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Sunday, 12 October 2014

Diamond

DIAMONDS IN HISTORY

Diamonds were first discovered in the riverbeds of the Golconda region of India over 4,000 years ago.

The Persians thought that diamonds were made by the devil and considered them cursed.

In Roman times diamonds were worn only by men. Soldiers believed they were the hardened tears of the gods and wore them around their necks in battle to bring courage.

During the Black Death, English aristocrats wore diamonds believing they could keep the disease at bay.

During the Middle Ages, only men wore diamonds, as a symbol of their courage and virility. Anne of Burgundy was the first woman to receive a diamond engagement ring. It was given to her by Maximilian I of Germany in 1477.

Louis XIV of France once received the Siamese Ambassador in Versailles' Hall of Mirrors, wearing a fur coat entrusted with diamonds valued at 1/6th the cost of Versailles.

Scientists only realized that diamonds are the crystallized form of carbon in 1772 when Antoine Lavoisier made the discovery.

The Koh-I-noor diamond, set in a Maltese Cross in the Queen Mother’s Crown, was presented to Queen Victoria as a personal gift in 1850.  Its name means ‘mountain of light’ in Urdu.

Originally 186 carats, the Koh-I-noor diamond was recut on Prince Albert’s orders to improve its brilliance and is now 106 carats.

The Star of South Africa was found by a Griqua shepherd boy in 1869 on the banks of the Orange River. The original stone, before cutting, weighed 83.5 carats (16.70 g or half an ounce). The finding of this large diamond spurred the rush by many prospectors to this new diamond field, known as New Rush but later to be known as Kimberley.

The shepherd boy who found the Star of South Africa sold it for 500 sheep, ten oxen and a horse, and it was later bought by the Earl of Dudley. It’s been sold only once since — in Geneva in 1974 for 1.6 million Swiss Francs, equivalent to around £225,300.

The world's largest diamond ever, the Cullinan was found on January 26, 1905 at the Premier Mine near Pretoria in South Africa during a routine inspection by the mine's superintendent. It weighed 1.33 pounds. The rough stone was cleaved into 9 large stones and 96 smaller stones.

Identical reproduction, in resin, of the Cullinan diamond, the largest diamond ever found,

The two biggest white diamonds in the world can both be found in the Tower of London among the British Crown Jewels. They were cut from the Cullinan diamond, which was presented to King Edward VII after being mined in South Africa.

The Cullinan diamond was sent by ordinary registered mail to England, where King Edward VII exclaimed on seeing it: "I should have kicked it aside as a lump of glass if I had seen it on the road."

The South-African based De Beers Consolidated Mines launched a campaign in 1939 to promote further the tradition of diamond engagement rings. The N.W. Ayer agency of Chicago came with the line “A diamond is forever”.

The first synthetic diamonds were created in 1954 by one Howard Tracy Hall.

The Hope Diamond is one of the most famous jewels in the world, with ownership records dating back almost four centuries. The jewel is believed to have originated in India, where the original (larger) stone was purchased in 1666 by French gem merchant Jean-Baptiste Tavernier as the Tavernier Blue

On November 10, 1958 the merchant Harry Winston donated the Hope Diamond, the "most famous diamond in the world", to the Smithsonian Institution.

Hope Diamond

The Strawn-Wagner, unearthed in Arkansas n 1990 by Shirley Strawn and now on permanent display at the Crater of Diamonds visitor center, is considered the first perfect diamond ever discovered.

Nicole Kidman's necklace in Moulin Rouge features 1,308 diamonds and is the most expensive piece of jewelry ever made for a movie.

Jaguar fitted $300k diamonds to fronts of two of their Formula 1 cars in the 2004 Monaco Grand Prix, to advertise Ocean's Twelve. One of the cars crashed on the first lap, and the diamond, uninsured due to the nature of the stunt, was, and still remains, lost.

The Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics announced on February 13, 2004, the discovery of the universe's largest known diamond, white dwarf star BPM 37093. The cosmic diamond is a chunk of crystallised carbon, 4,000 km across, some 50 light-years from the Earth in the constellation Centaurus. Astronomers named this star "Lucy" after The Beatles' song "Lucy In The Sky In Diamonds".


FUN DIAMOND FACTS

The Crater of Diamonds State Park is a 911-acre Arkansas state park in Pike County, Arkansas, in the United States. The park features a 37.5-acre (15.2 ha) plowed field, the world's only diamond-bearing site accessible to the public. Visitors can keep whatever gems they find, and over 31,000 diamonds have been found since it became a state park in 1972.

A brilliant cut diamond is considered perfectly shaped when it has 58 facets.

Russia has a vast diamond field containing enough to supply global markets for another 3000 years. The field was discovered in the 1970s underneath 35 million year-old asteroid crater in Siberia.

There are enough diamonds in existence to give everyone on the planet a cupful.

It rains diamonds on Saturn and Jupiter.

Out of all colored diamonds, red diamonds are the rarest

The diamond is the only gemstone composed of just one chemical element, carbon. Although crystal-clear, it is black when reduced to dust.


Diamonds burn if you heat them somewhere between 1,400 to 1,600 degrees Fahrenheit.

A diamond is the hardest natural substance on earth, but if it is placed in an oven at the right temperature, it will simply vanish.

Here is a list of songs with the word "Diamond" in the title

Sources Daily Mail, Dictionary of Phrase & Fable by Nigel Rees

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