1. What is a diamond?
For those who don’t know, a diamond is the hardest known material on earth that is made of pure carbon crystallized under a very high temperature and pressure. In terms of nature, an environment in which diamonds are created can only exist at depths of about 150 to 200 km below the surface of the Earth. As volcanic eruptions take place, the diamond bearing rocks called ‘Lamproite’ and ‘Kimberlite’ are driven to the surface of the Earth from where they can be extracted.
2. Where are the main sources of diamonds located?
If you look through history, you will learn that people have always been fascinated by the beauty of a diamond. Until the 18th century, the only source of diamonds in the world was India. However, the first diamonds were later discovered in Africa in the second half of the 19th century. Right after it, a diamond rush occurred. With the passage of time, more and more diamond sources have been found and the most important diamond supplying countries are Australia and Congo for industrial diamonds. On the other hand, the best gem quality stones are found in Southern Africa, Australia, Congo, Russia, Namibia and Botswana.
3. How are diamonds mined?
If truth be told, the mining methods for diamonds are rather diverse and depend heavily on how the diamonds present themselves at the surface of the Earth. For instance, mining of Kimberlite pipes is focused on open-pit or underground mining. When the diamond crystals are freed by erosion, they are dug from riverbed and the river silt is sieved.
On the other hand, there is also marine mining which involves the exploitation of sandy coastal strata by means of dredging. On the whole, diamond mining can take place by both large industrial operations and even small scale methods focused on manual labor. It is basically the presentation of the diamonds that determines how they need to be mined.
4. How do the experts determine the quality of a diamond?
In order to determine the quality of a diamond, experts focus on the four C’s – Carat, Color, Clarity and Cut.
5. What does the term carat mean?
The term carat is basically meant to denote the weight of a diamond. Just so you know, one carat is equal to a fifth of a gram. The term is taken from a seed of the carob tree known as ‘carubis’. This seed, as we know, is said to have an approximate weight of nearly 0.2 grams.
6. What are the names of the most famous diamonds in the world?
Although there are many popular diamonds in the world today, some of the most famous ones known to man are inclusive of:
The Cullinan I
This is basically a pear shaped diamond that is known to weigh about 530.20 carats. It is also known as ‘The Star of Africa’. The diamond is set in the English crown jewels and can be seen in the Tower of London.
Also known as the ‘Mountain of Light’, the Koh-I-Noor is one of the oldest diamonds known to the world. It basically has an oval appearance and weighs around 108.93 carats. It was discovered in India and is now part of the Crown Jewels. It is also available for public viewing in the Tower of London.
This diamond weighs 44.50 carats, is blue in color and is particularly known for its remarkable brilliance. It can be viewed at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, although it has long held the reputation of bringing utter misfortune to its owners.