Most of us know that diamonds are a girl's best friend, but there's more to the sparkly rocks than you probably know. In fact, diamond engagement rings weren't even a popular tradition in the West until the 20th century. Ever heard "a diamond is forever"? Well, the iconic ad was actually created by Frances Gerety at the N.W. Ayer & Son Agency for De Beers Mining Company, leading to an industry breakthrough by the 1940s.
Of course, diamonds have origins that date way further back than when we started to wear them on our fingers. The Diamond Producers Association shared with us more unknown facts that took us by surprise. See 11 of the most interesting below.
- The first diamonds were discovered in India and Brazil.
- Diamonds were believed to be "precious tears cried by the gods" or "splinters from falling stars" by the Ancient Romans and Greeks.
- Diamonds are a natural product of the earth that were formed billions of years ago under intense heat and pressure.
- Diamonds got their name from the Greek word "adamas," which means invincible or indestructible. It's very fitting since diamonds have a high melting point, low reactivity to chemicals, and are the world's hardest naturally occurring substance.
- The only thing that can scratch a diamond is another diamond.
- A diamond's purity comes from the fact that it's formed from 100 percent carbon, whereas other gemstones have more complicated chemical compositions.
- They were brought to the earth's surface hundreds of million years ago through volcanic eruptions.
- Diamonds are finite and getting rarer — the last significant discovery was made nearly 20 years ago.
- Every child in Botswana receives free education up to age 13 due in great part to diamond revenues.
- At diamond mining sites, wildlife have the right of way.
- The Cullinan Diamond from South Africa is the biggest diamond ever found. It weighed 1.22 pounds (3,106 carats).