29 Fun Facts on Diamonds

We have compiled a list of fun facts on the beloved gemstone.

  1. The word “diamond” came from the Ancient Greek word adamas, meaning “unbreakable,” “unalterable,” or “unconquerable.”
  2. A diamond is known as the hardest natural substance on Earth. It has a perfect score of 10 in the Mohs scale of mineral hardness. This means that a diamond can only be scratched by another diamond.
  3. Diamonds are not only the hardest natural substances, but are also one of the oldest minerals. Scientists believe that diamonds are billions of years old. These can range from one billion up to more than three billion years old.
  4. Diamonds are made up of highly organized carbon. They are formed through high pressure and high temperature (HPHT) under the Earth’s surface. Their beauty can be attributed to their crystalline structures.
  5. After diamonds are produced, they are brought to the Earth’s surface through volcanic eruptions.
  6. A diamond is the birthstone for people born on the month of April.
  7. Russia is currently the number one source of mined diamonds in the world.
  8. The earliest reference to diamonds was dated from 320-296 BCE in a Sanskrit manuscript.
  9. Ancient Hindus believe that diamonds can protect a wearer from harm. They also use these precious stones as eyes for their statues as a tribute to their gods. The Hindus also believed that diamonds are formed whenever lightning bolts struck rocks.
  10. Diamonds were traded in India in the 4th century BC. The Sanskrit word for diamonds is vajra. They are also known as indrayudha, or “Indra’s weapon.” Indra is the warrior god according to the Vedas, the holy books in the Hindu religion.
  11. India was the only source of diamonds for 1,000 years. Other diamond deposits were only discovered in the 20th century due to technological breakthroughs and scientific research.
  12. Ancient kings used to wear breastplates studded with diamonds when fighting in wars because they believe that these gemstones have the ability to give them strength.
  13. During the ancient times, Greeks and Romans thought that diamonds came from the tears of the gods or were splinters from falling stars.
  14. Some Romans believe that Cupid’s (god of desire and the son of the goddess Venus) arrows were tipped with diamonds.
  15. The Greek philosopher Plato claimed that celestial spirits are living inside diamonds.
  16. In 327 BC, Alexander the Great of Macedonia brought the first diamonds from India to Europe.
  17. Based on diamond historical accounts, the Roman naturalist Pliny said that “diamond is the most valuable, not only of precious stones, but of all things in this world,” during the 1st century AD. This shows that diamonds are already considered valuable gemstones for many years.
  18. People thought that diamonds can heal ailments ranging from fatigue and skin diseases to mental illnesses during the Middle Ages. They are called “miracle stones.”
  19. It was only during the Renaissance period that the belief on diamond healing stopped, when Pope Clement VII ingested a medicine based on powdered diamond and died.
  20. Jewish high priests used to believe that diamonds can determine whether a person accused of a crime is innocent or guilty. The diamond placed before the person would sparkle if the accused is saying the truth. On the other hand, the diamond would darken if the accused is lying.
  21. There was a law in France during the 13th century, stating that only the King can wear diamonds.
  22. The earliest process of diamond cutting was believed to have taken place in Venice sometime in 1330.
  23. The first known use of a diamond for an engagement ring was in 1477. This was when Archduke Maximillian of Austria presented Mary of Burgundy a gold ring featuring an M spelled out in diamonds.
  24. 80% of diamonds are used for industrial purposes.
  25. 250 tons of earth has to be mined to produce a single one-carat diamond.
  26. One of the most famous diamonds in the world is the Hope Diamond. This diamond has a weight of 45.52 carats, and is dark grayish-blue in color. This is also known as the King’s Jewel or France’s Blue. Legend has it that this diamond is cursed, and will bring misfortune to anyone who has it.
  27. Astronomers discovered a planet mainly composed of carbon, with an estimated one-third of the total mass made from pure diamond. This planet is called the 55 Cancri e, and orbits a nearby star in the Milky Way galaxy. The radius of this planet is twice as wide as that of Earth, and is eight times heavier. It makes a full orbit around its star for only 18 hours. It has a surface temperature of 3,900 degrees Fahrenheit or 2,100 degrees Celsius.
  28. Scientists have discovered a diamond star with ten billion trillion trillion carats.  They named the star Lucy after the Beatles song “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds,” although it is technically known as BPM 37093. It is 50 light years away from the Earth, on the constellation Centaurus.
  29. Diamonds can also be produced through artificial means. These are called synthetic diamonds, and can be made through HPHT (high pressure and high temperature) methods or CVD (chemical vapor deposition) methods.