If you think diamonds are only of interest to women you’re quite wrong. Diamonds are a mysterious mineral that capture the imagination of many women as well as men. Diamonds can prove an amazing material to improve the look of an outfit or as a decoration on valuable possessions. But they have a completely different side as well in industrial applications and as an element used in many power tools they’ve become essential to our daily lives.
Diamond means invincible
The word diamond is derived from Ancient Greek. The word ἀδάμας (adámas) means invincible, untamed, hard substance obviously referring to the hardness of the material.
Diamonds are several million years old?
While we like polished diamonds for their pristine beauty and radiance, they are all but new. Diamonds are thought to have formed several million years ago. The youngest diamonds that are found have been estimated to be about 990 million years old through carbon dating, however there are also claims that diamonds might be less than a million years old through radiocarbon dating.
Physical properties of diamonds
Most diamonds aren’t used for their beauty, however, but for their hardness. Diamonds are the hardest natural substance on the face of the earth, which makes them a perfect material for industrial uses such as drills and saws. They won’t melt either, but at a temperature of 763 degrees Celsius they will simply vanish without even leaving a pile of ash.
The largest diamond ever found
The Cullinan diamond is the largest diamond ever found or to be more precise the largest rough diamond of gem-quality ever found. It was cut in several smaller diamonds of which the Great Star of Africa weighing 530.4 carats is the largest. It is now part of the British Crown Jewels mounted on the Scepter with the Cross.
Most diamonds are found in Africa
While the Argyle mine is the largest diamond producer in the world, as a whole Africa is the continent that holds the largest quantity of diamonds. Especially when it comes to gem-quality diamonds Africa is the most important area in the world.
Of all the African countries it is South-Africa which stands out due to its large amount of active diamond mines, most of which belong to De Beers. De Beers is a family of companies which is the world leader when it comes to diamond mining. De Beers also has a large part in most aspects of the diamond trade as well from jewellery to industrial grade diamonds.