Diamonds are revered for their everlasting beauty, but how many diamond facts do you actually know? We gathered some interesting facts about diamonds so you can impress others at the next trivia night or simply be in even more awe when looking at your diamond jewelry. We also included some April birthstone facts for those lucky enough to claim diamonds as their birthstone.
Fun Facts About Diamonds
How old is a diamond?The majority of natural diamonds are one to three billion years old. These gemstones most likely formed in the first couple billion years that Earth existed. The oldest diamonds are more than 3.5 billion years old1, while the younger ones are at least hundreds of millions of years old.
How are diamonds made?Diamonds formed when carbon atoms were put under high heat and pressure—in the Earth’s upper mantle—resulting in one atom being bonded to four other atoms. This process continued as long as other carbon atoms were nearby, causing the structure to grow. A one-carat diamond is made of billions of carbon atoms. Diamonds reached the Earth’s surface when ancient volcanic eruptions moved them up through layers of earth.
Where are diamonds found? Who found the first diamond in the world?Diamonds are mined around the world, in countries such as South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Lesotho, Russia, and Canada. Some of the earliest discoveries of diamonds were in India in 400 BC.
Are there different types of diamonds? Are diamonds man-made?Diamonds can be natural, laboratory grown, or treated. They come in a rainbow of colors, yet pure diamonds are transparent and colorless. Man-made, laboratory grown, or synthetic diamonds are manufactured a handful of different ways, all using carbon. The end result will be beautiful, but not as valuable as a natural diamond.
What is the most expensive diamond?Two of the most expensive diamonds in the world include the Hope Diamond and the Cullinan Diamond. The Hope Diamond sits in the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History and is valued at nearly $350 million. When discovered, the uncut Cullinan Diamond weighed 1.3 pounds. It was later split into nine diamonds, whose values total more than $2 billion.
Why is a diamond so hard?The tight structure of covalent bonds between carbon atoms creates a rigid tetrahedral crystal—making diamonds one of the hardest substances on the planet. On the Mohs scale—which measures the ability of a harder material to scratch a softer material—they rank 10 out of 10 in hardness. In fact, diamonds are the most scratch-resistant substance, beating out rubies and sapphires and materials like titanium and tungsten carbide. In order to cut and shape a diamond, another diamond is used.
Is anything stronger than diamonds? What can destroy diamonds?There are a few materials stronger than diamonds. Wurtzite boron nitride and lonsdaleite are natural substances stronger than diamonds. Man-made materials include dyneema, palladium microalloy glass, buckypaper, and—the strongest material known—graphene. At high temperatures (more than 1400 degrees Fahrenheit) a diamond will burn. If it’s pure carbon, it will turn to CO2 and vanish. However, it will most likely have impurities in it that are not carbon and will leave behind some ash. Want a simpler way to destroy a diamond? Hit it with a hammer. Even though diamonds are incredibly hard, they can chip and break apart. So, don’t assume your diamond ring will handle anything you put it through.
What are diamonds used for?When you first think of diamonds, diamond jewelry—more specifically a diamond engagement ring—probably first pops into your mind. However, due to their incredible hardness, diamonds are often used in manufacturing applications such as cutting blades, drilling, and polishing. These industrial diamonds are usually gemstones that can’t be turned into profitable jewelry.
Can diamonds last forever?In the 1940s, De Beers Jewelers debuted the now infamous ad slogan, “A diamond is forever.” However, a diamond won’t last for eternity. It takes millions or even billions of years, but it will eventually degrade to graphite2, a lower-energy form of carbon. Under normal conditions though, your diamond jewelry will last a long time if taken care of properly.
Are diamonds a girl’s best friend?You’ll have to ask Marilyn Monroe.
April Birthstone Facts
What is the birthstone for someone born in April?A diamond, of course!
Why is the diamond the birthstone for April?Legend has it that in biblical times, a priest’s breastplate was decorated with 12 gemstones that became associated with the zodiac. People then tied those gems to the related months and wore each one as the year moved on. More recently, in 1912, the American National Association of Jewelers created what has become the official list of birthstones that we still use today.
What color birthstone is April?The April birthstone color is any color of diamond. This is commonly white/colorless; however, diamonds can be found in pink, yellow, brown, and other colors.
What does the April birthstone symbolize?Since ancient times, the diamond has been a symbol of eternal love, trust, and faith. This makes it an apropos gemstone for an engagement ring. Legends say that diamonds can promote creativity and imagination, while also symbolizing wealth and the ability to manifest abundance. Want to learn more about diamonds? Looking for April birthstone jewelry? Find an American Gem Society jeweler near you.