by Bella  

They say diamonds are a girl's best friend. The Russian word for this girl's multifaceted best friend is бриллиант or in the plural бриллианты. Doesn't the word just sound so shiny and, well, brilliant?

Мой кавалер подарил мне серьги с бриллиантaми! My boyfriend gave me diamond earrings!
Она купила бриллиантовое кольцо в пять каратов. She bought a five-carat diamond ring.

As with many Russian words, there is a way to refer to small diamonds — бриллиантик or бриллиантики.

For example:

У неё в ушах по бриллиантику. She wears a small diamond stud in each ear.

Over the course of history there have been many beautiful and revered diamonds. My favorite is The Shah. It is originally from India and weighs 88.7 carats. The first three owners of the rock engraved their signatures on it. Eventually, as a show of diplomacy, Persia gifted it to Tsar Nicholas I.

Алмаз Шах один из самых драгоценных бриллиантов в мире. The Shah is one of the most valuable diamonds in the world.


Comment from: Timo [Visitor]

And a famous Russian comedy…

Бриллиантовая рука


09/16/10 @ 12:58
Comment from: Bruce Dumes [Visitor]

And of course there is the classic Russian comedy, “Бриллиантовая рука” (The Diamond Arm), which you can watch at my site.


09/16/10 @ 07:11
Comment from: John33317 [Visitor]

I thought the Russian for diamond was “almaz.” Is there a nuance: for instance, does it become a “brilliant” after it’s mined and cut and polished into a jewel?

Don responds: That’s about right. My understanding is that алмаз can mean either the mineral itself or the mineral processed into a gemstone. Бриллиант means specifically that mineral processed as a gemstone.

09/16/10 @ 06:39

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