, refinement, discovery, and the finale. It takes a while for the right geographic location, generation, parents, the woman’s cycle and the couple’s inclination to produce you in baby form, ready for programming. From there, you are tested and challenged until you have broken free from your original thought processes. Questions arise and getting your life in some semblance of order while still being pliable, is needed. Your refining and cleansing are instituted so you discover who you are and why you are here. Finally, you burst forth into the world and shine a light only you carry.

In the Regency period of England, women in the upper echelons of society were graded much like diamonds. Breeding or family heritage, along with looks, training in household management, and intact virtue were the qualities sought. A Diamond of the First Water was every man’s dream. First Water would refer to the clarity of a diamond. The closer the stone resembled still water, the better. It would be without blemishes (external flaws) and inclusions (internal defects). Women were considered Diamonds if these criteria were met. How often are similar attributes desired in those seeking relationships even now? Dating Apps insist you list them for prospective candidates to sift through.

As I have mentioned in previous posts on this blog, humans are here to discover, explore and remember themselves as they journey through life. We are facets of the Source of All, the Creator, God or the Universe. We are already of the exact color, clarity, cut and carat we are supposed to be. We need only discover this through our ramblings here on earth. We are all Diamonds. We need only discover our clarity and claim the First Water we are destined to be.

~Pixbay antonio_rh / 8 images

~Learn how Catherine discovered herself in Metaphysical Girl: How I Recovered my Mental Health. Available for Pre-Order Now! Publish Date- December 26th, 2021 at SmashwordsApple, Gardeners, OdiloKobo, and Barnes & Noble

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