Diamonds have been in our culture for a long, long time. And we’re not just talking about the western civilization, mind you. There’s proof that they have been viewed as gems and used as jewelry that dates back to almost three thousand years!
In all that time, there have been many questions: What are they? How do we break them? How come they’re so strong?
And while those are all valid and interesting things to wonder about, there has been one question that people just don’t seem to know the answer to after all this time: Is diamond poisonous to lick?
Well, maybe it’s a bit of a stretch to say that we don’t have an answer. But what’s interesting is that no matter how many times people answer it, the legend just keeps on going like nothing ever happened. So, why is that?
Well, we did some research, so let’s find out!
Is Diamond Poisonous To Lick?
First of all, we just have to give you the straight answer right away:
NO, diamonds are not poisonous to lick. They contain no poison whatsoever, nor do they have any sort of substance in them that would cause us any harm. It’s interesting to think about, sure, but it’s a complete myth.
Now, with that said, we noticed in our research that people just never want to give up believing in this legend.
So, why is that? Well, there are many reasons.
Firstly, it’s a pretty great myth, to put it simply. Imagine all the mysteries these crystals that we have dug up from the earth bring with them.
Or, to be more precise, imagine how many legends a good storyteller can make up about them. They come from the ground and can shine like the sun! Countless people claim that they can cure diseases and cleanse auras!
The stories almost write themselves.
But unfortunately, enough time has passed, and science kind of caught up to the legends. We now know what diamonds are, what they’re made of, and what they can do to a human if we… lick them.
And we genuinely apologize for bursting the bubble, but nothing can happen. Not a single thing.
How are we so sure, you ask?
Well, we have the science that we mentioned on our side. Diamonds are nothing more than a bunch of carbon atoms that have been arranged in an admittedly interesting crystal structure.
Because they only have one ingredient, and it happens to be packed pretty tightly, no poison or chemical has a chance of getting in or on a diamond.
And we’re not joking when we say that those atoms are tightly packed:
Diamonds happen to be the strongest material known to humankind! So strong that only a diamond can even scratch another diamond. That, unfortunately, only encouraged the storytelling.
An indestructible shiny rock – impossible!
Alright, we know, we’ll stop making fun of the legends. The story of how they were made is quite interesting, and we’ll get to it in a moment.
But let’s first dive a bit deeper into the chemical part of these beautiful gems.
Can Anything Happen To You If You Lick A Diamond?
Alright, so you can’t DIE from licking a diamond. But that wasn’t the question, was it?!
The question of the day is whether or not they’re poisonous. To be more precise, are they poisonous to us humans?
Well, again, they most certainly are not. Not at all. Let us explain.
As we already mentioned, diamonds are made of carbon – and the ingredients stop there. They are just a bunch of carbon atoms packed together in a pretty shape.
Now, this chemical structure is far from a boring school lesson. They are, after all, the hardest material in the world.
But what they aren’t is toxic.
They don’t emit toxically and contain nothing inside or out that can be harmful to humans. If you’re to coat a diamond in some sort of poison, then sure, they could cause a lot of harm if someone should lick them.
But beyond that, there is nothing that can happen to you – apart from maybe cutting your tongue.
But of course – the cutting! That must be it! Finally, we drive to what relay causes the trouble with diamond-licking!
Hold your horses; we’re not exactly saying anything new here.
There have been some claims that this was how the myths initially started – but no proof was found to back those claims up. It makes sense when you think about it:
Sure, maybe the first person to ever find a diamond decided to lick it and happened to cut its tongue.
But there’s still no poison to be found on the surface that would cut him. There is a chance that the person could have died from the infection if the wound wasn’t treated, but that’s a far fetch, to say the least.
Getting cut by a diamond is just like getting cut by anything else. If you don’t treat a wound, it gets pretty bad pretty fast.
The origin of this legend is an exciting thought, as we already mentioned. Remember how we said that we’d had diamonds in our culture for thousands of years?
Well, a lot can happen in such a long time. So, let’s explore a couple of ideas here.
How Did This Myth Get Started?
As far as we can tell, the oldest documented mention of a diamond being used as a jewel is around 2500 years ago in India. Now mind you, we’re not talking about how long ago we started telling the story of the poisonous-but-pretty gems.
