Interesting Things You Didn’t Know About Diamonds


Why is it that women are so in love with diamonds? While our man swoons over his latest lawnmower, we just wanna know where our diamond ring is!

Basically, diamonds are the best. They’re better than all the rest. They’re better than pearls, rubies – any stone or gem you can think of. None are better.

Diamonds sparkle, too. They are hardy, long-lasting and symbolic. A diamond always represents something, whether it be an engagement or your daughters engagement. They are precious and special, and we don’t buy them for just about any old thing. We buy them to celebrate are unique moment in our lives and the lives of the people we love most.

Diamonds can also be worn to reflect our personality. There isn’t just one specific type; they come in different colours, shapes, sizes and designs.

Diamonds, then, are special. But what else do you really know about them? In this fascinating article, we dig a little deeper to discover 10 interesting things you didn’t know about diamonds.

Most Diamonds Are Used For Industrial Purposes

Most people, when asked what diamonds are used for, would answer with “engagement ring.”

But while engagement rings are certainly one thing diamonds are used for, it’s not the thing they are used for the most.

The somewhat underwhelming reality is that diamonds are actually minded mostly for industrial purposes. Not exactly glamorous, but hey, even beautiful things have to put in some work sometime!

I wonder if this means my husband has a diamond hammer he hasn’t been telling me about …

There Are Diamonds In Space

If you thought diamonds were an earth thing only, you were wrong. In 2004, a diamond STAR was discovered!

Kinda makes my diamond ring look a bit, well, small.

The First Diamond Was Used To Polish Axes

Are you getting a decidedly deflated feeling right now? I know I am! As well as fulfilling everyday tasks and chores like a workhorse, the diamond was originally not intended to be a glistening status symbol on your ring finger. Instead, the beautiful diamond was used as an axe polisher!

I know, right?!


Yup, according Harvard physicist Peter Lu’s findings, the very first diamonds were used by sweaty men to polish their big axes. Huh. So not cool.

Lu and his team found that the ancient Chinese were the culprits behind this improper use of diamonds over 4,500 years ago. To get a mirror finish from their axes, the Chines would polish them with a pretty diamond.


Diamonds Have Not Always Been Forever

In 1938, the famous ad slogan “Diamonds Are Forever” was launched. And it changed the way we feel about diamonds are forever.

Before the ad was ran by De Beers, the world famous diamond merchants, few people were buying diamonds. Europe was in the grip of a war. Young men were fighting on the front – they had no time to buy their women a diamond engagement ring.

The ad company then hit upon the idea of linking diamonds to romance. The public (women) were sold by billboards of Hollywood stars wearing diamond rings. All of a sudden, everyone wanted a diamond ring on their finger.

Diamonds Are Actually NOT The Hardest Substance On The Planet

A lot of people have got it into their heads that the diamond is the hardest substance on the planet. But this is actually an old wives tale; a myth spun by jewellers looking to make a sale.

For example, if you’re not persuaded by its beauty, the crafty jeweller will try to convince you by extolling on its hardness.

Don’t buy into it. It’s simply not true. Diamonds are only the hardest mineral substance birthed by nature. There exist harder natural all-round substances.

(although the diamond is still pretty gosh darn hard)

Don’t Invest In Diamonds

Diamonds aren’t worth your time investing. You simply cannot sell one for more than you paid for it. Diamonds are bought at retail and sold at wholesale, and that’s all there is to it.

Diamonds Aren’t Rare Anymore 

Diamonds were super rare in the past. But then again, so was a lot of things, including silk shirts. Thanks to the industrial revolution and the acceleration of capitalism, productivity and the markets, a lot of the things that were once really rare – such as diamonds – are not so rare now.

Yes, it takes a LOT of time and a LOT of man power to extract diamonds from beneath the earth. But in terms of an economic sense, diamonds are far from rare.

In fact, we could argue that there are now TOO MANY diamonds in the markets. Supply has exceeded demand.

So Why Are Diamonds Still Priced So High?

Commodities are usually priced high when their availability is low, and priced low when their availability is high.

Let’s look at the example of the personal computer. Twenty years ago, when the personal computer was a nice thing in many peoples’ homes, they were priced super high. This was because there weren’t that many of them on the market. But thanks to an increase in productivity, the markets are flooded with them.

Diamonds, however, might be widely available – but they’re still priced exceptionally high.

This is because of the De Beer cartel, a diamond cartel that pretty much made the diamond industry. Even today, they have a monopoly on the industry and everyone has to play by their rules.

To keep the prices high, they create what is known as artificial scarcity. Instead of making all their mined diamonds available at the same time, they only make a few available while stockpiling the rest.

Diamonds Aren’t Really Worth Anything

It’s a funny thing. If you were savvy, you could have mined for a diamond yourself a few thousand years ago and it wouldn’t have cost you a penny. And because it didn’t cost you a penny, you’d have either thrown it in the refuse bin, or polished your axe with it.

Diamonds are right there beneath the earth. They’re not a result of artisan craftsmanship. They’re not the product of a genius. Essentially, they live with the worms. They are, as Nicky Oppenheimer (De Beers chairman) once said, “intrinsically worthless.”

We give them worth because they fulfil a psychological need. That is all.

Watch Out For Artificial Diamonds

Because, yes, they do exist. Synthetic diamonds are out there, but it’s only the experts that can tell them apart.



Written by How South Africa

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