5 Fun Facts About Diamonds

 Of all the precious natural stones available in the world, nothing quite tickles a woman’s fancy than diamonds, particularly when it comes to engagement rings. As it is April’s birthstone, we thought it fitting to list some fun facts about this precious, much-coveted gem.

1. Diamonds Weren’t Always as Popular as They Are Now

Diamonds were not always the gem of choice when it came to jewelry, particularly engagement rings. It was only in the last century when it gained its reputation as the most popular gemstone used for jewelry. Ruby was the gem of choice, mainly when it came to engagement rings.

vintage art deco ring

So how did diamonds outrank rubies in popularity?

One word, marketing.

The company responsible for giving diamonds its reputation as the best choice for jewelry is the De Beers Group, which had a complete monopoly over the diamond market before the 21st century. The company marketed diamonds by effectively associating the gem with commitment and love. “A Diamond is Forever” is their most famous slogan and is arguably one of the most effective marketing campaigns ever created. The company still uses the slogan to this day. 

De Beers Diamond Ad Campaign

The famous “A Diamond is Forever” Slogan. (L-R: 1940s, 1990s, present). Image Source: ramseymediaworks.com

De Beers also came up with the design and concept of the eternity ring, which came to symbolize long-lasting love.

Eternity Ring

Eternity Ring, a symbol of commitment.

De Beers’ marketing efforts are what made the diamond what it is today- a status symbol for the rich and famous, and a staple for engagement and wedding rings.

When the musical comedy film “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes” came out in 1953 featuring Marilyn Monroe singing the song “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend”, it further secured the diamond’s seat on the top of the precious stones hierarchy.

2. Diamonds From Outer Space

Black Diamond Engagement Ring

5.33-carat black diamond engagement ring.

Black diamonds (Carbonado) have increased in popularity over the last few decades. It is mostly found in alluvial deposits and can only be mined in two places in the world: the Central African Republic and Brazil. There are several theories as to the origin of black diamonds, but one of the most popular and undoubtedly exciting theories is that it originated from a meteorite that fell into the earth about 2.3 billion years ago. It then split into fragments and ended up in the two countries mentioned above.

3. Diamonds are the Hardest Natural Substance on Earth, But They Can Burn

Mohs Hardness Scale

The Mohs Hardness Scale

Diamonds have a Mohs hardness rating scale of 10, making it the hardest natural substance on earth. As such, it can only be cut using specialized tools also made from diamonds. But, did you know that despite its hardness, diamonds can be burned? Diamonds are fundamentally a solid form of carbon, and just like any form of carbon (e.g., charcoal) if heated at a high enough temperature, it will burn. Refer to the photo above to give you an idea of its hardness in comparison to other elements.

4. You Can Mine Diamonds at the Crater of Diamonds

Crater of Diamonds Park

People Digging for Diamonds at the Crater of Diamonds Park

You don’t have to be a miner to be able to mine diamonds. If you want to try mining diamonds on your own, you can do so at the Crater Of Diamonds State Park. It is the only mine in the world that allows anyone to dig for gems. Located in Murfreesboro, Pike County, Arkansas, you can enter the park and rent out equipment to mine diamonds and other gemstones, including garnet, peridot, amethyst, and other precious and semi-precious gems. The best thing about the mine is that you can keep anything you dig up, regardless of size.

5. Natural Diamonds are Billions of Years Old

Rough_diamond

Diamonds are undoubtedly fascinating, especially considering most natural diamonds are 1 to 3 billions years old. Just thinking about how it takes billions of years to create something that is eventually cut and polished and turned into jewelry for people to wear is enough to inspire awe in anyone. Looking at it in this perspective, De Beers definitely knew what they were doing when they approved the slogan “A Diamond is Forever” for their initial diamond marketing campaign.

The Cullinan Diamond Before Cutting

Where Were the Largest Diamonds Ever Discovered?

When it comes to diamonds, nothing quite strikes as much awe in people than carat size– especially when viewed at face value. Sure, there are many factors that people consider when purchasing a diamond and most buyers would balance out the 4cs (carat weight, cut, color, and clarity) depending on their budget and personal preference. Some people might prefer a smaller diamond and choose to prioritize instead, it’s color (or lack thereof) and its clarity whereas others might not mind a few inclusions and a lower color grade in exchange for carat weight, which determines its physical size depending on the cut.  Read more