Diamond Facts

Check out these great diamond facts and learn about everything from history to diamonds in movies to the technology behind synthetic diamonds.You will also find diamond properties, its uses, structure, atoms and jewelry as well as a whole range of other interesting diamond facts and information.

The word diamond comes from the Greek word meaning unbreakable.

Diamond is the birthstone for the month of April.

Diamonds are the hardest natural substance on Earth.

Diamonds are the best known thermal conductor (heat transfer) among naturally occurring substances.

Diamonds are the only gemstone made of just one element: carbon.

Diamonds were formed billions of years ago through a combination of tremendous pressure and temperatures of 2000º –3000º F at depths between 75 and 120 miles beneath the earth’s surface.

Diamond crystals are brought closer to the earth’s surface through volcanic activity.

Diamonds can be found in shallow alluvial deposits where the crystals settle after being transported by rivers away from the kimberlite pipes by geologic activity.

Fewer than 20 percent of the diamonds mined worldwide are true gem-quality.

The earliest written account of diamonds dates back to around 500 B.C.

Diamonds are virtually fireproof. To burn a diamond, it must be heated to 1292 degrees Fahrenheit. (The typical house fire reaches a temperature of approximately 1100 degrees).

In their pure state, diamonds are colorless.

Blue and red are the rarest colored diamonds.

Yellow and brown are the most common colored diamonds.

The word carat comes from the Carob Mediterranean tree whose seed was used for centuries as the standard of weighing precious stones.

Only one polished diamond out of a thousand weighs more than one carat.

Diamonds have often been a source of conflict and controversy, the term blood diamond refers to a diamond mined in an unstable area and sold to finance war. This issue was brought to public attention in the 2006 movie named Blood Diamond (starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Connelly).

The largest rough diamond, discovered in 1905, is the Cullinan diamond, weighing in at 3,106 carats or 2.8 pounds!

Until the 18th century, the only diamond mines were in India.

As early as 1725, diamonds were discovered in South America. The discovery occurred in Minas Gerais, Brazil, just as the production in India was dwindling.

In the 1840s, diamonds were found in North America, although this was soon eclipsed by the discovery of diamonds in Africa and the ensuing Great Diamond Rush.

Russia produces the most diamonds by volume.

Botswana is first in value of diamonds produced.

With the opening of the Ekati Mine and others in Canada, North America has the potential to produce at least 12 percent of the total world diamond production.

Even though the U.S. produces almost no diamonds, America buys more than 40 percent of the world’s gem quality diamonds – making it the world’s largest diamond market.