Diamond: 8 Sparkling Facts about April’s Birthstone
Do you love wearing sparkling diamonds? Learn what makes April’s birthstone so special with these 8 amazing facts.
With nicknames like “the king of gemstones” and “a girl’s best friend”, we all know diamond as one of the most desirable gemstones on the planet since it was originally found in India around 2,400 years ago. In fact, diamond jewelry has been so highly prized, there were times in history only royalty was allowed to wear it. Here are 8 more sparkling facts you should know about April’s birthstone:
1. Diamond is Earth’s hardest natural substance.
With the maximum possible rating of 10 on the Mohs hardness scale, diamond is so hard that it can only be scratched by another diamond. This makes sense for a gemstone whose name comes from a Greek word meaning 'unbreakable'.
2. Graphite and diamond have more in common than you might think.
Despite diamond being earth’s hardest natural substance and graphite being so soft you can write with it, both are made of 100% carbon. Billions of years under the extreme pressure and heat found 90-120 miles below the earth’s surface has caused carbon to take diamond’s unique chemical structure and properties.
3. Diamond engagement rings have been used for almost 500 years.
While the association between diamonds and love dates back to the Roman’s belief that Cupid’s arrows were tipped with diamond, the first known engagement ring did not make an appearance until almost 500 years ago. In 1477, Archduke Maxmillian of Austria commissioned a gold ring with diamonds in the shape of an M for his fiancée, Mary of Burgundy.
4. New York City is the world’s #1 hotspot for cut diamonds.
While Antwerp, Belgium is known as the “diamond capital of the world” for attracting buyers and sellers of rough diamonds from around the world, it is New York City that takes first place for selling cut diamonds. Almost 80% of the world’s cut diamonds are sold in New York City before making their way to the final customers.
5. Diamond isn’t only colorless.
Colorless diamond may be the most iconic, but diamond actually comes in almost every color. Some of the most popular hues are yellow, pink, blue and green. Most colored diamonds are only slightly tinted, but some contain all the bold color found in other gemstones while also maintaining the strength of diamond.
6. Finding diamond is less than a one in a million chance.
Even in professional diamond mining operations, an average of one million pounds of host rock needs to be mined to find just one pound of diamond. Out of the over one million carats (~440lbs) of diamonds mined each year, only 20% are high enough quality for use in jewelry. The remaining 80% are used in a variety of industrial and medical tools.
7. You can dig for your own diamond in Arkansas.
If you are looking for a unique road trip, Murfreesboro, Arkansas is home to “The World’s Only Keep What You Find Diamond Site” where you can dig for your own diamonds and take home whatever you find. Crater of Diamonds State Park is home to white, brown and yellow diamonds, amethysts, garnets and other gemstones. Fun fact: the largest diamond ever found in the United States, named the Uncle Sam Diamond and weighing 40.23 carats, was found at this park in 1924.
8. There is a diamond literally the size of a star.
Better known by its nickname “Lucy” after the Beatles song “Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds”, the star BMP 37093 is one third pure diamond and would weigh 10 billion trillion trillion carats(10 followed by 33 zeros) or 5 million trillion trillion pounds(5 followed by 30 zeros). In contrast, the largest diamond ever found on earth -the Cullinan diamond- weighed only 3106 carats or 1.33 pounds and was later cut into 109 diamonds.