The diamond is the hardest natural substance found on the earth.
Incredibly, the diamond is the only gemstone made of just one element – carbon.
Most diamonds, found in nature, were formed 1 billion to 3 billion years ago due to extreme heat and pressure. These diamonds were formed 90 to 120 miles below the surface of the Earth. Volcanic activity brings diamond crystals much closer to the earth’s surface.
A rough diamond looks so much like a pebble that most people would pass it by without a second glance.
The diamond is the most effective heat conducting material, which expands very little when subjected to high temperatures, unlike most other conducting materials.
In order to burn a diamond, it must be heated to more than one thousand degrees Fahrenheit and it will simply vanish, without even ash remaining. Only a little carbon dioxide will have been released.
However, many people expect a diamond to be unbreakable. This is not true. A diamond’s crystal structure has ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ directions. A blow of sufficient force, in a very exact direction, can crack, chip, split or even shatter a diamond.
Diamonds were first mined in India over 2,800 years ago.
More than 250 tons of ore need to be blasted, crushed and processed to produce just one carat of rough diamond.
In one thousand polished diamonds, only one will weigh more than one carat.
The largest Diamond ever found is the Cullinan with 3,106 carats.
On average, each stone will lose 50% of its original weight during cutting and polishing.
Diamonds come in a spectrum of color. Colored diamonds are called “fancies”. Blue and pink diamonds are among the rarest whereas yellow and brown are among the most common.
Eighty percent of the world’s diamonds are not suitable for jewelry. These are used for industrial purposes.
Diamonds are one of the Earth’s, and specifically Africa’s, major natural resources.
The diamond industry employs approximately ten million people around the world, both directly and indirectly, across a wide spectrum of roles from mining to retail.
Botswana accounts for producing the most diamonds in volume.
The most recent diamond discoveries were made in North America – in the Northwest Territories of Canada and in Colorado.
America buys more than half of the world’s total gem-quality diamonds, accounting for the world’s largest diamond market.
The largest diamond ever found in the U.S. was discovered in 1924 in the Crater of Diamonds State Park in Arkansas – the “Uncle Sam Diamond” weighs 40.23 carats.
The Crater of Diamonds State Park in Arkansas is the world’s only diamond mine open to the public and is a dig-for-fee operation for tourists and rock enthusiasts. An average of 74,000 visitors comes to the park each year. About one out of 100 visitors finds a diamond.
It is estimated that less than one percent of women will ever wear a diamond of one carat or more.