All About Diamonds
25 Diamond Facts
- A Diamond is the hardest natural material found on Earth.
- Astonishingly, diamonds are the only gemstone made of just one element, carbon.
- Almost all diamonds, found in nature, were formed 1 to 3 billion years ago due to extreme heat and pressure. These diamonds were formed approximately 100 to 200 miles below the surface of Earth. Volcanic activity brings diamond crystals closer to the surface of the earth.
- A rough diamond looks so much like a pebble that most people would pass it by without a second glance.
- The Diamond is the most effective heat conducting material, which expands very little when subjected to high temperatures, unlike most other conducting materials.
- In order to burn a diamond, it must be heated on more than a thousand degree Fahrenheit and it will simply vanish, without leaving ash. Only a little carbon dioxide will be released.
- Many people assume diamonds to be unbreakable. This is not false. A diamond's crystal structure has hard and soft directions. A blow of sufficient force, in an exact direction, can crack, chip, split or even shatter a diamond.
- Diamonds were first mined in India over 2,800 years ago.
- It is estimated that only 500 tons of diamonds have ever been mined in recorded history to date.
- More than 250 tons of ore need to be blasted, crushed and processed to produce just one carat of rough diamond.
- In one-thousand polished diamonds, only one will weigh more than one carat.
- The largest Diamond ever found is the Cullinan with 3,106 carats.
- Each stone, on average, will lose 50% of its original weight during cutting and polishing.
- Diamonds come in a spectrum of colors. Colored diamonds are called fancies. Blue and pink diamonds are among the rarest whereas yellow and brown are among the most common.
- 80% of the world's diamonds are not suitable for Jewelry. These are used for the industrial purposes.
- Diamonds are one of the worlds, and specifically Africa’s, major natural resources.
- An estimated $13 billion (USD) worth of rough diamonds are produced per year, of which approximately $8.4 billion are from Africa, or roughly 65%.
- The diamond industry employs approximately 10 million people worldwide, both directly and indirectly, across a wide range of roles from mining to retailing.
- Global diamond jewelry sales continue to grow, increasing three-fold in the past 25 years, and are currently worth in excess of $60 billion (USD) annually.
- Australia accounts for producing the most diamonds, in terms of volume.
- The most recent diamond discoveries were made in North America, specifically, the Northwest Territories of Canada and Colorado, in the United States.
- Americans buys more than half of the world’s total gem quality diamonds, and accounts for the world’s largest diamond market.
- The largest diamond ever found in the US was discovered in 1924 in The Crater of Diamonds State Park in Arkansas – the “Uncle Sam Diamond” that weights 40.23 carats.
- The Crater of Diamonds State Park in Arkansas is the world’s only diamond mine open to the public and this is a dig-for-fee operation for tourists and rock enthusiasts. An average of 74,000 visitors comes to the park each year. About one out of 100 visitors find a diamond.
- It is estimated that less than one percent of women will ever wear a diamond of one carat or more.
Certification is the only assurance of quality. A diamond certification is a detailed diamond quality report issued by an accredited independent gemological laboratory. The most widely recognized gemological laboratories that provide certified diamond quality reports to the diamond and jewelry industry are listed below. Visit their sites to learn details about each laboratory and report.
- G.I.A. - Gemological Institute Of America
- A.G.S. - American Gem Society
- E.G.L. - European Gemological Laboratory
- I.G.I. - International Gemological Institute
Characteristics of a Diamond
- Cut - Roundness, width and depth of the cut diamond determine the way light is reflected and emited playing a determining role in it's overall brilliance.
- Color - Grading color in the normal range involves deciding how closely a stone's body color approaches colorlessness. Most diamonds have at least a trace of yellow or brown body color.
- Clarity - A stone's relative position on a flawless to imperfect scale. Clarity characteristics are classified as inclusions (internal) or blemishes (external). The size, number, position, nature, and color or relief of characteristics determine the clarity grade.
- Carat Weight - The metric carat, which equals 0.200 gram, is the standard unit of weight for diamonds and most other gems. If other factors are equal, the more a stone weighs, the more valuable it will be.