11 Fun Facts about Diamonds
Diamonds have been a symbol of wealth and beauty for centuries, and it’s easy to see why. We’ve all heard the song “Diamonds are a Girls Best Friend” and as Marilyn says, square cut or pear shape, these rocks (really) don’t lose their shape! Being the most prominent of the recognized gemstones aside from rubies, emeralds and sapphires, diamonds are very well known around the world and are literal pieces of history! Here are some facts you may not have known about diamonds.
- Diamonds are the birthstone for April and are traditionally used in engagement rings worldwide and are said to symbolize strength, faithfulness and love!
- Diamonds are the strongest natural substance in the world! They rank at very top of Mohs Scale of Hardness at a 10.
- Diamonds are made up of one single element, carbon. Under immense heat and pressure far below the earths surface, carbon atoms bond in a way that creates diamonds unique crystalline structure.
- Most natural diamonds have ages between 1 billion and 3.5 billion years old!
- Diamonds have been mined all over the world for centuries, with their primary mining locations changing over the years. The first primary source of diamonds was India, with them starting to be traded in Venice in the early 1400’s. When India’s diamond supply became depleted in the 1700’s, Brazil became the primary source for the stones until a huge diamond reserve was discovered in South Africa in the late 1800’s. Today, diamonds are mined in many parts of the world, including Canada!
- It is said that the ancient Greeks and Romans believed that diamonds were fallen tears from the gods, or shards of fallen stars. It was also said that the tips of cupid’s arrows were made from diamonds, possibly making that the first association between diamonds and love!
- In 2004, astronomers at Yale University discovered a planet about 40 light years away from earth that is almost entirely made up of carbon. The surface is supposedly made up entirely of graphite and diamonds!
- Diamonds have many other uses other then in jewelry! About 80% of all the diamonds mined worldwide go towards industrial use.
- Diamonds are incredibly rare! Roughly 250 tons of earth must be mined to produce a single one carat diamond.
- The largest diamond ever discovered was found in South Africa in 1905 and is called the Cullinan diamond. It weighed a whopping 3106 carats, which works out to being about 1.33 pounds! The stone was given to King Edward, who eventually had it cut down into nine large diamonds and 100 smaller ones. The three largest are currently on display at the Tower of London as part of the Crown Jewel Collection.
- One of the most famous diamonds in the world Is the Hope Diamond, which is a 45.52ct natural deep blue stone. It has had many owners over the years, including Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette and is rumored to be cursed! The stone currently resides in the Smithsonian Museum.