Top 10 Interesting Facts About Diamonds!

Top 10 Interesting Facts About Diamonds!

10 Answers To 10 Questions About Diamonds.

Here are 10 facts about diamonds, some you may have thought about before and some, that almost certainly, have never crossed your mind.


1. What is the biggest diamond that has ever been found?

The largest diamond ever discovered is the Cullinan Diamond. Found in South Africa in 1905. The rough diamond weighed approximately 3,106 carats (621.35 grams or about 1.37 pounds) before it was cut into several large gemstones, the largest of which is known as the Cullinan I or the Great Star of Africa. This diamond is part of the British Crown Jewels and is housed in the Tower of London.

2. What are the different shapes/cuts of diamonds?

There are several popular diamond shapes, each with its own unique characteristics and appeal. Here are some of the most popular diamond shapes:

  1. Round Brilliant: This is the most popular and classic diamond shape, known for its exceptional sparkle and brilliance. It has 58 facets, allowing for maximum light reflection.

  2. Princess Cut: A square or rectangular shape with pointed corners, the princess cut is known for its modern and elegant appearance. It has a brilliant faceting pattern similar to the round brilliant, offering excellent sparkle.

  3. Emerald Cut: This rectangular shape features stepped facets and a large, open table, emphasising clarity and showcasing the diamond's clarity characteristics. Emerald cuts have a sophisticated and timeless look.

  4. Asscher Cut: Similar to the emerald cut but with a square shape, the asscher cut features a pavilion that is cut with rectangular facets in a concentric square pattern, creating a mesmerising hall-of-mirrors effect.

  5. Radiant Cut: Combining the elegance of emerald cuts with the brilliance of round diamonds, radiant cuts feature trimmed corners and a rectangular or square shape with a brilliant faceting pattern.

  6. Oval Cut: With its elongated shape and curved edges, the oval cut diamond offers a unique and flattering appearance on the finger. It provides excellent brilliance and sparkle.

  7. Pear Cut: Also known as a teardrop shape, pear cut diamonds feature a rounded end tapering to a point at the other, resembling a drop of water. They offer a blend of the brilliance of round diamonds and the elegance of marquise cuts.

  8. Marquise Cut: With its elongated shape and pointed ends, the marquise cut diamond maximises carat weight, giving the illusion of a larger diamond. It has a distinctive and elegant appearance.

  9. Heart Cut: Symbolising love and romance, heart cut diamonds feature a distinctive shape with a cleft at the top and curved edges. They are popular in romantic jewellery pieces like engagement rings.

These are the primary diamond shapes, but there are also variations and hybrids of these shapes, as well as more specialised cuts designed to suit different preferences and styles.

3. What is the most popular shape/cut of a diamond?

The most popular diamond shape is the Round Brilliant cut. It has consistently been the top choice for engagement rings and other diamond jewellery for many years. The round brilliant cut diamond is renowned for its exceptional sparkle, brilliance, and fire due to its precisely engineered facets that optimise light reflection and refraction.

4. How are diamonds formed?

Diamonds are formed deep within the Earth's mantle, typically around 100 to 200 kilometres ( or about 62 to 124 miles) below the surface. The process of diamond formation involves extreme pressure and temperature conditions, as well as specific geological environments. Here's a simplified overview of how diamonds are formed:

  1. Carbon Source: Diamonds are primarily composed of carbon. The carbon atoms that form diamonds may originate from various sources, including organic matter such as plants and animals that were buried deep within the Earth's crust millions to billions of years ago.

  2. Deep Earth Conditions: Diamonds form under high-pressure and high-temperature conditions found deep within the Earth's mantle. The pressure is typically around 725,000 pounds per square inch, and temperatures can range from about 900 to 1,300 degrees Celsius (1,650 to 2,370 degrees Fahrenheit).

  3. Formation Zones: Diamonds typically form in specific regions of the mantle where conditions are suitable for diamond crystallisation. These regions are often associated with ancient, stable continental plates.

  4. Formation Process: The process of diamond formation begins when carbon-containing materials, such as organic matter or carbon-rich minerals, are subjected to the intense heat and pressure of the Earth's mantle. Over millions to billions of years, these conditions cause the carbon atoms to bond together in a 'crystal lattice' structure, forming a diamond.

  5. Transportation to the Surface: Diamonds are brought closer to the Earth's surface through volcanic activity. They are carried upward in narrow channels known as kimberlite pipes or lamproite pipes, which are formed during volcanic eruptions.

  6. Surface Deposits: Once the volcanic eruptions occur, the diamonds can be found within the igneous rock material that has been brought to the surface. Miners often search for diamond deposits in these volcanic rock formations.

