Top 10 facts about diamonds you didn’t know
Over the years, a diamond has remained one of the most spectacular gemstones of all time. But what exactly makes the diamond so fascinating? Not only does a diamond have the ability to captivate a person’s heart in just a few seconds, but the gemstone remains remarkable for the fact that they were formed before the age of dinosaurs. Today, a diamond is still known as the ultimate symbol of love making it the ideal gift for anniversaries, birthdays and special celebrations. Here are 10 fascinating facts in a nutshell that will make you fall in love with the magical gemstone even more:
A CANDLE FLAME CONTAINS MILLIONS OF SMALL DIAMONDS
Small diamonds can be found in candlelight
Throughout time many poets have compared the flickering flame of a candle to the gorgeous effect of a diamond. Of course, creative writers weren’t too far from the truth. According to Wuzong Zhou, a professor of chemistry at the University of St Andrews, around 1.5 million diamond nanoparticles can be found in a candle’s flame. Therefore, proposing during a candlelight dinner has even greater meaning.
SCIENTISTS CAN TURN THE REMAINS OF A LOVED ONE INTO A DIAMOND
Turn your loved one’s remains into a diamond
If you’re looking to have an everlasting connection with a loved one who has passed away, there’s an option to compress their ashes and turn it into a man-made diamond. This way you will be able to cherish them forever.
DIAMONDS WEREN’T ALWAYS MINED
Diamonds were found in riverbanks before they were mined
Today, the majority of diamonds on the market are mined underground or undersea using heavy machinery and high-tech equipment. However, before diamonds were mined below the earth’s surface they were found by miners alongside or at the bottom of rivers. This type of mining activity is known as alluvial mining.
THE EUREKA DIAMOND WAS DISCOVERED BY A 15-YEAR-OLD BOY
One of the largest diamonds were found by a 15-years-old boy
The beautiful Eureka diamond was first discovered in South Africa by a 15-year-old boy named Erasmus Stephanus in 1867. The 21.25 carat rough diamond was found near Hopetown on the Orange River. Today, the polished diamond weighs 10.73 carats.
A DIAMOND IS ONE OF THE HARDEST NATURAL SUBSTANCES ON EARTH
A diamond is 58 times harder than anything in nature
Diamonds are considered to be one of hardest natural materials known to man; according to researchers a diamond is up to 58x harder than anything you will find in nature. Therefore, the only object or piece of equipment that would be able to cut through a diamond would be another diamond.
THERE’S A DIAMOND IN THE SKY CALLED, ‘LUCY’
A massive diamond in the sky was named after a Beatles song
In 2007, the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics announced the discovery of a 10 billion-trillion-trillion carat diamond in the sky called, Lucy. The star was named after the Beatles song, “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” and is located fifty light years from Earth.
NOT ALL DIAMONDS ARE WHITE IN COLOUR
There’s a variety of diamonds available in nature
Did you know not all diamonds are colourless? In nature you will find a variety of natural fancy colour diamonds; the extremely rare diamonds come in different shades of red, blue, pink, yellow, brown, black, orange and green.
DIAMONDS WERE ONLY AVAILABLE TO THE ELITE
Diamonds weren’t always available to the public
Diamonds weren’t always available to the general public. During the twentieth-century France laid down a law, which indicated that only the King was allowed to wear diamonds. If a peasant or non-royalty member of the community was seen wearing the fascinating gemstone they would be dealing with serious consequences. Around this time, diamonds were exceptionally rare. It was the discovery of diamonds in South Africa that changed the world diamond industry forever.
THERE ARE DIAMONDS IN SPACE
There’s white dwarf stars in space with diamonds
Scientists revealed that there are white dwarf stars in space that each contain a diamond core. But what’s even more fascinating is that the largest diamond in the universe weighs a whopping 2.27 thousand trillion tons and holds up to 10 billion carats in weight.
A DIAMOND LOSES UP TO 50% OF ITS WEIGHT DURING THE CUTTING AND POLISHING PROCESS
A diamond loses up to 50% of its weight during the cutting and polishing process
In order for a rough diamond to reach its full potential it will undergo a cutting and polishing process; during which, the diamond will lose up to 50% of its original rough carat weight on average. The trade off? A diamond cut to perfect proportion and symmetry will display the ultimate combination of fire, brilliance and scintillation.
There’s no end to the fascinating world of a diamond. For more interesting facts and history on the gemstones book a guided tour at the Cape Town Diamond Museum. It’s simply a Cape Town attraction not to be missed!