What are your associations with the phrase "wooden diamonds"? The context:

They wore wooden diamonds. (It's about three fellows who wore wooden diamonds and drink from faceted thick-wall glasses).

I mean in the Russian we have phrase "wooden ruble" (meaning that the value of it is far from the value of gold). And I know that there is "wooden nickel" (from "Don't take any wooden nickels"). If I said on the Russian "деревянные бриллианты" (wooden brilliants) I would mean cheap jewelry. Do you see it like that or not?

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    Did you invent this phrase based on Russian? Or did you encounter it somewhere? If you did not come up with it yourself, could you please add a bit more context? In any case, I've never heard this expression before. – snailcar Mar 31 '17 at 8:37
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    @snailplane, I invented it based on Russian. I just wanted to know how it could be interpreted, if I said it on English. – Natalia Chernyavskaya Mar 31 '17 at 8:40
  • Thanks for clarifying. I think that, now that we know you've invented the phrase, the question should be answerable. – snailcar Mar 31 '17 at 8:45
  • The only think that comes up to mind is "wooden" in the meaning of "not beautiful" but that is a false assumption. – SovereignSun Mar 31 '17 at 10:01
  • My first thought personally would be that they're wearing pieces of wood cut into the shape of a diamond. I would think of fake diamonds as being made from glass or paste., that have similar qualities of lustre and reflection. That is however only the way I would think of it others will have a different view. – Sarriesfan Mar 31 '17 at 11:42

I wouldn't use wooden, because it makes me think of jewelry that's actually made of wood. The first thing I thought of was "paste jewelry". From that Collectors Weekly link:

In 1724, French jewel designer Georges Frédéric Strass came up with “paste,” a kind of leaded glass that he cut and polished with metal powder until it appeared to shimmer like a diamond in the light.

I think "glass diamonds" might also work, but wood is too far from being a material that someone would use to make a what we call "costume jewelry".

They wore paste jewels and drank from faceted thick-walled glasses.

  • Absolutely. I think Ms Chernyavskaya was lured in by some false friends. Wooden nickels and wooden rubles are actually close in meaning and sense, but only because there have actually been wooden tokens palmed off as currency. That sense of wooden never became generalized in English and so doesn't work for diamonds. – lly Apr 6 '17 at 15:38

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