TOP 10 THINGS YOU DIDN’T KNOW ABOUT DIAMONDS
Diamonds are more than just dazzling gemstones; they have a fascinating history and are steeped in mystery. Here are 10 interesting diamond facts that you may not know:
1. Many diamonds glow under UV light
A diamond under UV Light
Have you ever looked at your diamond under ultraviolet light? You’ll be surprised to see that it might have a blue fluorescence. About two-thirds of naturally mined diamonds will exhibit a degree of fluorescence and this makes it a fun feature to test the authenticity of your diamond. While not all diamonds glow under UV light, cubic zirconium stones never will.
2. SOME DIAMONDS MAY HAVE COME FROM OUTER SPACE
Some diamonds may have formed in an interstellar environment
It is believed that some diamonds may have formed in an interstellar environment when an asteroid impacted the earth approximately 3 billion years ago. These diamonds, known as Carbonado diamonds, are found mostly in Africa and South America. They contain high levels of graphite and are very porous, making most of them unsuitable for diamond engagement rings and other jewellery.
3. SMALL DIAMONDS CAN HAVE THE SAME NUMBER OF FACETS AS BIGGER ONES
Facets act like prisms to refract light throughout the diamond to create sparkle
Diamonds as small as 1/100th of a carat can still have the same number of facets as a one carat diamond. Facets are intricate etchings, which act like prisms to refract light throughout the diamond to create sparkle. While the number of facets may be the same, the actual art of the cut can increase the value of the stone considerably.
4. DIAMONDS FORM MORE THAN 150 KILOMETRES BELOW THE EARTH’S SURFACE
Diamonds are formed more than 150 – 200 kilometres below the surface of the Earth
Diamonds are formed more than 150 – 200 kilometres below the surface of the Earth, over 3 billion years ago. This part of the upper mantle is extremely hot and high in pressure. This combination is what’s necessary to grow diamond crystals in the Earth. The diamonds were brought to the surface by a very deep-seated and violent volcanic eruption that is thought to have occurred a very long time ago.
5. ALMOST 80% OF DIAMONDS ARE SOLD IN NEW YORK CITY
New York City is home to 80% of the world’s diamond sales
Diamonds are universally popular for their beautiful appeal and symbol of ever-lasting love. As such, you can purchase diamonds in many different cities and countries around the world. While Antwerp in Belgium is nicknamed the “diamond capital of the world”, New York City is home to 80% of the world’s diamond sales through diamond jewellery stores, auctions and other retail avenues.
6. MORE THAN A MILLION CARATS OF DIAMONDS ARE MINED EACH YEAR
80% of mined diamonds are used for the industrial purposes
Approximately 133 million carats are mined every year. Botswana and Russia are the two largest producers and between them they have about half the world’s diamond production. Diamonds are mined in massive quantities due to their popularity in a variety of items. While most people associate diamonds with diamond jewellery, around 80% of mined diamonds are used for the industrial purposes of cutting, drilling, grinding and polishing.
7. GREEN DIAMONDS GET THEIR COLOUR FROM RADIATION IN THE EARTH
Green Diamonds get their colour from exposure to radiation
Natural green diamonds are extremely rare and valuable. They get their colour from exposure to radiation during formation, a process that took place over millions of years. Only the parts of the diamond that are exposed to radiation will receive the green colour. Therefore, diamonds with a full, consistent green colour are incredibly rare.
8. THERE ARE TWO FORMALLY RECOGNISED DIAMOND ANNIVERSARIES
There are two diamond wedding anniversaries: the 60th year and the 75th year
While most traditional wedding anniversary gifts have different gifts for each year, there are actually two diamond wedding anniversaries: the 60th year and the 75th year. In our opinion, a beautiful diamond ring, pendant or bracelet is the perfect anniversary gift idea for any year.
9. NATURE ISN’T THE ONLY SOURCE OF DIAMONDS
Scientists can produce synthetic diamonds
Scientists can produce synthetic diamonds (also known as a man-made diamond) of the highest clarity grades by vaporizing carbon in Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD). These synthetic diamonds look almost exactly like a real diamond to the naked eye. The difference is that natural diamonds are more than 3 billion years old, making them extremely special and one of a kind. This is one of the reasons why a reliable diamond certificate is so important when purchasing a real diamond.
10. NATURAL DIAMONDS ARE ONE IN A MILLION
Diamonds are rare gemstones
For every one million units of mined rock, miners expect to yield 1 diamond unit. This truly brings great meaning to the saying, “One in a million”; diamonds are truly rare and exceptional gemstones.
We hope you enjoyed these fascinating and unusual diamonds facts. Learn more about the wonderful world of diamonds when you book a guided tour at the Cape Town Diamond Museum. Fantastic for all ages and one of the top things to do in Cape Town!