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The Royal Mistress Who Gave Diamonds Their Glitter

Although De Beers has been trying to convince us that "diamonds are forever" since 1947 when copy writer Frances Gerety coined the iconic slogan, the gemstones' popularity traces back around 600 years. Up until the mid-1400s, diamonds not only were rare, coming exclusively from India, but cut diamonds also were often sanctioned only for kings and religious iconography. Some royal edicts even forbade non-royals, especially women, from wearing them. But by the mid-1400s, wealthy women would accessorize with diamond jewelry, a trend commonly attributed to Agnes Sorel, mistress of French King Charles VII (see: Joan of Arc) who was also known as Dame de Beauté, or Lady of Beauty.