Obrázky stránek
PDF
ePub

tint; and some are found of a bluish color, and held over a metal box having a double bottom, some black. For the valuation of diamonds the upper one perforated with small holes, an arbitrary rule has been given, which is, through which the diamond dust falls. This is however, little regarded in actual sales of the afterward carefully collected, mixed with vegemost costly of these gems. Purchasers for such table oil, and used for polishing the gem upon a being few, the only real rule adopted, as in the revolving cast-iron disk. When a large pieoe is sale of many other commodities, is to demand to be removed from the stone, it is sometimes the highest price there is the least proba- cut off by means of a steel wire covered with bility that one may be induced to pay. The diamond powder, and sometimes by the use of a mere statement of the rule is sufficient to show chisel and hammer, though in this

way there is its indefiniteness. It is to multiply the square danger of destroying the stone. The workman of the weight in carats by a sum varying ac- should understand perfectly the position of the cording to the state and quality of the stone. cleavage planes, as it is only upon them that If clear and of good shape, this sum is £2; if pieces can be removed by the chisel. The forms perfect and well cut, £6 or £8 for the brilliant or usually adopted in cutting the diamond are the rose, but a lower figure for the table. The rate brilliant, the rose, and the table. The first shows is now $15 in place of the £2 above, and a the gem to the best advantage. It is composed specimen brilliant is worth $75. For diamonds of a principal face called the table, surrounded of moderate size the rates vary as little as those by a number of facets, which is all that is visible of exchange between countries. They follow above the bezil when set. The stone in depth befrom the natural proportions in which diamonds low the bezil should be equal to half its breadth. are found. Diamonds weighing over 10 carats On the under side it terminates in a small table, are generally esteemed at a higher proportional which is connected with the upper surface by rate than the smaller sizes; yet the latter can elongated facets. As the brilliant is the most commonly be sold at higher proportional rates, economical of material, and shows the stone most on account of the few purchasers for those of advantageously, it is usually preferred to any large size. In the great sale of jewels in Lon- other. The rose, which is very brilliant, is flat don in 1837, on the

distribution of the Deccan below and cut into facets entirely over the upper booty obtained by the army of the marquis of surface. The table is least beautiful, and is used Hastings, the splendid Nassuck diamond, weigh- mostly in India for thin stones with a large ing 3573 grains, and of the purest water, brought surface, which are ornamented by being cut only £7,200. The present value of diamonds may into facets at the edges.—Among the most cel. be inferred from the price paid in Dec. 1858, for ebrated diamonds known, that obtained by Mr. a stone weighing 61 carats, £33,000. A pair of Pitt, governor of Madras, is perhaps one of the drop-shaped diamonds for ear-rings were bought finest and most perfect. It is known as the reat the same sale for £15,000. A steady increase gent. Its weight before cutting was 410 carats, has taken place since the last century, and a much and by this process, which occupied 2 years, it more rapid increase in the price of fine gems is was reduced to 136 carats, and was purchased by to be expected, from the increased demand and the regent duke of Orleans in 1743 for $675,000. diminished supply. It is an interesting fact that Its present value is estimated at $1,000,000. It the finest gems of commerce are now in great was placed by Napoleon in the hilt of the sword part supplied by the old jewels of Portuguese, of state. A splendid diamond recently found in Spanish, French, and English families, the pro- Brazil

, and imported into France, is called the portions from each nation in the order named ; “Star of the South.” It weighs in its rough state and that the best market for them is now the 2544 carats. Its general form is a rhomboidal United States. The art of cutting and polishing dodecahedron, and upon its faces are impressions probably originated in Asia, at a very early pe- which appear to have been made by other diariod, but was first introduced into Europe about monds, so that the whole was probably a group the middle of the 15th century by Louis Berquen of diamond crystals. The famous diamond in of Bruges, who accidentally discovered that by possession of the king of Portugal is also from rubbing 2 diamonds together their surfaces might Brazil. If genuine, of which there is some doubt, be abraded. The powder obtained in this way is its value, according to the rule of compatation, used for polishing the stone. Diamond cutting should be $28,000,000, weighing as it does in the was for a long time a monopoly in Holland, and rough 1,680 grains.-The famous Koh-i-noor or the business is at the present day mostly con- “Mountain of Light” is now in possession of the fined to Amsterdam. The process, which consists queen of England. This wonderful stone, interof grinding down the surfaces as well as cutting, esting alike for its historical associations and for is slow and tedious, and being done entirely by its intrinsic beauty, was, according to Indian traband, occupies for a single stone the continual dition, obtained before the

