Facts You Will Want To Know About Diamond

  1. Diamonds aren’t actually that rare or valuable, except that De Beers marketing made us think so, and their control of the diamond mines at the time created a false demand. The diamond’s subsequent placement in American Culture has led us to think it’s an important part of romance, but that was literally the goal of the marketing campaign. If you’re living in a Western Country and wearing a diamond engagement or wedding ring, you can thank De Beers. Prior to 1938, engagement rings, heck, wedding rings, weren’t nearly as common as they are now. People SOMETIMES exchanged them, but it was a luxury, and diamonds weren’t any more common than any other gem.
  2. Greek philosopher Plato wrote about diamonds as if they were living beings that embodied celestial spirits. Seems weird to us now, but ancient Roman and Greeks thought pretty highly of diamonds, including thinking that they were tears of the gods and that Cupid‘s arrows were tipped with diamonds.
  3. Rough diamonds look very very different from their faceted final jewelry form, and lose about half of their carat weight in the process of cutting, shaping, and polishing.
  4. Around 80% of diamonds are used for industrial purposes, only about 20% make the cut for jewelry. Get it? Diamond? Cut? No?
  5. It rains diamonds on Saturn and Jupiter. This is because of the chemical makeup of the atmosphere on these planets. In the upper atmosphere, lighting turns methane into soot, which is then pressurized as it falls towards the planet’s surface, eventually turning into graphite and then diamond.
  6. The most sought after colored diamond is pink. Vivid pink, to be exact.
  7. In 2004, astronomer Travis Metcalfe discovered a “Diamond Star” 50ish light-years away from earth. It’s the compressed heart of an old star – carbon + pressure = diamond, even in space. The star was named “Lucy” because…in the sky…with diamonds.
  8. The largest cut white diamond to date is called “The Star of Africa” and weighs an impressive 530 Carats. It’s cut in a teardrop shape. It was found in 1905, in Pretoria, South Africa
  9. The Golden Jubilee Diamond is the largest cut faceted diamond in the world. Unlike The Star of Africa, this diamond is brown, and comes in at an impressive 545.67 carats. It was discovered in 1986 and is currently owned by the King of Thailand.
  10. The Dubai First Royal credit card has gold trim and single .235 carat diamond in the center, and SberbankKazakhstan (a bank of Kasakhstan) offered a Visa Infinite card with 26 diamonds, made of gold and mother of pearl. That particular card cost $100,000, just for the card.
  11. Less than 1% of women in the world will ever wear a diamond 1 carat or ever, according to some estimates. So, ladies, if you have a diamond of 1 carat or more on your finger, you are the 1%. (Depending on what you’re talking about.)
  12. Tracy Hall, who developed the first synthetic diamond process for GE, making them a bazillionty dollars (estimated), was given a $10 savings bond as a bonus for discovering the process.
  13. The first known use of diamonds, like the use of most diamonds today, was industrial. A physicist at Harvard discovered that the ancient Chinese used diamonds to polish axes used in ceremonies and burials, over 4,000 years ago.
  14. When exposed to short wave UV light, The Hope Diamond glows red. This actually lasts several seconds after exposure ends. This could, possibly, maybe have something to do with why it’s got a reputation for being cursed. That and its previous owners dying horrible deaths.
  15. Blue colored diamonds are blue due to the presence of boron and are the rarest color; yellow and orange diamonds are due to nitrogen, and green due to from exposure to gamma rays over time within the earth. Interestingly, the color of a green diamond gets more muted and brownish towards the center. No one’s quite sure why pink diamonds are punk, though it’s believed to be due to something called plastic deformation, which is what happens when enough pressure is applied to a structure to change it’s shape. In the case if gemstones, that would change the way they refract light, and thus how we see them.

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