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Friday, January 26, 2007
A Girl's Best Friend
I happen to think it's chocolate, but according to the song, it's a diamond. After reading a number of articles on the history of diamonds, I wonder if many people realize how badly the world was duped into believing that diamonds were "scarce and precious." Of course, they are now, but back in mid-1700s, emeralds, sapphires, rubies, etc. were much more in demand and expensive than diamonds. It took a concerted effort by the DeBeers organization out of South Africa before diamonds became associated with wealth, glamour, and love as we know it today.

The word "diamond" comes from the Greek word "adamas" meaning unconquerable. Made from the hardest natural substance on earth, carbon, it is the product of volcanic activity and pressure within the earth. The first documented discovery was around 800 BC along a river in India. Diamonds have been used for light and as healing talismans. During the Middle Ages they were occasionally ingested to speed healing - with little success.

I've heard of the Hope Diamond, but it's nowhere near the largest diamond in the world. That distinction belongs to the Star of Africa I, or Cullinan I - one of a number of jewels cut from a monstrous diamond weighing over 3,000 carats. I suppose if I had a diamond that big, I might like it better than chocolate. Then again, maybe not.

This Day in History: On this date Frederick Wells found the largest diamond in the world in a mine in South Africa. What year was it?

Today, if that girl is an engineer, scientist, or physicist diamonds may, indeed, be her best friend. Industrial diamonds used in the scientific and exploratory fields are far more common than the shiny rocks we romantics wear on our fingers.
2 Comments:
Blogger Jeanette J said...
1905

Blogger Denise Patrick said...
Hey, Jeanette! Great job!

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