Christian era from labor of months. The Pitt diamond indeed re- one of the mines of Golconda. From the rajah quired 2 years for the completion of the process. of Oojein, who seems to have possessed it at the Two diamonds are employed, each cemented beginning of the Christian era, it passed to sucinto the end of a stick or handle, a model in cessive sovereigns of central India, and in the lead being taken of the one to be cut, by which early part of the 14th century was added to the faces are determined. The stones are then the treasures of Delhi by the Patan monarch rubbed together with a strong pressure, being Aladdin. It remained in possession of the rul

[ocr errors]

ing families of the empire until the irruption of value is less than it would be but for its color the Persian conqueror Nadir Shah, who saw it and the form in which it is cut, ranking as worth glittering in the turban of the vanquished Mo- $500,000 instead of $750,000. The most valuahammed Shah, and proposing an exchange of ble diamond found in the United States was head dress as a mark of friendship, bore it away picked up by a workman at Manchester, on the with him, and gave it the name by which it is banks of the James river, opposite Richmond, in still known. After the assassination of Nadir 1856. The locality is in the tertiary formation, it passed through the hands of Ahmed Shah of and the diamond originally belonged, no doubt

, Cabool to Shah Soojah, who paid it as the price to the gold region up the river. It is of curviof his liberty to his conqueror Runjeet Singh, linear octabedral form, specific gravity 3.503, the “lion of the Punjaub,” in 1813. On the and weighs 23.7 carats. It is lightly chatoyant

, annexation of the Punjaub to the East India and would probably cut white; but an original company's territory in 1849, it was stipulated flaw was increased by the rough treatment it that the Koh-i-noor should be surrendered to received from those into whose hands it fell

, so the queen of England, to whom it was accord- that its value was greatly deteriorated. It is ingly delivered by the company, July 3, 1850. now in possession of Prof. Dewey. Another At this period its weight was 186 carats. It valuable diamond, owned by Thomas G. Clemwas exhibited at the crystal palace in London son, Esq., was found among the gold washings in 1851, where it attracted universal attention; of North Carolina about the year 1842. This but when found to exhibit an inferior display of was of curvilinear form, and was set without colors to its glass model, and that it was neces- cutting. Others of less importance have been sary to surround it with a number of vivid found in Georgia.—The imitation of diamonds lights to develop its colored refractions, multi- has been carried to an astonishing degree of tudes turned away disappointed from the world- perfection among the French. M. Bourguignon renowned “Mountain of Light.” An examina- has been especially successful in this manufaction was made of it by scientific gentlemen, ture. The sand employed for the production with reference to the propriety of recutting the of his splendid diamonds is procured from the gem. After obtaining the opinions of skilful forest of Fontaineblean, and forms a considercutters at Amsterdam, it was decided that the able article of trade. The setting of these mock attempt should be made, though some fears stones is always of pure gold, and of the newest were entertained as to its success. Being the fashion, and the ornaments when completed largest diamond cut in Europe for a long time, rival in delicacy and lustre the purest diamonds it was a work of no common interest. Orders which nature has produced, and only by the were given that the proper machinery should closest inspection can the difference be detectbe prepared, and a small steam engine was pro- ed. The chief objection to them is their liabilcured for the purpose. The duke of Wellington ity to become dull in time by deliqnescence.commenced the work. The stone being im- The process of collecting diamonds is similar to bedded in lead, excepting only that portion that of collecting gold in the alluvial deposits which was first to be cut, he held it firmly The coarse gravel and rolled pebbles derived against a rapidly revolving wheel, which by its from the primary and metamorphic rocks, forma friction removed the angle exposed, and thus the lowest stratum among the sands and class the first facet of the fresh cutting was accom- of the alluvium. This stratum, resting upon plished. The operation was continued and suc- the surface of the rock, is the repository alike cessfully completed by careful and experienced of gold and of diamonds. It is laid bare in workmen. Now, the splendid Koh-i-noor, freed the beds of the streams, when these cease to from all blemishes and defects, blazes brilliantly flow in the dry season, or are drawn off by among the crown jewels of the sovereign of sluices made for the purpose. From these beds

