17 Things You Didn't Know About Your Diamond

Your diamond is way more rare than you may have even realized! The Knot chatted with three industry experts to get the low-down on all things diamonds.
by Amanda Elser
Round Diamond engagement ring in a box
Heather Waraksa

1. In ancient times, Greeks believed diamonds to be tears of the Gods while Romans considered them to be shards of stars that had fallen from the sky.

2. In the world of diamonds, size does matter. A single, two-carat diamond is worth twice as much as two, single-carat diamonds.

3. Throughout history, it was believed by kings that a diamond worn in battle would magically protect its wearer.

4. The Egyptians began the custom of placing a diamond ring on the fourth finger, believing a 'vein of love' ran directly from there to the heart.

5. For centuries, the seeds of the carob tree were used as the standard for weighing precious stones. It's from this that we take the word "carat".

6. The tradition of giving a diamond ring as a token of a promise dates back to the 15th Century, when Archduke Maximilian of Austria gave Mary of Burgundy a diamond ring to celebrate their engagement.

7. De Beers created the 4Cs in 1934 as a way of categorizing and evaluating diamonds. GIA (Gemological Institute of America) later adopted the system for use in their laboratory, which was established in the 1950's.

8. Only diamonds can cut another diamond and only diamond powder can polish a diamond.

9. Diamonds are heat conductors and can explode if heated past boiling point.

10. The US is the #1 consumer in diamonds.

11. There is such a thing as a perfectly cut diamond. It's called an "Ideal Cut" when the diamond's facets (or cuts) are done in perfect symmetry. All the angles line up, allowing light to leak out of the top for a more brilliant shine.

12. Diamonds are made of carbon that crystallized long ago deep inside the earth's mantle, under extreme conditions. It would take the pressure of the Eiffel Tower on your fingertip to create a diamond.

13. Diamonds are carried to the earth's surface by a volcanic eruption. The diamonds that we see at the surface today are ones that were brought to the surface by a very deep-seated volcanic eruption long ago.

14. A mine in Russia can extract one carat worth of diamonds from one ton of rock.

15. Diamonds as small as 1/100th of a carat can still have the same number of facets (57) as a one carat diamond.

16. Green diamonds get their color from radiation in the earth.

17. Diamonds can be fashioned into a variety of shapes including stars and horse heads.

Consulting Experts: Adelaide Polk-Bauman, Forevermark Diamond; Oded Edelman, Founder & CEO of James Allen; Jean Paul Tolkowsky, Master Diamantaire - the Tolkowsky collection is available at Kay Jewelers

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