Published 24th Nov 2017 - Shine bright like a...
Shine bright like a diamond! FYI, your precious rock has gone through an awful lot to end up on your hand
1 The Ancient Greeks and Romans thought diamonds were either tears wept by the gods or droplets shed by falling stars.
2 Diamonds are bilions of years old, having spent millennium after millennum being formed miles underground before being pushed to the Earth's surface by volcanic eruptions. (Kind of like giving birth but through layers of rock and lava.)
3 Naturally, something that's pushed to the Earth's surface by fiery eruptions has to be pretty strong: very strong, in fact. Diamonds are the hardest natural substance in the world, meaning the only thing that can cut a diamond is... Another diamond. That said, if you heat a diamond to more than 763C (so precise, no?) it will disappear.
4 The largest diamond to ever be found was mined in Cullinan, South Africa, in 1905. The rock weighed in at 621.35g and was presented to King Edward VII to celebrate his 65th birthday. The stone was subsequently split into various smaller gems - several of the diamonds cut from it were inherited by Queen Elizabeth II from her grandmother, Queen Mary.
5 The first known diamond engagement ring was gifted to Mary of Burgundy by Archduke Maxmillian of Austria in 1477. The gold ring boasted a sparkling M, designed in diamonds.
6 The most-expensive diamond, ever? The astonishing 'Pink Star', which was auctioned in April 2017 for over $70million. By the way: coloured diamonds in general are more expensive than their classic clear counterparts, simply owing to the fact that they are more unusual. Diamonds can be found in shades of yellow, blue, pink, green and even black.