5. Where are diamonds found?

Diamonds are found in various locations around the world, but the majority of significant diamond deposits are located in specific regions known for their geological characteristics conducive to diamond formation. Some of the major diamond-producing countries and regions include:

  1. Africa:

    • Botswana: Botswana is one of the world's leading diamond producers, with the majority of its diamonds coming from the Orapa and Jwaneng mines.
    • South Africa: South Africa has a long history of diamond mining, with famous diamond mines such as the Premier Mine (Cullinan Diamond Mine) and the Venetia Diamond Mine.
    • Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC): The DRC has significant diamond reserves, particularly in the Kasai region.
    • Angola: Angola is known for its diamond-rich areas, including the Lunda Norte and Lunda Sul provinces.
  2. Russia:

    • Siberia: Russia is a major diamond producer, with significant deposits in the Yakutia region (also known as the Sakha Republic), including the Mir and Udachnaya diamond mines.
  3. Australia:

    • Western Australia: Australia has notable diamond deposits, with the Argyle diamond mine in Western Australia being one of the world's largest sources of pink diamonds. However, the Argyle mine ceased operations in 2020.
  4. Canada:

    • Northwest Territories: Canada is known for its high-quality diamonds, particularly from the Diavik and Ekati diamond mines in the Northwest Territories. The Gahcho Kué mine is also a notable producer.
  5. Other Regions:

    • Brazil: Brazil has diamond deposits in various regions, including the Minas Gerais and Bahia states.
    • Namibia: Namibia's diamond production primarily comes from offshore diamond mining along the country's coast.
    • Zimbabwe: Zimbabwe has significant diamond reserves, with deposits in the Marange diamond fields being particularly noteworthy.

These are just a few examples, and there are other regions around the world where diamonds are found, although not all may have commercially viable deposits. Additionally, advancements in exploration techniques may lead to the discovery of new diamond-bearing areas in the future.

6. How many diamonds are found each year?

The number of diamonds found each year can vary depending on several factors, including the level of diamond mining activity, discoveries of new diamond deposits, and fluctuations in demand for diamonds. However, to provide a general estimate, according to the latest available data, global diamond production typically ranges from around 120 to 150 million carats per year (or around 28,000 tonnes). It's important to note that not all mined diamonds are of gem quality; many are used for industrial purposes such as cutting, drilling, and grinding. The number of gem-quality diamonds found each year, which are suitable for use in jewellery, is just a fraction of the total production.

7. What's the most expensive diamond ever?

The most expensive diamond ever sold at auction (and therefore the most expensive diamond where the price is actually known) is the Pink Star diamond. It was sold by Sotheby's in Hong Kong in April 2017 for $71.2 million USD, setting a new world record for any diamond or jewel sold at auction. The Pink Star is a stunning 59.60-carat, internally flawless, fancy vivid pink diamond.

However, the most expensive diamond ever discovered is the Koh-i-Noor, a colourless, oval-modified, brilliant-cut gem, weighing 105.6 carats. Mined originally in India, now part of the British Crown Jewels, this diamond is estimated to be worth well over $100 million USD, with some estimates reaching 4x that price. The truth, however, is that this diamond is currently priceless.

8. Is diamond the hardest material on earth?

Diamonds are indeed one of the hardest materials found in nature, but they are not the hardest. The hardest natural material known to mankind is actually a form of carbon called "lonsdaleite," which is similar to diamond but has a different crystal structure.

However, diamonds are often associated with being the hardest substance because of their widespread use in various industries, including cutting, grinding, and drilling. Their exceptional hardness makes them highly valued for these applications.

9. What are the '4c's' of a diamond?

The 4Cs of diamonds are a standardised system used to evaluate and describe the quality of a diamond. They are:

  1. Carat Weight: Carat weight refers to the mass of the diamond. One carat is equivalent to 0.2 grams. Diamonds are often measured in carats, with larger diamonds typically being more valuable.

  2. Cut: The cut of a diamond refers to its proportions, symmetry, and polish. A well-cut diamond reflects light internally and disperses it through the top of the stone, creating sparkle and brilliance. The cut is graded from poor to excellent.

  3. Colour: The colour of a diamond refers to the presence or absence of colour in the stone. The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) grades diamond colour on a scale from D (colourless) to Z (light yellow or brown). Colourless diamonds are rarer and usually more valuable than those with noticeable colour.

  4. Clarity: Clarity refers to the presence of internal and external imperfections in the diamond, known as inclusions and blemishes, respectively. The clarity grade is determined based on the number, size, nature, and position of these imperfections when viewed under 10x magnification. The clarity scale ranges from Flawless (no imperfections visible under magnification) to Included (imperfections visible to the naked eye).

10. How long does it take for a diamond to form?

The process of diamond formation can take millions and in some cases, billions of years under the right conditions. Diamonds are formed deep within the Earth's mantle, typically around 100 to 200 kilometres (about 62 to 124 miles) below the surface. They form under high pressure and high-temperature conditions, usually in regions where there are ancient, stable continental plates.

The exact duration of diamond formation depends on various factors, including the availability of carbon, the intensity of pressure and temperature, and the geological processes occurring in the region. Some diamonds may form relatively quickly in geological terms, within millions of years, while others may take significantly longer, even billions of years, to form.


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