DID YOU KNOW…?
· Diamond is April’s birthstone.
· Diamonds are the hardest natural substance on Earth.
· Diamonds were formed billions of years ago through a combination of tremendous pressure and temperatures of 2000º -3000º F at depths between 75 and 120 miles beneath the earth’s surface.
· Diamond crystals are brought closer to the earth’s surface through volcanic activity.
· Diamonds can be found in shallow alluvial deposits where the crystals settle after being transported by rivers away from the kimberlite pipes by geologic activity.
· Fewer than 20 percent of the diamonds mined worldwide are true gem-quality.
· The earliest written account of diamonds dates back to around 500 B.C.
· Diamonds are virtually fireproof. To burn a diamond, it must be heated to 1292 degrees Fahrenheit. (The typical house fire reaches a temperature of approximately 1100 degrees).
· In their pure state, diamonds are colorless.
· Blue and red are the rarest colored diamonds.
· Yellow and brown are the most common colored diamonds.
· The word carat comes from the Carob Mediterranean tree whose seed was used for centuries as the standard of weighing precious stones.
· Only one polished diamond out of a thousand weighs more than one carat.
· 1 carat = 0.2 grams or .007 ounces.
· The largest rough diamond, discovered in 1905, is the Cullinan diamond, weighing in at 3,106 carats (2.8 pounds)!
· Until the 18th century, the only diamond mines were in India.
· As early as 1725, diamonds were discovered in South America. The discovery occurred in Minas Gerais, Brazil, just as the production in India was dwindling.
· In the 1840s, diamonds were found in North America, although this was soon eclipsed by the discovery of diamonds in Africa and the ensuing Great Diamond Rush.
· Russia produces the most diamonds by volume.
· Botswana is first in value of diamonds produced.
· With the opening of the Ekati Mine and others in Canada, North America has the potential to produce at least 12 percent of the total world diamond production.
· Even though the U.S. produces almost no diamonds, America buys more than 40 percent of the world’s gem quality diamonds – making it the world’s largest diamond market.