Diamond is one of the most famous and sought-after gemstones. It has dazzled humanity for thousands of years, and it has been adored for its allure throughout history. Diamond is the only gemstone known to be composed of a single element, which is carbon. Diamond, which has a hardness rating of 10 on the Mohs hardness scale, is the hardest natural substance on earth. As a matter of fact, the Mohs hardness scale was based on the hardness of diamonds.
The formation process of a diamond is just as fascinating as the diamond itself. Diamonds form in the mantle of the earth, which is 160 kilometers deep in the earth's surface. These captivating minerals form under extreme pressure and heat. By extreme pressure and heat, we mean temperatures over 1000 degrees Celsius and pressures over 725000 psi.
Mother Nature carries these marvelous minerals to the surface of the earth through volcanic pipes. Diamonds are generally elevated to the surface through kimberlite pipes. Diamonds do not come alone, they also bring their friends. During the mining process of these kimberlite areas, other precious and semi-precious gemstones such as peridots and garnets are also found alongside diamonds.
Even though diamonds may also form as a result of meteor impacts, these diamonds are generally not suitable for jewelry use. It is important to point out that only 20% of diamonds found on the earth are considered to be of gem quality. Diamonds not fit for jewelry purposes are generally utilized in other industries where the extreme hardness of diamonds is needed.
A vast majority of diamond deposits are located in the Yakutia region of Russia. The Sakha (Yakutia) Republic holds some of the largest diamond deposits on earth, such as; the Yubileinaya, Udachny, Mirny and Botuobinskaya pipes. As far as value is concerned, Russia is the main diamond producer in the world.
Estimations suggest that roughly 50% of the diamonds come from Central and Southern Africa. The Orapa and Jwaneng mines, located in the Southern African country Botswana, are the largest diamond deposits on earth. These two mines supply a huge portion of the world’s diamond demand.
Brazil, Australia, and India are some of the other locations with diamond deposits.
The largest gem-quality diamond ever found was The Cullinan, which was unearthed in the Premier Mine located in South Africa in 1905. This massive diamond was reported to be flawless and had a rough weight of 3106ct. This diamond was named after the founder of The Premier Mine, Sir Thomas Cullinan. This marvelous gemstone was delivered to Amsterdam's House of Asscher for polish, where it was divided into 9 large and 96 small pieces.
The Hope Diamond is one of the most popular and recognized diamonds ever unearthed. The diamond weighs 45ct and displays an unusual dark blue hue. This fascinating diamond gets its name from the British patron of the arts, Henry Thomas Hope. While the exact source of the Hope Diamond is unknown, it is believed to be originated from India. Due to its massive size and eccentric color, many people have associated the Hope Diamond with mystic powers. Hope Diamond was stolen during the French Revolution, and it could not be located for a long time. According to legends, the thieves who stole the gem had bad luck wherever they went. Hope Diamond is currently on display at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington D.C.