In the time of Pliny the stone was acquired only by the richest of kings.
There is evidence to lead to the presumption that the gem was regarded in the early periods more of a curiosity possessing talismanic powers than as an ornamental stone. The famous crown of Chosroes, made in the latter part of the sixth century, and brought to light by Shah Abbas after a thousand years of concealment in an obscure fortress among the mountains of Lauristan, does not contain diamonds among its ornaments, but is incrusted with pearls and rubies.
The early practice of polishing the natural faces of the crystal did not reward the patient lapidary by a corresponding increase of beauty.
The crown of the Khan of the Tatars, captured on the Oxus by the Persians in the fifth century, is described as being ornamented with several thousand pearls, but there is no allusion to any stones resembling diamonds; yet the Tatars had undoubted access to the commercial marts of India.
The captured robe of state was thickly embroidered with the most beautiful rubies and pearls.
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