, England.—The diamond so long in possession as well as from excavations in the bottom, the of the sultan of Matan, of the island of Borneo, gravel is removed, to be washed when conteis remarkable for its size and parity. It weighs nient. This in Brazil is usually in the rains 367 carats, and should be worth at least $3,- season, and the work is done in a long shel

, 500,000. It is shaped like an egg with an in- through which a stream of water is conveyed, dented hollow in the smaller end. It was dis- and admitted into boxes in which the gravel is covered at Landak. The Orloff diamond pur- washed. A negro works at each bos, and inchased for the empress Catharine of Russia is spectors are placed to watch the work, and to about the size of a pigeon's egg, and weighs 195 prevent the laborers from secreting the discarats. It is said to have formed the eye of a monds. It is the custom to liberate the negro famous idol in a temple of Brahma at Pondi- who finds a diamond weighing 17) carats. Dr. cherry. A French deserter robbed the pagoda Beke, in a paper read at a meeting of the

Britof this valuable stone. After passing through ish association, relates that a slave in Brazil the hands of various purchasers, it came into seeking for diamonds in the bed of a river broke the possession of a Greek merchant, who re- with his iron bar through a crust of silicious ceived for it from the empress $450,000, an materials, cemented together by oxide of iron, annuity of $20,000, and a title of nobility. The in which he discovered a bed of diamonds Austrian diamond is of a beautiful lemon color, which were afterward sold for $1,500,000. This and cut in rose; its weight is 139 carats. Its immense quantity, being carried to England, so

[ocr errors]

overstocked the market that few of the English year 1853. By long continued voltaic action, houses were able to stand up against it.—Beside carbon free from every trace of mineral subtheir use as ornaments, diamonds are applied stance, prepared from crystallized sugar candy, to several practical purposes.

