There's no way we could have gone through the month of April without talking about diamonds at least once! Here's a condensed sampling of stuff that might make you look at your diamond a little differently:
1) This is what they look like as a rough crystal:
|Photo courtesy of www.diamondintherough.com|
2) Unlike most gems which form in the Earth's crust (which is from 5-40 km thick), diamonds are one of the few gem materials which form below this layer in the upper mantle.
3) There are space diamonds!! Some evidence suggests that certain meteorites have collided with the Earth with such force that the heat and pressure generated by the impact caused certain elements to crystallize into diamonds.
|A piece of the Allende meteorite. Photo courtesy of www.mnh.si.edu|
4) The Crater of Diamonds is a state park in Arkansas, U.S.A, which is the only diamond producing site in the world which boasts being open to the general public.
5) Historians estimate that diamonds were first discovered in India around the 4th century BC!
6) When cutting diamond rough, one can expect to lose up to 50% of it in the process.
7) The largest diamond ever found is the Cullinan Diamond. Weighing in at 3106.75 carats, it was subsequently cut into 9 pieces, some of which are found in the British Crown Jewels.
|Royal Scepter with cross featuring the First Star of Africa (Cullinan Diamond). Photo courtesy www.famousdiamonds.tripod.com|
8) Colored diamonds, when natural, are often the result of either impurities or a structural defect. Talk about wonderfully beautiful freaks of nature!
9) The diamond was not always the ubiquitous symbol for an engagement. In fact, it seems that only in the 1600's do we begin to see evidence (in literature) of diamonds being associated with marriage.
There you have it, 9 sparkling facts!