Did You Know ???

Have you ever wondered what the largest diamond ever mined weighed? How

about how many people are employed globally by the diamond industry? There

are numerous interesting facts and figures surrounding this amazing stone and

the industries that have grown up around it. Below, you will find many interesting

facts and information about diamonds and the diamond industry.

Diamond is the hardest naturally occurring substance on earth. While there are

a few substances that are created by humans that are harder, nothing in nature

compares to the diamond for hardness and durability. That is one of the reasons

that this gem is perfect for a number of different jewelry applications.

The largest diamond ever mined weighed in at an astounding 3,106 carats. It

was named theCullinan and is now part of the English Crown Jewels. Its current

home is the Tower of London, in London, England.

Only 20% of the world’s diamonds are suitable for jewelry. The other 80% are

used for industrial purposes or discarded because they are not worth anything for

any particular industry.

Diamonds are very old. Most diamonds found are at least 1 billion years old

according to scientists. Diamonds are formed in volcanoes and usually deposited

in alluvial deposits around the world.

Diamond is predominantly made up of pure carbon, much like the graphite once

used for pencil lead. Impurities in the carbon lead to colored diamonds. For

instance, nitrogen causes the yellow color of some diamonds. There are very few

completely colorless diamonds.

The first diamond engagement ring was given in 1477 by the Archduke

Maximillian of Austria to his lady love. Thanks Max!

The Hope Diamond, that now resides in the Smithsonian, began its history with

a French merchant in the 1600′s. It was subsequently sold to the French Crown

and made part of the royal jewels as the Blue Diamond of the Crown. It then

traveled through many different hands, including a Kind of England, until it finally

found its current resting place.

Uncut or flawed diamonds carry bad luck in the Hindu religion, while the stone in

any form carries good luck and many other benefits in the mythos of Europe.

India is one of the original homes of diamond mines. Most of the diamond cutting

before the Middle Ages was done in the nation of India. After India, Brazil was

the next place that diamonds were discovered, followed by Africa, where the

majority of diamonds are mined today.

Cool white dwarfs (dying stars) have a diamond core. This was proved in the

1960′s in Australia when the core of a cool white dwarf was measured and its

weight was calculated. The number of carats present was “astronomical”!

There are many more interesting diamond facts. Many of these facts have

been passed down in legend and myth surrounding the stoned. One common

misperception is that diamonds last forever. They, in fact, only last several billion

years. That’s close enough for most people, though!

Part of the reason that diamond is so surrounded by myth and mystery is

because of the phenomenal hardness of the stone. It has an enormously high

melting temperature and can only be cut by other diamonds. To early humans,

this seemed like complete indestructibility and a source of magical powers. Even

today, diamond enjoys a place in holistic practices and popular folklore.

While diamonds might seem almost eternal to people, they have only been

known to humans for a few thousand years. In that relatively short time frame,

these gems have undergone a radical transformation as far as humans are

concerned. Early, rough cut diamonds appeared almost black, and they lacked

the luster that marks today’s stones. With refinements in cutting, diamonds

began to take on the look of the stone that we know today.

Today, there are a number of cuts and polishing techniques used to create

the glowing stones that we know. Brilliant cuts are the term used for what we

know as diamonds. They have come a long way from the table top cut and the

polished, natural geometric shape that raw diamonds have.

Besides jewelry and folk remedies, diamonds play a role in health and beauty, as

well. You can find a number of skin care products that include diamond dust as

an exfoliant. The stone is wonderfully suited to this purpose.

Still, the largest numbers of diamonds are not employed in either jewelry or

health care. Industrial diamonds comprise the largest segment of the industry.

Most of this is because 80% of the diamonds mined are only suitable for

industrial uses, and those industries use the diamonds for many purposes. That’s

to say that they aren’t good for just one thing. They are multi-taskers. They are

reduced to powder and dust for use in cutting and grinding procedures, as well

as being used in more eclectic industries.

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