Are Diamonds really a girl’s best friend? I guess that depends on the girl. They are the birthstone for April and the stone for the 60th wedding anniversary. Who is lucky enough to call the diamond their birthstone? Actor Russell Crowe, singer Pharrell Williams and author William Shakespeare among others. What else do you know about diamonds? They have an amazing history and there is lots of lore about them.
Diamonds are often found in an igneous rock called kimberlite (named after the South African town of Kimberly where a large volcanic pipe was found) and is always found in association with volcanic pipes over deep ancient continental crust.
Ancient Greeks named diamonds “adamas”, meaning invincible, indestructible, proper and untamed. Greek warriors wore diamonds as they were thought to strengthen muscles and bring invincibility. Many in the past thought that diamonds had great healing power. It was believed they could cure brain disease, pituitary gland disorders and draw toxins from the blood.
Even though there is evidence that diamonds were first traded as early as 4 B.C., it wasn’t until the Renaissance Period which began in the 1300’s, that diamonds were first used in engagement rings. By the 1400’s, diamonds were becoming fashionable accessories for Europe’s elite. In the early 1700’s, India’s supply of diamonds declined and Brazil emerged as an important source. In the late 1800’s, the first great South African deposit of diamonds was found. South Africa was the major source of diamonds for quite a while until sources were found in Australia in 1985 and in Northern Canada in 2000.
White diamonds are the most common color but they can come in many colors Some of the fancy colors include black, yellow, blue, chocolate, pink and even red which is the most rare color.
The largest diamond ever found is called the Cullinan. It weighed 3,106.75 carats and is the largest rough gem quality diamond ever found. It was cut into 105 different diamonds including the 530.2 carat Great Star of Africa and the 317.4 carat Lesser Star of Africa. Other famous diamonds include the Koh-i-Noor, the Hope Diamond, and The Taylor Burton Diamond. The Koh-i-Noor was named for its beauty. Its name translates to mountain of light. The Hope Diamond has been said to be cursed and that bad luck will come to any who own it. And, the Taylor-Burton got its name when Richard Burton gave it to Elizabeth Taylor in an engagement ring.
While the Naturally Wild Swap doesn’t have a diamond for trade, we do have one on display. We do have Herkimer Diamonds for trade – they are actually high quality quartz but are so beautiful they are called diamonds.
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