Diamond Facts

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Diamond Facts

Facts About Diamonds

  • The diamond is the hardest natural substance found on the Earth and incredibly, it is the only gemstone made of just one element – carbon. Read some more interesting facts about diamonds…
  • Diamond is the hardest natural substance found on Earth.
  • Incredibly, diamond is the only gemstone made of just one element - carbon.
  • Most diamonds, found in nature, were formed 1 to 3 billion years ago due to extreme heat and pressure. These diamonds were formed 100 to 200 miles below the surface of Earth. Volcanic activity brings diamond crystals much closer to the earth's surface.
  • 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, meaning it expands very little when subjected to high temperatures, unlike most other conducting materials.
  • To burn a diamond, it must be heated at more than a thousand degrees Fahrenheit and it will simply vanish, without leaving ash. Only a little carbon dioxide will be released.
  • Many people expect a diamond to be unbreakable. This is not true. 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 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 weighing 3,106 carats.
  • On average, each stone 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 industrial purposes.
  • Diamonds are one of the world's, and specifically Africa's, major natural resources.
  • An estimated US$13 billion worth of rough diamonds are produced per year, of which approximately US$8.4 billion are from Africa (approximately 65%).
  • The diamond industry employs approximately ten million people around the world, both directly and indirectly, across a wide spectrum 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 US$60 billion every year.
  • Australia produces the most diamonds in volume.
  • The most recent diamond discoveries were made in North America - in the Northwest Territories of Canada and in Colorado.
  • America buys more than half of the world's total gem quality diamonds, accounting 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 come to the park each year. About one out of 100 visitors find a diamond.

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