Interesting facts about jewellery

October 7, 2009 | In: Random interesting fact, Science facts

Diamond Thieves and Smugglers use homing pigeons to smuggle rough diamonds out of mining areas.

About 75% of American brides receive a diamond engagement ring.

A new mineral, discovered in Russia, has been named Dianite, after Princess Diana, and it will eventually be polished and mounted in jewellery.

The largest diamond ever found was the The Cullinan. It weighed 3,106 carats, or about one and a third pounds!

Diamond clarity refers to the degree of transparency in the gemstone.

The opal was one of Queen Victoria’s personal favorites; she presented them as wedding gifts to her daughters and also wore them herself.

The largest diamond ever found was about the size of a fist. It was cut into 105 stones representing only a third of the original weight.

Diamond is crystalline carbon that forms under high pressure and temperature. Even though diamonds are the hardest substance, rough diamonds can be shaped by splitting them along cleavage planes. This divides them into smaller pieces to remove flaws or impurities. They are then further shaped by splitting, cutting, and grinding.

Finished diamonds have many surfaces that reflect and refract light to give them their characteristic sparkle. During the finishing process, more than 50% of the diamond is lost. If the diamond has many flaws, as much as 80% may be lost.

The hardest material on Earth is also one of the hardest to make! Although known to be a form of carbon as early as 1796, diamonds were not synthesized until 1953, when Baltazar von Platen made some tiny crystals in Stockholm, Sweden. Today, over 80 tons of synthetic diamonds are made every year.

Making diamonds is difficult because it requires very high pressure and temperature. Most natural diamonds form more than 150 kilometers underground. At those depths, carbon atoms are squeezed close enough together to form the tightly bonded structure of diamond.

Recently, a new way has been discovered to make diamonds. This method, chemical vapor deposition, creates thin films of diamond for no-wear bearings and other special purposes.

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