In recent years, much attention has been given to the diamond industry in light of conflict diamonds, also known as blood diamonds. While the story of conflict diamonds is heartbreaking, it is at odds with the ever alluring beauty of “girl’s best friend.” No matter what happens between the creation of a diamond and the sale of one, the mystique and appeal of diamonds will probably always remain. We’ve compiled a list of top 5 facts about diamonds. The sources are varied, as is the information, but it’s all very interesting. Keep reading!
Here are our top 5 entertaining facts about diamonds:
5. Educational Expenses
In Botswana, the revenues from the diamond industry enable every child, to age 13, to receive a free education. This aid is necessary due to insufficient tax revenue to provide free public education, the way it is provided in the U.S. and elsewhere. After the age of 13, the government pays approximately 95% of educational expenses.
4. Suitable Diamonds
Only about 25% of the world’s diamonds are suitable for gemstones. The remaining 75% are used for industrial purposes–anything from coating drill bits, enhancing the performance of semiconductors, to use in phonograph needles! Wait, who uses phonographs?
3. Different Colors
Although diamonds are most often seen in their white/clear variation, they can include the whole color spectrum from clear to black! Most often they’re brown and yellow; most rarely they’re blue or pink. Also, most are tinged with yellow, so they are often set in yellow gold to mask the yellowish gem color, believed to be caused by Nitrogen.
2. Billions of Years Old
A diamond may be up to three billion years old! The diamond crystallization process starts at approximately 200 kilometers, or 320 miles, beneath the surface, and typically rises to the surface in volcanic rock.
1. Uncle Sam
The United States has a diamond mine that is open to the public! Since 1906, over 70,000 diamonds have been dug up at The Crater of Diamonds State Park in Arkansas. This includes one that was over 40 carats in weight (the “Uncle Sam Diamond” of 1924).