Can you tell the diamond fact from fiction?
For those of you lucky enough to be celebrating your birthday in April you would be glad to know that your birthstone is a diamond. For many years the remarkable gemstone has become a symbol of love, devotion, anniversaries and special occasions. In celebration of ‘diamond month’, we compiled a quiz on the fascinating gemstone. Can you tell the diamond fact from fiction?
Diamonds are over 8 million years old. Depending on the colour, you can determine the exact age of a diamond.
The diamond industry is a monopoly; De Beers determines the price of each diamond.
In 1477, Archduke Maximillian of Austria proposed to his betrothed, Mary of Burgundy with the very first recorded diamond engagement ring.
The diamond mining industry takes a lot from the community and never gives back.
Jewish high priests used diamonds to determine the innocence or guilt of a person accused of a crime.
Approximately 50% of a rough diamond gets lost in the cutting and polishing process.
The word ‘Diamond’ comes from the German word, ‘Demante’, which signifies ‘the light of life’.
Diamonds are not gemstones they’re rough stones.
The largest diamond ever to be found is the Cullinan diamond, which weighed 3 106-carats.
Diamonds are often referred to as ‘ice’. The reason? Diamonds are naturally colder and often several degrees below room temperature.
ANSWERS: 1) Fiction, 2) Fiction, 3) Fact, 4) Fiction, 5) Fact, 6) Fact, 7) Fiction, 8) Fiction, 9) Fact, 10) Fact.
THE FACTS BEHIND THE FICTION:
A diamond is around 3.3 billion years old. The age of a diamond has nothing to do with the colour of the diamond. The colour of a diamond is caused by the foreign particulates trapped during the Crystallization process.
In the 1960’s De Beers had 80% control over the mining and market industry. This, however, is no longer the case. Since the 1990’s a new wave of discoveries opened up the mining market, with a multitude of new players emerging, including smaller mining companies.
After the very first recorded engagement ring was commissioned by Archduke Maximillian of Austria the European aristocracy and nobility started giving their loved ones a diamond.
The diamond mining industry creates jobs for thousands of people around the world. Also, unlike other minerals, the impact of diamonds on the environment is significantly lower considering mining involves no chemicals. In most countries, mining is not allowed unless miners can guarantee sustainable operations before, during and after mining an area.
The Jewish priest used to believe that a diamond, placed in front of a guilty person, would turn dark, while a diamond placed in front of an innocent person will shine with pure brilliance and scintillation.
During the cutting and polishing process, a diamond loses approximately more than 50% of the rough’s carat weight.
The word “Diamond” comes from the Greek word, “Adamas”, which means “hardest steel” or “unconquerable”.
Even though a diamond, before the cutting and polishing process, is often referred to as a rough stone it’s still considered a gemstone. In fact, a diamond is known as the King of all gemstones.
In 1905, Frederick Wells discovered the Cullinan diamond during a routine inspection at the Premier Mine in South Africa. The diamond weighed in at an astonishing 3 106-carats, making it the largest diamond ever to be found.
Diamonds are naturally colder than any other gemstones due to the fact that a diamond doesn’t retain heat.
With a gemstone so extraordinaire, it’s hard to tell fact from fiction. For more fascinating facts about diamonds, visit the Cape Town Diamond Museum for a personally guided tour. We’re open seven days a week, 9am-9pm, including public holidays.