Diamond facts are important to consider as a starting base for your diamond research. But where to start? Diamonds are known for their sparkle, romance, and the iconic tagline: A Diamond is Forever. Some of the most famous diamonds are steeped in mystery and drama, such as the curse of the Hope Diamond or the Koh-I-Nur diamond that has changed hands numerous times through theft and confiscation. But there is more to a diamond than its radiance and intrigue. Here are some diamond facts to get you started.
Diamond Facts: Let’s Go
- The word diamond derives from the Greek word “adamas”, which means invincible or indestructible. In ancient times, diamonds were believed to promote strength, invincibility and courage. The ancient Greeks believed that diamonds were splinters of stars that fell to earth. Romans maintained that diamonds had the power to ward off evil and wore them as talismans. They inherited this belief from Indian mythology.
- The Earth is estimated to be 4.5 billion years old. Most diamonds found in nature are between one to three billion years old, with the oldest thought to have crystallized 3.3 billion years ago.
- The diamond is the hardest natural substance found on the Earth. Diamonds have an extremely high melting point of 3820K (3547′ C/ 6420′ F), and a diamond’s boiling point is 5100K (4827′ C/ 8720′ F). To uncover a single one-carat diamond, you’ll need to mine 250 tons of earth. Diamond crystals are brought closer to the earth’s surface through volcanic activity.
- The earliest record of a man proposing with a diamond ring was in 1477 when Archduke Maximilian of Austria presented Mary of Burgundy with a diamond ring while asking for her hand in marriage.
- Although the U.S. produces less than 1% of the total amount of global gemstone production, Americans buys more than 40% the world’s total volume of gem quality diamonds.
- The largest diamond ever discovered was the Cullinan at a whopping 3,106 carats!
- Back in the thirteenth-century, a law was passed in France allowing only the King to wear diamonds.
- Diamonds are colorless in their pure state. Colored diamonds get their hue from interstitial impurities. The rarest colored diamonds are red and blue and the most common colored diamonds are yellow and brown.
- The word carat comes from the word keration, the Mediterranean carob tree whose seed was used for centuries as the standard of weighing precious stones.
- Diamonds are primarily used in jewelry, but did you know they were also used to polish weapons? Scientists discovered that over 4,500 years ago, the ancient Chinese would make their ceremonial burial axes out of ruby and sapphire, and polished them with diamonds to give them a nice shiny finish.
While we’re on the fascinating topic of diamond trivia, check out this quiz about diamonds in movies. Whether it’s feel-good stories about a lost diamond ring returned to its owner, the latest celebrity diamond engagement ring, not to mention wierd curses and myths surrounding diamonds, it’s incredible to think how deeply entwined diamonds are with many aspects of culture, from the West to the East.