Valentine’s Day: 10 fascinating facts about diamonds

by Charlotte.Barnes on February 10, 2011

There’s no doubt diamonds make great gifts – they come in all sorts of shapes, sizes, cuts and colours and can be set into any kind of jewellery. They are most popularly seen in wedding and engagement rings, but because they make beautiful Valentine’s gifts, we thought we’d give you the facts about this precious stone.

1. Diamonds are the hardest natural mineral known to man and can only be scratched by other diamonds.

2. If a diamond is placed in an oven and heated to 763°C it will vanish, leaving behind no ash. Only a small amount of carbon dioxide will have been expelled.

3. The Cullian is the largest diamond ever found – uncut it was 3106.75 carats. It was then cut into the Great Star of Africa, the Lesser Star of Africa and 104 smaller diamonds, part of which now make up the Crown Jewels.

4. The different colours of diamonds are actually formed by impurities. A pure diamond is colourless.

5. The word diamond comes from the Greek word for ‘unbreakable’.

6. Only around 20% of the world’s diamonds are used in jewellery. The rest are used for industrial purposes.

7. Most diamonds are about three billion years old and were formed 100 miles below the surface of the earth.

8. In 13th century France only the king was allowed to wear diamonds.

9. The Romans wore talismans of diamonds to ward off evil; they inherited this belief from Indian mythology.

10. There’s a star in the constellation of Centaurus that is made up of crystallised carbon – diamond. It weighs approximately 10 billion trillion trillion carats and has been named Lucy after the Beatles song Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds.

Has anyone ever bought you diamonds as a Valentine’s gift? Let us know in the comments below.

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Charlotte Barnes

Post category: Knowledge, Occasions, Top Tens, Valentine's Day  

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Sandie Chuang 10 Feb 2011 at 5:49 pm

Yes I was engaged on Valentine’s day 1988 and received a gorgeous marquise cut diamond ring.

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