Long pronounced a girl’s best friend, these sparkling treasures may as well be everyone’s. Of all the gemstones they are the most sought after; their value not only casting a magical feeling upon the wearer but also upon the person able to provide it. This widespread industry is heightened in value as it directly or indirectly supports an estimated 10 million people around the world! Previously however, the hunt for diamonds and the greed for those who sought their possession caused horrific pursuits in Africa and in turn the emergence of conflict diamonds.
Since the Kimberly Process in 2003, an international development to ensure that trade in diamonds do not fund violence, conflict diamonds as a percentage of rough diamonds have decreased from 4% to significantly less than 1% (nearly eliminating their trade altogether). Consequently, with the coalition of governments, the revenue from diamonds is now being used to aid countries around the world. This progression is even more valued as roughly 65% of the world’s future diamond supply is expected to come from African countries. Additional uplifting news on this advancement can be found on http://www.diamondfacts.org/.
Some ancient facts…
The name diamond derived from the Latin word ‘adamas’ meaning invincible or indestructible. It is no mystery then why in ancient times diamonds were thought to hold special powers, such as providing the wearer with strength, invincibility, and unrelenting courage. Adding greater testament to this belief, diamonds are actually the hardest natural substance on earth, their formation dating back to over a billion years ago deep in the earths crust. Surfacing through volcanic eruptions and being carried away by rivers is how this precious stone reached our awareness and into our hearts.
What’s interesting about diamonds is the contrast between their strengths and weaknesses. They are so strong that the only way to cut a diamond is with another diamond; however, diamonds are also brittle and can be easily broken by getting smashed with a hammer. Furthermore, when placed in an oven 763 degrees Celsius it will simply vanish leaving no ash. Diamonds as a natural substance came into existence under environmental pressure but this same pressure can also lead to its demise.
Some more remarkable facts about diamonds…
- The biggest diamond to be known in the universe, a crystallized white dwarf star measuring 4000 km across weighing 10 billion trillion trillion carats!
- Due to their impurities, diamonds can come in many colours, in fact of the thousands of diamonds mined each year only 80% are suitable for jewellery. Vivid blue, green, and pink mined diamonds are the rarest.
- The largest diamond ever found on earth was the Cullinan Diamond in South Africa 1905, weighing 3106.75 carats.
- To produce a single one carat diamond, 250 tons of earth will be mined
- Diamonds have the ability to disperse light into their component colours, giving them their ‘fiery’ look.