1. Diamonds were first discovered in India in the 4th century B.C., but it wasn’t until almost 2,000 years later in the late 19th century, that they became available to the masses when large deposits were found in South Africa. Up until that point, diamonds were reserved exclusively for royalty and elite society due to their extreme rarity and beauty.
2. Today, less than 20% of the world’s annual production of diamonds are gem quality; the rest are diverted for use in industrial applications e.g. electronics, machinery, tools etc.
3. Typically, more than 250 tons of ore must be mined in order to produce a one-carat, gem-quality stone.
4. But 78% of all engagement rings made in the world have diamonds in them.
5. The slogan “A Diamond is Forever” was coined in 1947 by Frances Gerety, a female employee at, N.W. Ayer & Son, the advertising agency hired by De Beers to promote and market their product to the masses.
6. Scientists discovered a possible “diamond planet” in space in 2011 called 55 Cancri e situated relatively close to the Earth about 40 light-years away.
7. Some diamonds found on Earth were brought here by meteorites or even, perhaps, created at the moment of impact.
8. The most perfect shape for a rough diamond is an octahedron (two pyramids touching at the base).
9. A father and son in Boston recently successfully created a diamond in their basement … watch this BBC documentary.
10. A modern round brilliant cut diamond has 57 tiny triangular facets of various sizes all lined-up in perfect geometry to maximize light reflection.