Those that are was made to deposit microscopic crystals in unfit from their imperfections for jewelry, are black octahedrons, colorless translucent octasold under the technical name of bort. They hedrons, and in colorless and translucent plates, are crushed to fine powder in a steel mortar, the whole of which had the hardness of the and used for coating the metallic disks employ- powder of the diamond, and which disappeared ed by lapidaries for producing flat surfaces on in combustion without leaving any perceptible precious stones of great hardness. The fine residue. Being, however, only in powder, it splinters are made into drills, for piercing small was impossible to isolate and weigh these crysholes through rubies and other hard stones. tals, or to determine their index of refraction The property possessed by the diamond of cut- and angles of polarization. It is said that a ting glass is due not merely to its extreme similar result has been obtained by decomposing hardness, but to the peculiarity of its crystalli- a mixture of chloride of carbon and alcohol by zation in rounded faces and curvilinear edges. weak galvanic currents.—The principal English The natural crystal only is suitable for this pur- works on the subject are D. Jeffrey's “Treatise pose. According to Dr. Wollaston, many hard on Diamonds and Pearls” (8vo., London, 1750); stones, and even flint cut in this form, possess the I. Mawe's “Treatise on Diamonds and Precious same property, but soon lose it in use, for want Stones” (8vo., London, 1826). of hardness. Small microscopes of a single lens, DIAMOND DISTRICT, a part of the disand of great power and clearness, have been cut trict of Serro Frio, in the province of Minas Geout of diamonds. The diamond exhibiting the raes, Brazil, famous for the production of diaphysical properties of matter in their highest monds. It is a mountainous tract, not far from state of perfection, and proving after all to be Villa do Principe, extending about 16_leagues of the simplest chemical composition, it has from N. to S. and 8 from E. to W. The diabeen a matter of no little scientific interest to monds were first discovered here by a company study the peculiarities of its construction, and to of gold miners in 1730. At first they were igdetermine if possible the secret processes by norant of the value of the gems, and threw away which nature has elaborated the most perfect many of them as useless. Others were sent to gem from so homely a substance as charcoal. the governor of Brazil, who supposed them to be Its high value has stimulated these researches, in curious crystals. A few of the stones having the hope of individual profit by its artificial pro- been carried to Lisbon were shown to the Datch duction. But though more complicated forms of consul, who recognized them as diamonds, and matter have been successfully reproduced, car- had them transmitted to Holland. Immense bon has not yet been made to attain the simple numbers of the gems were now exported from perfection of the diamond, unless it be in crys- Brazil, and the Portuguese government soon tals invisible to the naked eye; nor have we yet took measures to secure a monopoly of the vallearned from what department of nature's works uable trade. The district was surrounded by the material has been taken, that has been so lines of demarkation, which were guarded with beautifully perfected. The vegetable kingdom the utmost strictness. No one was permitted to may have furnished it, after itself receiving it pass these in either direction without a permit from the atmosphere, or it may have been un- from the intendant of the mines, and travellers locked from those repositories of carbon shut up leaving the diamond ground were obliged to subfrom remote geological periods in the carbonic mit to a thorough examination of their persons, acid of the calcareous rocks, or from such collec- baggage, and horses. A peculiar system of potions of fossilized plants as are now seen in vari- lice was established for the regulation of the ous stages of change to mineral substance. But district, and stringent laws were passed to proif the direct object of these researches has not vide for the registering of the inhabitants, the been attained, the forces which have acted admission of settlers, the erection of inns and upon it to give to it some of its peculiarities shops, and the punishment of infringements of have been partially determined, as also a pre- the government monopoly. The diamond mines vious condition in which it must have existed. were at first rented to private individuals, but Sir David Brewster, from the exhibition of the frauds and violations of contract of which polarized light around the minute and irregu- these persons were constantly guilty induced lar cavities in diamonds, has concluded that the the government to take the matter into its own substance has once been in a soft state, and hands, and the mines were long worked under compressed in these parts by the expansive the direction of officers of the crown. The action of a gas or fluid contained in the cavities; precious stones are found in a kind of gravel, and as various circumstances indicate that this called cascalhão, which is dug up and removed softness was not the effect of either solvents or to a convenient place for washing. A shed, heat, he is of opinion that, like amber, the dia. about 25 or 30 yards long and 15 wide, consist mond is a vegetable substance, slowly consoli- ing simply of upright posts and a thatched dated into a crystalline form. The nearest ap- roof, is erected over the spot where the heaps proach to its reproduction has been in the ex- of cascalhão are to be deposited. Through the periments of M. Desprétz, announced in the centre of this shed is conducted a stream of

water, on one side of which is a range of sloping the palaces and public buildings with her emblems troughs, each about 3 feet wide, and communi- and devices, he admitted her to his councils, and cating with the stream at the upper end. Op- in 1548 created her duchess of Valentinois. She posite to the troughs are high chairs placed at retained her ascendency until Henry's death in equal distances for the overseers, or feitores. 1569, when she retired to the palace built for her A slave stations himself in each trough, and with by her royal lover at Anet; but in 1561 she was a short-handled rake draws up a pile of 50 or recalled by Catharine de' Medici to exert her in80 pounds of cascalhão. He lets in water upon fluence in detaching the constable de Montmothis

, to wash away the earthy particles, and rency from the Châtillons. From that time until after throwing out the largest stones, examines her death she remained in retirement, retaining the rest with great care for diamonds. As soon her personal charms, of which she had always as he finds one, he stands upright, claps his taken the most extraordinary care, to the last. hands, and holding it between his finger and Her power over the king, even when she had thumb shows it to the overseer, who receives reached the ripe age of 60, was due to less to it from him, and places it in a bowl half full of her beauty than to her intellectual gifts. She water, suspended from the centre of the struc- seldom made a bad use of her position, and she ture. The mines are now open to all who spent large sums in charity. choose to invest their capital in them, and the DIAPASON (Gr. dia, through, and nas, all), cost of working them has been estimated at & term employed by the old Greek and Latin about $8 per carat. They give employment and musicians to denote the scale or octave. Mod. support to about 10,000 persons.

ern musicians sometimes employ it in a similar DIAMOND HARBOR, a roadstead in the manner. The diapason stops of an organ are river Hoogly, presidency of Bengal, British In- so called because they run through the wbole dia, 29 m. below Calcutta. It was the first register of the keyboard. place in Bengal acquired by the East India DIAPER, a linen fabric, said to have been company, and is now a shipping depot. The originally made at Ypres in Belgium, and hence climate is very unhealthy; the neighboring known as d’Ypres, whence its present dame. It swamps exhale the most noxious vapors, and is distinguished by its flowered patterns, and the night dews are remarkably heavy. An ex- sometimes reseinbles damask. It is largely cellent road and an electric telegraph connect manufactured for napkins, table-cloths, &c. Irethe place with Calcutta.

