Diamond Engagement Rings – Weird Stuff

Diamond engagement rings are far from boring. Some of the world’s most famous diamonds have stories that are made for the big screen. Tales of murder, passion, and deceit can be found in the history of the diamond. And just like any family, there are strange tales to be told about diamond engagement rings.

A Pretty Little Stone

Don’t we all wish we could be so lucky to find a diamond in our backyard? Diamond engagement rings as we know them today, owe their start to a small boy who found a pretty little stone and started a diamond fever.

In the mid-1800s, a farm wife mentioned to her husband an unusual rock their son had found in the dirt and brought home to use in a game. The farmer took the stone and drew it against a piece of glass, leaving a distinctive mark behind.

Today, that pane of glass is on display at a museum with the tale of the famous “Eureka” diamond. That pretty little rock turned out to be a 21.25-carat diamond, and the most significant find in that region to that point.

Colorful Indicators

Diamond engagement rings are prized for being pure. We want white, flawless gems. But what is inside these stones is often incredible. In 1970, researchers at the Carnegie Institution in Washington, D.C., discovered tiny bits of garnets trapped inside diamonds.

What made this discovery so profound was that it opened the possibility that looking for garnets could help prospectors find diamonds.

The garnets were unique, purple in color, high in chrome and low in calcium. Field testing proved that, the presence of these specific garnets was a strong indicator for diamonds.

Suddenly, inclusions inside diamonds engagement rings became important. Other minerals can be found in diamonds including tiny diamond crystals.

A Diamond Is Forever

The famous slogan, A Diamond is Forever, came from a simple copywriter in the 1940s, named Frances Gerety. She could have never predicted that these four little words would set the tone of how diamond engagement rings were bought and sold for the next 75 years.

The slogan was created for DeBeers, who until recently controlled a majority of the diamond market including diamond engagement rings. They needed the concept of eternity to be uniquely tied to diamonds so that people would keep their diamonds, buying them for love and keeps and less for investment and resale.

A Diamond Is Forever has been translated into 30 languages including Chinese. In the United States, Europe and Japan, diamond engagement rings are the standard. After being translated into Chinese, the slogan sparked a surge in diamond engagement rings in China. Over 50% of urban couples buy diamonds instead of the traditional jade.

Poof It’s Gone

In the 1960s, an Italian scientist reported a “vanishing diamond”. Supposedly this supremely valuable and extremely durable gem had just disappeared into thin air.

Nearly a century later, this scenario was recreated by a Parisian jeweler who placed a parcel of diamonds into a crucible, intending to heat to high temperatures and eliminate blemishes, as was commonly done with rubies and sapphires at the time. Instead turning them into perfect diamond engagement rings, they were transformed into thin air.

The conclusion was that when a diamond was subjected to intense heat accompanied by a free supply of oxygen, the material is converted into carbon dioxide.

Diamonds are simply a transparent and rare form of pure carbon. When the atoms are rearranged, it can be converted to graphite, coal, or carbon dioxide, which solves the vanishing diamond mystery for good!

So, despite the fact that a diamond is the hardest mineral and DeBeers says they last forever, it is wise to leave diamond engagement rings out of the oven! Case closed.

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