Very hard, very rare and very old, diamonds are essentially carbon that has been transformed under great pressure deep inside Earth. It is usually volcanic activity that brings them near the surface again after billions of years and makes mining possible. Diamonds are the hardest natural substance ever found.

  1. The ancient Romans and Greeks believed that diamonds were tears cried by the gods or splinters from falling stars, and Romans believed that Cupid’s arrows were tipped with diamonds (perhaps the earliest association between diamonds and romantic love).
  2. Diamonds are nearly as old as the earth and take billions of years to form deep in the pit of the earth. Very few diamonds survive the trip from the depths of the earth to the crust where they can be mined. No two diamonds are the same and carry their own unique properties such as internal inclusions and color. 
  3. Diamonds form about 100 miles below ground and have been carried to the earth’s surface by deep volcanic eruptions.
  4. Diamonds are made of a single element—they are nearly 100% carbon. Under the extreme heat and pressure far below the earth’s surface, the carbon atoms bond in a unique way that results in diamonds’ beautiful and rare crystalline structure.
  5. The word diamond derives from the Greek word “adamas,” which means invincible or indestructible.
  6. Diamonds are the hardest natural substance on earth ranking a 10 on the Mohs Scale of Hardness. The only thing that can scratch a diamond’s surface is another diamond.
  7. Diamonds have been valued and coveted for thousands of years by the likes of royalty and mythical beings. There is evidence that diamonds were being collected and traded in India as early as the fourth century BC. In the first century AD, the Roman naturalist Pliny is quoted as having said, “Diamond is the most valuable, not only of precious stones, but of all things in this world.”
  8. Ancient Hindus used diamonds in the eyes of devotional statues and believed that a diamond could protect its wearer from danger.
  9. Many ancient cultures believed that diamonds gave the wearer strength and courage during battle, and some kings wore diamonds on their armor as they rode into battle.
  10. During the Middle Ages diamonds were thought to have healing properties able to cure ailments ranging from fatigue to mental illness. 

Credit: Brilliant Earth

Picture credit: Google

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