Diamonds have always been a girl’s best friend. Not only girls, it’s adorned the necks and rings of illustrious kings and queens for centuries, and in the process, have cocked up a few fascinating facts through the years.
Here are some interesting facts you can use and impress your partner, or make wearing your engagement ring just a little more special.
Remember one, remember them all. What we guarantee is that your diamond isn’t going to be the only thing that shines at your next social gathering.
1. How they got their name
Did you know that the name ‘diamond’ was derived from the Greek word ‘adamas’ which means ‘untamed’ or ‘unbreakable’?
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2. Where they were first discovered
India and diamonds have a long association, as these precious stones were first collected from Indian streams and rivers. They were first traded among India’s rich and wealthy.
It was only after Alexander the Great’s failed invasion of India in 327BC that he carried and introduced Indian diamonds to Europe. This was the same time India had started using caravans to export diamonds to Europe.
3. South Africa had its very own diamond rush
Did you know that the largest reservoir of diamonds is in South Africa? It was way back in 1866 that some children found a rock which was no ordinary rock, but an expensive diamond. This discovery was the trigger for the famous South African diamond rush, and many stones found here were used for making well known Victorian diamond jewelry.
4. What they really made of
It was Antoine Lavoisier who had first proven that diamonds were made of carbon in the year 1772. Being a scientist, he managed to prove this by focusing the sun’s rays on a diamond with a lens, in an oxygen-filled environment. The only resulting product was carbon dioxide, proving that diamonds are made of carbon.
5. Alternate creation theories
The Hindus of ancient India maintained that diamonds were created by a bolt of lightning striking a rock. They also believed that the stones attracted lightning and protected the wearer from harm. This is why it’s said that wearing a diamond helps turn danger away.
6. How engagement rings were born
The first recorded proof, or rather incident of a diamond ring used for a proposal as an engagement ring was when the Archduke Maxmilian of Austria proposed to Mary of Burgundy in 1477. The ring was M-shaped using thin, flat diamond pieces.
7. Diamonds help build our first cars
It was Henry Ford who first started using diamonds in the automobile industry. He paid for it’s research so that scientists could come out with lower grade diamonds to use for cutting tools.
8. Biggest diamond ever found
‘Cullinan’ is the name of the largest diamond found so far, named after Sir Thomas Cullinan, whose mine the diamond was found in. The 1.33 pounds stone was found 18 feet underground in Pretoria, South Africa on January 25, 1905 by miner Frederick Wells.
Joseph Asscher was appointed by Sir Thomas to cut the stone, and the final result was a 971-carat diamond. He had actually spent six months studying the diamond before starting to cut it, and ended up fainting from exhaustion after making a few attempts.
Not quiet as big, but still very impressive, these are the top 10 most extravagant celebrity engagement rings of all time.