There are so many unique diamond facts that it’s understandable why they have been adored by people for centuries. Diamonds are not just rare or strong, but they are an artifact of our world that is undeniably interesting and beautiful. Below are a handful of unique facts about diamonds that will not only blow your mind, but also reaffirm why diamonds are so special!
Diamond and Graphite are both minerals made up of the single element carbon, yet they are very different physically. The key difference is that the carbon atoms in a diamond align in the same fashion in all directions while in graphite; there is variation in the alignment of its atoms. The uniform arrangement of atoms in a diamond is what gives it such durability and strength while the lack of atomic organization creates the reverse in graphite. The atomic structure of graphite makes it so soft that you can write with it, while a diamond is left so hard that you can only scratch it with another diamond. Diamonds in the lower clarity grades VS2-SI2 can have gray -black inclusions. These are areas in the crystal structure where graphite forms instead of a diamond, hence the gemological term “graphite inclusion.”
Diamonds are considered to be a very “hard” material. This means that it is highly resistant to scratching from any other material. In fact, diamonds are the hardest material on earth. This is why only a diamond can scratch another diamond and while diamonds are fashioned using diamond material. Hardness however is not a uniform measurement. Diamonds are considered to be 58X harder than any other material in nature. Hardness is judged by the Mohs scale of hardness, diamond being at the top with a score of 10. The Mohs scale is a relative scale, the difference between the hardness of a diamond and that of a ruby is much greater than the difference in hardness between two lower gemstones, for example calcite and gypsum. A diamond is about 4-5 times harder than corundum which has the second highest score of 9, this being 2 times harder than topaz which scores an 8.
Most people have heard of the song “Lucy in the sky, with diamonds” by the Beatles but I am sure many wonder what exactly they are talking about. There is, however, a star coined the name “Lucy” that is a 10 billion-trillion-trillion carat diamond! This means that diamonds are not just limited to earth, but also out in space! The diamond star completely outclasses the largest diamond on Earth, the 546-carat Golden Jubilee which was cut from a stone brought out of the Premier mine in South Africa.
Currently on earth, the average yield of most diamond mines is 1 part diamond to 1 million parts host rock. In other words, minors must break through a tremendous amount of earth in search for a small amount of diamond. Further, less than 20% of the diamonds mined worldwide is considered gem-quality, which is necessary to be qualified for jewelry. Diamonds are not just rare or beautiful, they are both. Please contact our staff gemologist for assistance in locating the perfect diamond for you!