what is it about diamonds?

simultaneously fragile and and yet the hardest known substance on the
planet, diamonds are as fascinating as they are mysterious. composed
of pure carbon, some diamonds have a mythology of their own. take
the koh-i-nur, also known as syamantaka. first mentioned over 5,000
years ago in ancient sanskrit texts, it has been in the possession of
royalty from india to persia to afghanistan to england, where it now
rests in the crown of queen elizabeth. originally weighing 186 1/16
carats, it was re-cut in an effort to improve its brilliance.
translated as "mountain of light", the koh-i-nur originates from the
oldest known diamond mines in the world in andhra pradesh, india. it
has caused wars, political turmoil, and is believed by some to bear a
fatal curse to any man who wears it. one hindu legend is that it
once belonged krishna himself and was stolen as he lay sleeping.
3,000 years older than christ, 1,000 years older than the great
pyramid at giza and the oldest chinese dynasty, the stone is
mentioned in both james joyce's "ulysses" and henry david thoreau's
"walden." its value was once believed to be so great that it could
provide two and a half days of food for the entire population of the
world. it now sits locked away in the tower of london.

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