diamond bore mine

15 Fascinating Diamond Facts

With a history going back billions of years, there are so many fascinating facts and stories to tell about the creation, discovery and ongoing world-wide fascination with diamonds which have come to be known as a symbol of love, struggle, rarity and wealth. With our dedication to unravelling the mystery surrounding this scandalous stone, we at the Cape Town Diamond Museum are dedicated to unearthing the intrigue and sharing it with you.


  • Fact #1

    The word “Diamond” comes from the Greek word “Adamas” and means “unconquerable and indestructible” -a rather suitable name for the hardest natural substance on earth.

  • Fact #2

    The earth is estimated at round 4.5 billion years old and the oldest diamonds are believed to have been crystallised approximately 3.3 billion years ago – a timelessly beautiful gem.

  • Fact #3

    Diamonds were originally found and mined in India, Brazil, South Africa, Angola, Botswana, Namibia and Congo.
    diamond mine

  • Fact #4

    Approximately 80% of diamonds mined go toward industrial uses.

  • Fact #5

    To produce a single one-carat diamond, 250 tonnes of earth needs to be mined, which is a testament to just how precious and rare diamonds are.

  • Fact #6

    The first man to propose was with a diamond ring was Archduke Maximilian of Austria who proposed to Mary of Burgundy in 1477 with a ring encrusted with thin, flat pieces of diamonds in the shape of an “M” in the hopes of gaining an advantage over her other suitors.

    mary of burgundy1

  • Fact #7

    Diamonds form approximately 200km beneath the surface of the earth and are pushed to the surface in a matter of moments by volcanic eruptions.

  • Fact #8

    Diamonds form approximately 200km beneath the surface of the earth and are pushed to the surface in a matter of moments by volcanic eruptions.

    dwarf star2

  • Fact #9

    Romans believed that Cupid’s arrows were tipped with diamonds, which is possibly the earliest link between diamonds and love.

  • Fact #10

    Ancient Romans and Greeks believed that diamonds were precious tears cried by the gods or splinters from falling stars.

  • Fact #11

    The largest diamond ever discovered is the Cullinan diamond, which weighed in at 3106 carats before cutting and polishing. Discover more celebrity diamonds here.
    rough diamond picture

  • Fact #12

    Diamonds have been valued and coveted by people for thousands of years. There is evidence that diamonds were being collected and traded in India as early as the 400 BC, and in the first century AD, the Roman naturalist Pliny is quoted as saying, “Diamond is the most valuable, not only of precious stones, but of all things in this world.”

  • Fact #13

    During the Middle Ages diamonds were believed to have healing properties able to cure ailments ranging from fatigue to mental illness.

  • Fact #14

    The notorious architects of the “Diamond Heist of the Century” – the Antwerp Diamond Heist of 2003- managed to get past 10 layers of security, including infrared heat detectors, Doppler radar, a magnetic field, a seismic sensor and a lock with 100 million possible combinations. To this very day no one knows how they managed to break in.

  • Fact #15

    The diamond is a birthstone for people born in the month of April.

Discover more interesting facts about the history of diamonds here.

Source: Brilliant Earth, Hearts on Fire