Top 10 Diamond Facts

If you go into a jeweler to buy or sell diamonds in Boca Raton, you are probably fascinated by the wide variety and selection of these precious gems. Diamond buyers in Boca Raton are known to have collections that attract international interest from the many travelers who visit SoFla.

Round Brilliant Solitaire engagement ring on a diamond band

Round Brilliant Solitaire engagement ring on a diamond band

Aside from admiring their beauty, have you ever taken the time to learn a little bit of the fascinating story of these sparkling stones? If someone decides to sell a wedding ring in South Florida, do you wonder if they are sad about the loss of a relationship with someone or with losing the diamond itself?

Whatever you may or may not know about our love affair with the diamond, here are `10 fun facts you can share with your fellow fan of these treasures.

Fact No. 10

Diamonds are not as rare as you might think. See some of the following facts that provide the details. However, truly gem-quality diamonds are rare, and rarity increases with size. For example, only one diamond in one million makes the grade as a quality stone, and less than one in 15 million are ranked as 3-carat gemstones.

For centuries, however, the perceived value of diamonds has far outweighed the intrinsic value, as they seem to fill a deep psychological value, especially in women. That perceived value is enhanced when skilled craftsmen turn raw diamonds into exquisite works of art.

Fact No. 9

Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds may be more than the name of a popular song. Astronomers have discovered a dead star they estimate to be 10 billion trillion trillion carats. The entire star is made of crystallized carbon and is “only” 50 million light-years from earth. Scientists also estimate there are millions of such stars throughout the universe, all the final product of stars who lived out their lives without going nova. Just don’t let the fiancé know about these – she might suddenly want one.

Fact No. 8

Modern technology can produce undetectable fake diamonds. Various labs now have the technology to produce diamonds impossible for a jeweler to detect as fake. While you know about the CZ and other man-produced diamonds, these latest varieties set the bar at a totally different level. The process called chemical vapor deposition creates diamonds as perfect as any found naturally.

While they can be and are used for jewelry, the drive to produce artificial diamonds is found more in their increasing use for industrial applications, as you will see in the following facts.

Fact No. 7

While there seems to be a vast amount of diamonds available in nature, they are increasingly expensive to mine and produce. The majority of the world’s diamond reserves are currently thought to be in Africa, and mines there are now very deep, driving up production costs.

Roughly 57,000 pounds of diamonds are mined each year. For every one carat of diamonds, more than 250 tons of dirt must be mined, moved, and sifted over an average total of 15 miles. Each year, that ratio increases as mines go deeper and deeper. For gem-quality diamonds, as much as 50 percent of their original weight is lost during cutting and polishing.

Fact No. 6

More than 80 percent of the world’s annual production of diamonds goes to industrial applications. In fact, archeologists will tell you the earliest diamonds were also used for such purposes. Indications are the Chinese used the diamond to polish corundum axes to mirror finishes.

Mined diamonds are evaluated for their value and usability. Because of the natural hardness of diamonds, they are used in many ways, including, somewhat ironically, making mining bits and machinery.

Diamonds are used in a number of everyday and specialty applications such as grinding, drilling, cutting and polishing. You’ll find diamonds employed where durability and hardness are required to get the job done. The increasing uses of diamonds in a range of industrial applications helps support a market price separate from the cartel-driven market for gem-quality diamonds.

Fact No. 5

Diamonds have fascinated wealthy individuals for millennia. It is only in fairly recent times that the average person could expect to walk in to buy a an engagement ring in Boca Raton. In fact, it was decreed in 13th century France only the King could own or wear diamonds.

Diamonds have always fascinated and attracted the interest of royalty. The first recorded use of a diamond as a gift is the time in 1477 when Mary of Burgundy received a diamond from the Archduke of Austria. What is now called the Hope Diamond was owned by Marie Antoinette at one point and later by the King of England.

While the early Greeks had some kings, they viewed diamonds as more the property of the gods, with diamonds dropped on earth as the byproduct of making stars.

Fact No. 4

Contrary to many statements by jewelers to the contrary, diamonds are not the hardest substance on Earth. It is the hardest natural substance made of minerals. However, science and technology now produces hyperdiamonds called Aggregated Diamond Nanorods (ADNRs). These are as much as 11 percent harder than natural diamonds and are used in highly specialized scientific applications.

Fact No. 3

Can you guess the largest or most famous diamond? Many people know of the Hope Diamond and its supposed curse. However, its current size is “only” 45 carats while the Golden Jubilee weighs in at a staggering 546 carats. Size is only one part of the mystique of famous diamonds, and few rival the legends surrounding the Koh-I-Nor Diamond and the Bokassa Diamond. This latter ranks as one of the great cons of all times, reputed to “be priceless if its owner never tries to sell it.”

Fact No. 2

Diamonds are the greatest example of the power of modern marketing. After his success in creating his De Beer monopoly (see Fact No. 1), Cecil Rhodes turned to America’s first advertising agency, N.W. Ayer & Son, to create a market. While you may find it hard to believe when you see the gorgeous diamond engagement rings in Boca Raton shops, the diamond was not associated with engagement rings until the ‘40s. It was the success of A Diamond is Forever campaign that created the now universal expectation of a diamond engagement ring.

Fact No. 1

To understand diamonds, you have to understand De Beers. Few industries throughout man’s history have been dominated by one name for such a long period as the diamond market is by De Beers. While most people know of the Rhodes Scholarship, comparatively few know the name of the company he founded in 1867 in South Africa.

Twenty years after starting off selling water pumps to miners during an early diamond rush, Rhodes demonstrated his desire to monopolize. He eventually owned all diamond mining operations in what was then Rhodesia and established the first diamond cartel. While the company prefers the term “single-channel marketing,” the simple fact is they essentially determine the world supply and pricing of diamonds.

De Beers at one time controlled more than 90 percent of the entire world diamond market and still retains roughly 75 percent. It sells uncut diamonds 10 times a year at what are called “sights.” This process is unusual in that there is no haggling and no competition. The company offers its diamonds to a select group of buyers in lots of $1 million to $25 million on a take-it-or-leave-it basis. No long-term players ever reject an offered lot.

The definitive study of the diamond industry, The Rise and Fall of Diamonds, was written by Edward Epstein and it tells a story almost as fascinating as the stone itself.

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