Diamond HistoryDiamond Education
Diamonds have long been a source of fascination and desire. The word "diamond" comes from the Greek word "Adamas" meaning "Unconquerable". Diamonds form under extreme pressure and temperature approximatley 90-130 miles deep in the Earth. Violent volcanic eruptions bring diamonds near or to the Earth's surface. It is estimated the youngest diamond is 1 billion years old and the oldest is 3.3 billion years old. Considering the Earth is estimated at 4.5 billion years old, your diamonds may be almost as old as the Earth. Since diamonds are the hardest substance known to mankind, many people believe diamonds are unbreakable. This is not true. The crystal structure of diamonds has hard and soft directions. A good hit in the exact direction can cause a diamond to chip or even crack.
Diamonds were first discovered in India around 400 B.C. and were immediately prized for their strength and ability to reflect light. Diamonds were believed to have mystical powers of invincibility, strength, and courage. They were often taken into battle to provide protection and ward off evil. A myth was perpetuated that diamonds were poisonous to prevent warriors and miners from stealing or smuggling diamonds by swallowing them.
Diamonds made their way to Europe through exotic trade with India. Desired by Royalty, their popularity grew throughout Europe. In the 13th century, France declared diamonds could only be worn by Kings. By 1400, diamonds were worn by Europe's most elite and powerful families. The first known use for a diamond as a promise of marriage was in 1477 when Archduke Maximillian of Austria betrothed Mary of Burgundy by placing a diamond ring on her finger. It was placed on the fourth finger of the left hand because legend held that this finger had a vein going directly to the heart. With the increased lust for diamonds, the Indian diamond supply dwindled.
India was the world's only source of diamonds until 1725, when diamonds were discovered in Brazil by gold miners. Popularity continued to surge and the South African discovery of diamonds in 1866 started the world's diamond rush. It also started the modern mining process. On October 2, 1979, geologists found the Argule pipe, the richest diamond deposit in the world. Today diamonds are mined in South Africa, Russia, Canada, Australia, Bostwana, Angola, Namibia, Brazil, Ghana, and China. The major diamond cutting centers are in Tel Aviv, Antwerp, and Bombay.
Since early times, diamonds have been prized and desired for their transparency, strength, and beauty. They were once thought to ward off evil, heal illness, give strength, and courage. Diamonds have been used for centuries as a symbol of pure emotions, commitment, and ever lasting love. Although the mythical lure no longer exists, diamonds continue to represent commitment, devotion, and love.
FUN DIAMOND FACTS
* In order to burn a diamond, it must be heated to more than 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit and it will simply vanish without leaving ash.
* More than 250 tons of ore need to be blasted, crushed, and processed for just one carat of rough diamond.
* In 1,000 polished diamonds, only one will weight more than 1.00 carat.
* On average, each diamond will lose 50% of its original weight during cutting and polishing.
* Less than 1% of woman will ever own a diamond of 1.00 carat or more.
* 80% of the diamonds mined in the world are not good enough for jewelry. They are used for industrial purposes.
* Diamonds are excellent heat conductors. If you put a diamond on your tongue, the diamond will absorb the heat, cooling your tongue.
* Diamonds are a major natural resource in Africa.
* The diamond industry employs approximately 10 million people around the world, from mining to retail sales.
* Neslon Mandela stated the diamond industry is of vital importance to South Africa's economy, providing clean drinking water, better healthcare, better living conditions, and education for South African families.
Krystyna's Jewlery is a proud sponsor of the Diamond Enpowerment Fund, a global non-profit whose mission is to support initiatives that empower people in diamond communities worldwide.