land, Germany, and Scotland especially produce DIANA, an ancient Italian divinity, identified excellent qualities of the article. by the Romans with the Artemis of the Greeks. DIAPHORETICS, or SUDORIFICS (Gr. Blade Servius Tullius is said to have introduced ber pew, to carry through), stimulant medicines, worship at Rome, dedicating to her a temple on which increase the cutaneous transpiration. In the Aventine. As goddess of light she represent this class were formerly included many subed the moon. The root of her name seems to be stances, especially the mints and similar plants, the same as that of the word dies. In images which are only diaphoretic in virtue of the and legends of a later period she fully answers abundant, warm, and watery infusion in which to the Grecian Artemis. (See ARTEMIS.) they are administered. There are, bowerer,

DIANA of Poitiers, duchess of Valentinois, certain substances, vegetable and mineral, which mistress of Henry II. of France, born Sept. 3, exert a special action upon the skin, stimu1499, died in Anet, April 22, 1566. She was lating the sudoriferous glands, and eliminated maid of honor to Queen Claude, and when her fa- by the cutaneous surface. Warm water is an ther, the count of St. Vallier, had been condemn- excellent diaphoretic, either simple or in the ed to death for favoring the escape of the consta- form of the many domestic herb teas; the va. ble Bourbon, she so touched the heart of the sus- por and warm baths' are effectual and natural ceptible Francis I. by her tears and beauty, that stimulators of the skin; the cold bath, and the the punishment was commuted. At the age of various applications of the hydrotherapic methe 13 she became the wife of Louis de Brézé, count od, are sure but disagreeable and often danger. of Maulevrier, by whom she had 2 daughters. ous sudorifics. Among vegetable remedies of In 1531 her liusband died, and Diana, putting this class are aconite, opium (alone or combined on a widow's weeds, expressed a resolve to wear in the form of Dover's powder), dulcamara them to her grave; but this did not prevent her guaiacum, sarsaparilla, mezereon, and squill

. At when nearly 40 years old from becoming the the head of the mineral diaphoretics stand the mistress of the dauphin, afterward Henry II. antimonials; others are sulphur and the prepThe duchess of Etampes then possessed the af- arations of ammonia. The ethers, especially the fections of Francis I., and the 2 favorites divided nitrous, are powerfully diaphoretic when the the court until the accession of the dauphin, surface is kept warmly covered. Indeed, many when Diana's rival was sent into exile. Diana of the so-called diaphoretics, if the body be not now became almost mistress of the kingdom. kept warm, act as diuretics, increasing the priThe beauty and accomplishments of the young nary secretion; and almost any stimulating med. queen, Catharine de' Medici, could not prevail icine will increase the secretion of the skin, if against her influence. The king delighted in the surface be warmed or prevented from losing giving public tokens of his infatuation, and not its heat by evaporation." Deficient action in content with wearing her colors and blazoning the skin is seen in a great variety of complaints, and in certain stages of almost all fevers, and passage of the inferior vena cava. The diathe choice of the proper remedy to stimulate its phragm is in relation, above, with the pericaraction often requires the highest skill of the dium in the middle, and with the pleuræ, base physician. Diaphoretics are employed to most of the lungs, and walls of the chest on the sides; advantage in chronic diseases of the skin, in below, with the aorta in the middle, the kidgout and rheumatism, syphilis, dropsy, and neys, renal capsules, pancreas, and duodenum; catarrhal affections. When we consider the on the right side with the liver, and on the left amount of carbonic acid and azotized matters with the stomach and spleen. The direction of thrown off by the skin, in its vicarious and al- the posterior fibres is nearly vertical; all the ternating performance of the offices of the lungs others converge toward the tendinous centre. and kidneys, we can understand how necessary The diaphragm is the great muscle of respirait is to keep this surface in a healthy condition. tion; when it contracts, its upward convexity The skin is a most important respiratory organ, becomes a plane surface, the cavity of the chest and will keep up the standard of animal heat is enlarged, and air rushes in to expand the when the lungs are almost destroyed as aërating lungs during the act of inspiration; when forciorgans, giving a most valuable therapeutic in- bly contracted, it may act as an assistant to the dication in the treatment of pulmonary affec- abdominal expiratory muscles by diminishing tions. According to Mr. Wilson, the total num- the size of the base of the chest; by its action ber of pores of the sudoriferous glands on the on the abdominal viscera it aids in the expulsurface of the human body is about 7,000,000, sion of fæces and urine; in ordinarily tranquil and the length of the perspiratory tubing con- breathing the diaphragm is sufficient for the nected therewith nearly 28 miles. Such an ex- performance of the function. In animals the tensive system as this cannot be neglected in extent and position of the diaphragm vary acdisease with impunity, and the medicines which cording to the number of the ribs; in those can stimulate it, when depressed or obstructed, whose ribs extend nearly to the pelvis, as in must be among the most useful in the materia the horse, the thoracic convexity of the diamedica. It is highly probable that, in many phragm is much greater than in man.