We have no idea when that started. But some clues can help:
There are countless stories of kings, princesses, and warriors getting poisoned by a diamond. Some of them mention cutting, some licking, and some eating the beautiful crystal.
Keep in mind; they are just stories – folklore that gets handed down from generation to generation.
But there are some stories that we can prove used diamonds as weapons.
In 1532, for instance, Turkish Sultan Mourad IV was killed by what appeared to be a diamond. We don’t know who committed the crime, but historians point to his son, though that’s beside the point.
So, did he use a poisonous diamond to cut the Sultan? Could it be that there is some record of a toxic crystal?
No, unfortunately, no poison was used.
What was used, however, is a diamond, but not as a whole. The evidence suggests that they were ground up and fed to him.
Similarly, Pope Clement VII was fed ground-up diamonds mixed with other ingredients in a strange attempt to cure him of an unknown disease.
Little did his doctors know that they were poisoning him all along!
Well, we say “poison;” the better way to say it would be that they were slowly killing him.
See, diamonds are the strongest material in the world, as we already mentioned. So, if you ingest them, they tend to severely cut your intestines – which can cause death by internal bleeding quickly.
Now, the Pope’s doctors didn’t know about how sharp diamonds are – even when they get ground up and mixed with other ingredients. But, years later and this type of assassination attempt gained quite a bit of traction worldwide.
So, why is it that it was so practical to use this method? What exactly happens to you when you eat a diamond?
Why Can’t You Eat A Diamond?
Diamonds are sharp; there are no two ways about it. If cut properly, they can be used as the strongest knives and swords known to humanity!
Not that they were ever used for such weapons, as they’re rarely found in large enough quantities. You would need a pretty big piece of diamonds to make a sword, unfortunately.
Nevertheless, they are sharp – and there’s a good reason for that.
Unlike other materials, diamonds can’t lose their edge over time. Because they’re the hardest material on the planet, you can chip away at them with your strongest tools, and you’ll only manage to ruin the tools – not the diamonds!
That’s why they’re so popular for industrial purposes.
Imagine the drilling capabilities of an indestructible material – it’s fantastic! But let’s get back to the question of eating them.
Why are they so dangerous when they’re inside your body?
Well, we already said it – they’re sharp. If you take a spoonful of ground diamonds, for instance, the small diamond pieces will never really go through your digestive tract.
Heck, they probably won’t even make it far enough to give your body a chance to start dealing with them.
What happened is that because they’re so sharp, they get stuck inside of you. Diamonds can’t pass through your body because they’re so sharp that they just cut into the first obstacle they face.
After this, they just slowly cause more and more damage before the victim ultimately bleeds out internally.
So, even though we said that diamonds aren’t poisonous, we never said that they’re not dangerous.
And it’s not just the diamond powder that can cause the damage. If you say, eat sharply cut diamonds, it will do the same damage to your insides!
Maybe you’d pass whole diamonds easier than you would the powder – but it will still hurt you enough to warrant a visit to the emergency room. And with this, we arrive at the possible cause of all the myths and legends of poisonous diamonds.
Imagine living in a time when medicine wasn’t yet developed enough to know what’s poisonous and what isn’t. Now, imagine dying from diamond consumption at that time.
You’d surely think that these shiny rocks are at least cursed!
The truth is that the licking part of the stories might have been there to discourage workers from smuggling diamonds from mines by eating them. They were always an excellent way to make a profit – so it would make sense to make up such a story.
Your workers will probably think twice before putting a diamond in their mouth if they think it’s poisonous.
It may not be the most exciting origin of this strange myth, but it seems that’s how it happened.
So, we apologize if you were planning on getting stories of magic and poisonous crystals!
So, there you have it. “Is diamond poisonous to lick?” was a strange question, to begin with, but the origin of the poisonous diamond myth may not be as exciting as some would believe it to be.
Still, it’s always fun to learn as much as possible about these beautiful gems!
And that’s the thing:
To this day, diamonds still have a sort of mysterious reputation. And it doesn’t look like it’s going to go away.
Sure, they’re mainly used as jewels and art pieces these days; the mysteries kind of moved over to the crystal market after the price of diamonds went up.
But it’s still interesting to see the history of diamonds and our relationship with them.
So, to wrap up, you can lick diamonds – though it’s a bit of a strange thing to do. So, we don’t recommend it.
But hey, to each their own!