The birthstone of April happens to be the diamond. While diamonds have long been among the best-known and most-coveted gemstones, here are five fun facts you might not have known about diamonds:
All’s Fair in Love
In 1477, Mary of Burgundy selected amongst her many suitors, Archduke Maximilian of Austria. The Archduke then presented a ring with thin, flat diamonds set in the shape of an “M”—one of the first recorded uses of a diamond engagement ring.
All’s Fair in War
Diamonds have been historically used in battle, believing to have mystical protective qualities. As recently as last year, advancements in diamond-based lasers have military implications: a laser pointer using a diamond lens developed by scientists at the MQ Photonics Research Centre produced an output of 380 watts of laser power. That’s 400,000 times the power of a traditional laser pointer and enough power to slice through steel. (See in the rough below, Photo Courtesy GIA)
Green with Envy
Diamonds come in a number of different colors, including red, green, blue, pink, and yellow. While colorless diamonds are the rarest, a green diamond gets its color from exposure to radiation. More specifically, a natural green diamond has been exposed to radioactive uranium.
Different Places, Same Faces
Born into a family of diamond cutters and an engineer by education, Marcel Tolkowsky is considered the father of the modern round brilliant diamond cut: 57 facets (excluding the culet). A diamond that is 1/100 of a carat in size can still have all 57 facets. (Photo Courtesy GIA)
Till Death Do Us Part
While Ancient Egyptians mastered the art of embalming, their romantic study of anatomy concluded that a “vein of love” ran directly from the heart to the fourth finger on the left hand. Egyptians believed a diamond ring worn on this finger could bring eternal love.