This forms of fever, the suppression of the perspira- important muscle is liable to malformations, tion is the cause of the disordered vascular wounds, and morbid conditions; its total abaction; and that deficient action of the cutane- sence is incompatible with any other than intraous glandulæ, from want of exercise and inat- uterine life, as aërial respiration would be imtention to cleanliness, is a frequent source of possible ; its partial absence, like dilatation of its disease, from the accumulation in the blood of natural openings, or laceration of its fibres, is acdecomposing organic matter whose natural out- companied by the passage of more or less of the let is the skin. The cutaneous surface seems to abdominal viscera into the chest, impeding the be the natural channel for the elimination of action of the heart, lungs, and digestive organs; many morbid products, and the use of diapho- in such cases, the liver, stomach, omentum, ileretics to be the only rational method of remov- um, cæcum, and part of the colon, have been ing such from the system. The experience of found above the diaphragm. This partition is physicians in tropical climates shows that the also liable to penetrating wounds, and to rupgreat art of preserving health there consists in ture from external violence, the latter being the attention to the regular performance of the cu- most dangerous ; in either case, nature alone taneous functions, and that the adynamic fevers can remedy the evil. It is sometimes inflamed, of those unhealthy regions are best treated by and in the rheumatic diathesis is the seat of the active diaphoretics.

most acute pain, increased by every respiratory DIAPHRAGM, the transverse muscle which act, and forcing the patient to breathe almost separates the thoracic from the abdominal cav- entirely by means of the abdominal muscles. ity in mammalian vertebrates. It is flattened Spasmodic contractions are familiarly known by in shape, nearly circular, fleshy at the edges, the phenomenon of hiccough; this is sometimes tendijous in the centre, elongated, and ending merely a nervous affection, and at others is a in a point behind. In front it is attached to symptom of peritonitis, strangulated hernia, the ensiform cartilage of the breast bone, on the and other abdominal diseases. Paralysis of the sides to the posterior surface of the last 6 ribs, diaphragm is speedily fatal, from the suspension behind to the transverse process of the 1st lum- of respiration. bar vertebra and to the bodies of the first 3 DIÀRBEKIR, DIYAR-BEKR, or DIARBEKR, vertebræ of the loins by tendinous slips; the a town of Turkey in Asia, formerly capital of fleshy fibres of the last form the pillars of the an ancient pashalic of the same name, on a diaphragm, and their fasciculi cross each other rocky eminence a short distance from the right in such a way as to leave 2 openings, one supe- bank of the river Tigris

, in lat. 37° 56' 30" N., rior and most anterior, giving passage to the long. 39° 52' E. A fertile and well cultivated cesophagus and par vagum nerve, the other in- plain surrounds the city, which is encompassed ferior and more to the left, for the passage of by walls pierced by 4 gates

, and surmounted by the aorta, thoracic duct, and vena azygos; the many towers. In the N. E. portion of the town tendinous centre has been compared to a leaf of are the ruins of the citadel, formerly the resiclover. Between the middle and right portion dence of the pasha. The town was once a very of the tendinous centre is the opening for the flourishing place, and contained, it is said, 200,

« PředchozíPokračovat »