10 Interesting Diamond Facts

  • Diamond and graphite are comprised of exactly the same substance, carbon.  The only difference is the way in which the carbon atoms are arranged that make graphite (which is used to make pencil lead) so soft, whereas diamond is the hardest substance on earth.
  • Hardness refers to resistance to scratching. Although diamonds are extremely hard, they are actually brittle and can be split by a single blow. Therefore, diamond cutting requires significant skill and expertise and is a delicate procedure.
  • Diamond is the traditional gemstone for the 60th wedding anniversary.
  • April’s birthstone is diamond.
  • Nitrogen is by far the most common impurity (trace element) found in diamonds and is responsible for the yellow colour. The intensity of this yellow colouration depends upon the type and concentration of nitrogen present.
  • Boron is the impurity responsible for the blue colour in some diamonds
  • Diamonds do not conduct electricity; however, graphite can conduct electricity reasonably well.
  • Due to the strong atomic bonds in diamonds, this substance has extremely high thermal conductivity, 5 times that of than copper.
  • Diamonds that will be used as gemstones (as opposed to being used for industrial applications) are sold at diamond exchanges known as bourses.  Worldwide, there are 28 registered diamond bourses.
  • Traditional diamond cutting centres are in Antwerp, Tel Aviv, Amsterdam, New York City and Johannesburg. More recently, diamond cutting centres have been established in China, India,  Namibia and Botswana.