April is the month a girl’s best friend: the diamond. They’re an interesting little stone, so to celebrate their birth month we’ve complied ten facts about these little sparkling wonders.
1. The word ‘diamond’ comes from the Greek word ‘adamas’ which translates to invincible or indestructible.
2. In ancient Roman and Greek societies, diamonds were believed to be tears cried by the gods, and it was even thought that Cupid shot diamond-tipped arrows into lovers (making sure romance had a spark)
3. The diamonds you see have already had a long journey: after forming about 160 km below ground, they are carried to the earth’s surface by deep volcanic eruptions.
4. Diamonds are the hardest natural substance – the only thing that can scratch a diamond is another diamond.
5. Diamonds are made of a single element: carbon. Thanks to the intense heat and pressure beneath the earth’s surface, the carbon atoms bond in a particular way to result in diamonds’ rare crystal-like structure.
6. The largest diamond ever discovered was called the Cullinan diamond, weighing in at 3,106 carats (1.33 pounds). It was discovered in 1905 in South Africa and later cut into nine large diamonds and 100 smaller ones (three of which are on display as part of the crown jewels in London).
7. India was the original source of diamonds, and trade began in the 1400s between India and Europe. In the 1700s, India’s supply dwindled, and Brazil became the major source, until the late 1800s when a diamond reserve was discovered in South Africa. Today, diamonds are mined all over the globe – including Australia’s argyle diamonds found in the Kimberley’s (which are all kinds of hues of pink).
8. Diamonds come in all colours of the rainbow. Blue, green, orange and red are the rarest; while yellow and brown are the most common.
9. It’s believed that Carbonado diamonds (found in South America and Africa) were deposited by an asteroid that impacted the earth over 3 billion years ago. If you’re lucky enough to have one of these rare stones, you’re basically wearing part of the stars.
10. Speaking of stars, scientists believe they have found a star that’s essentially one huge diamond. The star, named Lucy after the iconic Beatles song ‘Lucy in the sky with Diamonds’, is composed of crystallised carbon and located in the Centaurus constellation of the Milky Way.