What You May Not Know About Diamonds
Diamonds aren’t just my business — they’re my passion
How much time do you spend thinking about diamonds? Unless you’re in a serious relationship with a person you’ve recently decided to spend the rest of your life with, chances are, they don’t cross your mind very often. I think about diamonds every minute of every day. I was born in a region of India that’s also home to some of the first diamond mines ever discovered, and my family has been in the diamond industry for generations.
For many, a diamond ring can be a family heirloom passed down from generation to generation. In my family, our heirloom is the diamond industry.
For decades, we’ve poured our lives and love into diamonds, handling every aspect of them from mine to finger. Today, I wanted to spend a few minutes sharing some of the knowledge I’ve picked up over the years.
WHERE DO DIAMONDS COME FROM?
Diamonds don’t come from coal, but are actually crystallized carbon formed under the Earth by extremely high pressure and temperature. They’re created in the Earth’s mantle, the space between the crust and the outer core, and most of them are billions of years old.
The first recorded, written history of diamonds go all the way back to 321 BC, although it’s believed that the first diamonds were discovered by manduring the Bronze Age in India (2500–1700 BC).
The oldest diamond on Earth was discovered nine years ago in Australia, trapped inside of a rare Zircon crystal. According to National Geographic,scientists estimate it’s age at 4.25 billion years old.
Interestingly, the largest diamond known to man isn’t even on Earth. It was recently discovered in outer space by the Harvard-Smithsonian Centre and can be found in the constellation Centaurus, at the core of BPM 37093, a dead star that became a crystallized white dwarf. It weighs 10 billion trillion trillion carats and is larger in diameter than our moon.
It also emits sound frequencies and music similar to the sound of a gigantic, galactic gong. It figures that the scientists who discovered it named it “Lucy”, after The Beatles. Similar to Centaurus, the Sun will become a diamond millions of years from now and take its place as the largest in the universe.
PUT A RING ON IT
De Beers may have popularized the diamond engagement ring with their famous “A Diamond Is Forever” ad campaign in 1948, but they can’t take credit for the idea.
Over 450 years before the De Beers Mining Company explored their first mine in Africa or discovered their first diamond, Maximilian I of Austria proposed to Mary of Burgundy in 1477 with the first diamond engagement ring in recorded history.
The person responsible for inventing the tagline was Mary Frances Gerety, a female copywriter at the N.W. Ayer, a Philadelphia advertising agency that shut down in 2002. Her career is somewhat poetic, or tragic, depending on your outlook.
De Beers was the only client she ever worked on, writing every ad for the company between 1943–1970, but she never got married. According to J. Courtney Sullivan, who wrote about her life and career for the Washington Post and in his novel “The Engagements”, the slogan has appeared in every De Beers ad since 1948.
Mary Frances Gerety spent her entire career helping sell diamond rings and educating men on how to buy them, but never had someone buy one for her.She died on April 11, 1999 at 83 years old, alone in her Pennsylvania home. Two weeks before she did, on March 29th, Advertising Age published their list of the best, most significant slogans of the twentieth century.
“A Diamond Is Forever” was number one.
Most engagement rings are clear, but diamonds actually come in every color of the rainbow.
Dubbed “fancy” color diamonds by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), they can range from “fancy light” to “fancy vivid” based on the intensity and depth of the color.
Only one in every 10,000 diamonds discovered qualify as a fancy diamond, making them the rarest and most expensive gems on Earth. Many of the most famous, valuable, and historically significant diamonds, like the Hope Diamond, are fancy diamonds.
Many diamond experts and lovers, myself included, believe each gem carries deep spiritual meaning and mystical powers that differ based on their color, age, history and previous owners. Some even go as far as to believe that diamonds store the emotions and karma of their previous owners. This idea is reinforced throughout history by legends of bad luck and curses being passed down as famous, expensive diamonds were traded and exchanged between royal families and empires.
HARDER, BETTER, FASTER, STRONGER
The name “diamond” is derived from the Greek word “adamas” which means indestructible and untameable…and the gem lives up to the definition.
- Only a diamond can scratch another diamond.
- The only way to polish a diamond is using another diamond — most commonly diamond powder.
- To cut a diamond, you have to use a blade made with diamonds.
Aside from their beauty and value, it is this strength and durability that explains why the diamond has become such a symbol of love and longevity in our culture.