Whether you’ve got an unusual engagement ring or a classic one, you’re most likely rocking a diamond on your ring finger. But how much do you know about the stone you wear every day? We’ve got 17 things you never knew about diamonds – next time someone compliments you on your engagement ring, wow them with your knowledge!
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1. The biggest diamond ever found was the Cullinan Diamond from South Africa. It measures 3,106 carats and weighs 621.35g. It was presented to King Edward VII for his 66th birthday and was cut into several polished stones – the two biggest of these are part of the Crown Jewels, whilst seven other of the major diamonds cut from the stone are privately owned by Queen Elizabeth II.
2. Thanks to diamond revenues, every child in Botswana receives ten years of free education, with fees being implemented for secondary education. Diamonds provide 76% of Botswana’s export revenue.
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3. There are only so many diamonds left to discover – the last big diamond discovery happened nearly two decades ago.
4. Diamonds were believed to be shared of stars fallen from the sky by the ancient Romans, whilst the ancient Greeks considered them to be tears of the Gods.
5. The trend for placing a diamond ring on the third finger of your left hand was started by the Egyptians, who believed a vein of love ran from there directly to your heart.
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6. Diamonds were used to seal a deal as far back as the 15th century, when Archduke Maximilian of Austria gave Mary Burgundy a diamond as a token of promise to celebrate their engagement.
7. We measure diamonds in carats as the seeds of the carob tree were used to measure precious stones – the word ‘carat’ stems from carob.
8. You can get green diamonds – this is caused by radiation in the earth.
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9. Diamonds come to the earth’s surface via volcanic eruptions. Today’s diamonds will have been pushed up from a deep volcanic eruption many years ago.
10. If you were to experience the equivalent of the pressure carbon goes under to become a diamond, it would be the same pressure as having the Eiffel Tower on your fingertip.
11. Diamonds are so hard that only another diamond can scratch them.
12. Famous diamond company De Beers created the 4Cs (colour, cut, clarity and carat) in 1934, and it was adopted by the Gemological Institute of America in the 1950s to use in their laboratory.
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13. In the olden days, kings believed that wearing a diamond in battle would protect them from harm. Can we apply this to our daily commute, too?
14. Size does matter! Two one-carat diamonds are not worth as much as one two-carat diamond.
15. At diamond mines, wildlife get right of way.
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16. Diamonds only became truly popular for engagement rings in the 20th century when De Beers launched their famous ‘a diamond is forever’ campaign in the 1940s.
17. The word ‘diamond’ comes from the Greek word ‘adamas’ which means invincible or indestructible.
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