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Aktualizováno: 13. 12. 2019

The word diamond derives from the Greek word “adamas,” which means invincible or indestructible.

Diamonds are billions of years old—in some cases more than three billion years old. Diamonds are made of a single element—they’re nearly 100% carbon and its crystals are brought closer to the Earth’s surface through volcanic activity. They are the hardest natural substance on Earth. The only thing that can scratch a diamond is another diamond. However, 80% of the world's diamonds are not suitable for jewelry.

Diamonds have been valued and coveted for thousands of years. There is evidence that diamonds were being collected and traded in India as early as the fourth century BC. The Roman naturalist Pliny is quoted as having said, “Diamond is the most valuable, not only of precious stones, but of all things in this world.”

Diamond weight is measured in carats. The word carat is derived from keration, the Greek name for the carob tree whose seed was used for centuries as the standard of weighing precious stones. Because the seed could vary slightly in weight, in 1913, carat weight became metric; one metric carat is equivalent to 0.2 grams or 0.007 ounces.

The countries that are the main sources of diamonds have changed over time. The top three diamonds mines today in the world are: Botswana (24 million carats), Russia (17.8 million carats) and Canada (10.9 million carats). Even though the U.S. produces almost no diamonds for commercial consumption, America buys more than 40% of the world’s gem quality diamonds – making it the world’s largest diamond market.

The first known use of a diamond engagement ring took place in 1477, when Archduke Maxmillian of Austria gave Mary of Burgundy a gold ring featuring an M spelled out in diamonds. The ancient Greeks believed that diamonds were splinters of stars fallen on the earth. Romans believed that diamonds had the power to ward off evil and wore them as talismans. They inherited this belief from Indian mythology.

Diamond is the birthstone for the month of April.

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