Good to know
What is the earliest record of a man giving a diamond to a woman for her hand in marriage?
In 1477, the Archduke of Austria gave a diamond to Mary of Burgundy. Today, some 500 years later, diamonds are the most popular gemstones in engagement rings.
On average, how old is a diamond?
Diamonds are formed over a period of millions of years deep within earth's crust – about 150km (90 miles) deep. Within time, they are pushed to the surface by volcanoes. Most diamonds are found in volcanic rock, called Kimberlite, or in the sea after having been carried away by rivers when they were pushed to the surface.
A diamond is 58 times harder than corundum, the next hardest mineral on earth, out of which rubies and sapphires are formed. Only in the 15th century, it was discovered that the only way to cut diamonds was with other diamonds.
What is the largest diamond in the world?
The world’s largest diamond known to men was the Cullinan, which was found in South Africa in 1905. Uncut, it weighed 3,106.75 carats. The Cullinan was cut into the Great Star of Africa (530.2 carats), the Lesser Star of Africa (317.40 carats), and an additional 104 other diamonds of nearly flawless colour and clarity. Today, these diamonds form part of the British crown jewels.
The Cullinan was three times the size of the next largest diamond, the Excelsior, which was also found in South Africa. The world’s largest documented polished diamond, which was unearthed in 1986 in South Africa, is called the Unnamed Brown. It was cut down from a 700 carat rough diamond and weighs 545 carats. The diamond took almost 3 years to cut, just like the Centenary Diamond, which also forms a part of the British crown jewels. This last one weighs 273.85 carats and is considered the world’s largest flawless diamond.
The biggest diamond in the entire universe is thought to be Lucy, a crystallized white dwarf star. It is actually a burned out star from diamonds. It was discovered about 50 light-years away from Earth in the region of the sky we refer to as the constellation Centaurus. Its weight is 10 billion trillion carat. Named after the Beatles song, Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds, the star is technically known as BPM 37093.
In ancient times, what "powers" did people believe diamonds gave them?
In ancient times, diamonds were believed to promote strength, invincibility and courage.
More Diamond Facts
- To produce a single one-carat diamond, 250 tons of earth will be mined.
- Gem-quality diamonds are made up from less than 20 % of the diamonds that are mined worldwide.
- The first notation of precious diamonds dates back to around 500 B.C.
- In their purest state, diamonds are brilliant and entirely colourless.
- Diamonds are found in a variety of colours. Blue and pink diamonds are the rarest, and yellow and brown are the most common.
- The diamond is rock hard and virtually fireproof. In order for a diamond to burn, it must be heated to 1292 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Out of one-thousand polished diamonds, only one will weigh more than one carat.
- Although the United States of America accounts for less than 1% of total global gemstone productions, they buy more than half of the world's total gem quality diamonds and thus account for the world's largest diamond market.
- Australia produces the most diamonds in volume.
- The Crater of Diamonds State Park in Arkansas is the world’s only diamond mine that is open to the public. Since 1906, more than 70000 diamonds have been discovered in the Crater of Diamonds State Park, including the 40.23 carat Uncle Sam Diamond, which is the largest diamond of its kind ever found in the U.S.A.