In a way, the Romans weren’t too far from the truth. Diamonds are the rarest mineral on earth. They were created by mother nature herself more than 3 billion years ago. Under the earth’s crust, only crushing volcanic forces and intense heat could produce a diamond.
As April is officially dedicated to this legendary gem, we’ve gathered ten astounding diamond facts for you. Find out what they mean to April babes, and why one half of the world’s biggest diamond is still missing…
1. At first, diamonds were not used for jewellery
Diamonds were discovered in southern Asia about 4,000 BC. However, at first they weren’t regarded as valuable jewels. Archeological evidence suggests early Indians used hard diamonds to sharpen and polish tools.
Rough diamonds were popular decorations among early Greeks and Romans, but because of their hardness they were never cut into shapes. It wasn’t until the Middle Ages that Venetian jewellers discovered how to carve them by using other diamonds. The first diamond shape was the “point cut” with eight identical sides.
3. A royal diamond engagement ring started “a trend of love”
In 1476, the Archduke Maximilian of Austria started a new trend by proposing to Mary of Burgundy with a diamond ring. Ever since then, diamond rings have been regarded as the ultimate symbol of love and commitment.
4. The name “diamond” has real meaning
Diamonds have a unique molecular structure which makes them incredibly hard. Scientists give them the highest rating of 10 on the Mohs Scale of mineral hardness. It’s therefore not surprising that the English word “diamond” originates from the Greek word “adámas”, which means “unbreakable”.
5. Diamonds make you lucky in love, especially if you’re born in April
Diamonds are the official birthstone for April and for the birth sign of Aries. Their incredible beauty and durability symbolise love. Diamonds are said to protect marriages, especially when given as gifts of commitment, such as an engagement rings or anniversary presents. The power of a diamond is said to multiply when it’s the wearer’s birthstone.
6. One half of the world’s biggest diamond is still missing
The biggest diamond ever found was the Cullinan. It weighed 3106.75 carats and was cut into two magnificent gems, one of them the Star of Africa in the British crown jewels. But what many people don’t know is that one side of the original Cullinan diamond was completely smooth. According to Sir William Crookes, who evaluated the stone, it had broken clean off from a much larger diamond and the other half still “awaits discovery by some fortunate miner”.
7. It takes years for a diamond to travel from a mine onto your finger
Tons of earth and rock must be shifted before miners find one diamond. The rubble is gone through by hand and any diamonds found are sent to be graded and cut by experts. Only after this do diamonds find their way to wholesalers or jewellery designers. Often a diamond will have spent years travelling between continents before you wear it.
8. Marilyn Monroe made every girl want diamonds
Seeing glamorous Marilyn Monroe sing “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend” is utterly unforgettable. Right after the song featured in the 1949 film Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, diamond sales soared!
9. Diamonds are also football star Cristiano Ronaldo’s best friend
To honour his third Ballon d’Or win, the oh-so-good-looking Real Madrid player was given a pair of diamond football boots by his sponsor Nike. The boots are made with real micro diamonds that symbolise Cristiano’s hard work ethic.
10. The round cut diamond is the most sparkling of all diamonds
Although diamonds come in many shapes, the round brilliant cut is by far the most popular. So much so, that of all the diamonds sold, more than three quarters are round. The reason? Round diamonds have more facets and therefore far more sparkle than any other gem shape!