Bubbling up(冒泡,沸腾,也可比喻事物在扩展或扩大) from deep within the earth, they are nature’s enigma(n.谜,不可思议的东西). Lumps(n.块,小方块) of carbon, transformed over billions of years of intense pressure and heat, into priceless treasure. Diamonds have always captivated(v.迷住,迷惑) humankind. We marvel at the stars shining in diamonds, borrowed from the world’s most exclusive(a.高级的,奢华的) jewelers. Every diamond sparkles, but only a select few become the stuff of legends.
There have always been mysterious powers attributed(v.认为……属于) to diamonds. Over the centuries, people have believed that diamonds could ward off(避开,躲开) devils, calm the mentally ill, and provide the wearer with extra strength on the battlefield and in the bedroom. It was in the 15th century that the diamond came to symbolize the power of love.
John Loring (Tiffany and Co.): The Emperor, Maximilian of Austria, married the Princess Mary of Burgundy(勃艮第,在法国东南部,盛产红葡萄酒), and gave her a diamond engagement ring, and the diamond has served as a symbol of weddings for all those centuries.
If only they could ensure everlasting(a.永恒的,持久的) love. That certainly, was the hope of Count Gregory Orloff, who bought this magnificent stone for his secret lover, Catherine the Great, ruler of the Russian Empire.
Displayed at the Kremlin in Moscow, the one-hundred-ninety-carat Orloff is set in the royal scepter(n.节杖,权杖). It remains the centerpiece(n.中心装饰品) of the Russian crown jewels(镶有珠宝代表王权的御宝). The Count helped plan the coup(n.政变) that placed Catherine on the Russian throne in 1762. But the Empress was a restless soul with a roaming(a.漫游的,闲逛的) eye. When she turned her powerful gaze towards other men, Orloff devised a plan to win her back. Orloff obtained the diamond legally from a merchant in Amsterdam, but it had a past shrouded(a.被隐藏的,被遮蔽的) in mystery. It is, indeed, a gift fit for a queen, and Catherine the Great was dazzled by the diamond.
Historian: Catherine took the stone and thanked him, but still dropped him. So, eventually, he wound up going insane and a poor man in an insane asylum(n.收容所,精神病院). Luckily the diamond survived even the Russian Revolution and Lenin, In Moscow, and it’s still there in the scepter today.
No modern personality is more identified with diamonds than Elizabeth Taylor. Taylor and husband number five and six, Richard Burton, played out their larger-than-life passion in public and on the silver screen, celebrating make-ups and break-ups with lavish gifts of diamonds, the bigger the better.
This diamond, which came to be known as the Taylor-Burton, became a world-famous symbol of their stormy relationship. When it came up for auction(n.拍卖) in 1969, Burton set out to win the treasure for his lady-love. Burton ultimately succeeded in getting the diamond. But the love story was not to last. They were divorced and married and divorced again by 1976. By the way, Liz kept the diamond and sold it for a whopping(a.巨大的，庞大的) three million dollars…
One thing is certain: Diamonds will continue to cast their spell. These famous jewels have had a remarkable journey through the ages, plucked(v.采集) from the earth, treasured, plundered(v.抢劫), given in love, and taken in greed. For centuries, they have beguiled(v.诱骗,诱惑) us, and for centuries more, their beauty and mystery will burn brightly. Diamonds are forever, but now, our story is at an end.