Saturday, 21 March 2020

A diamond named LUCY in the sky & other cool stuff

Image credit, Valuewalk.com

No Joke.

A 10 billion-trillion-trillion carat diamond named Lucy is floating around in outer space. And a certain priceless diamond arrived to its museum via U.S. Mail.

Here are a few fun facts about diamonds we hope you'll enjoy (and share, hint-hint).

1. Stars and gods

Some of the ancient Romans and Greeks thought diamonds were tears cried by the gods which fell to earth and hardened. Others believed they were splinters that had broken off of falling stars.

2. There's a diamond named LUCY in the sky

In 2004 astronomers discovered a pulsating white dwarf star 50 light-years from Earth. The star was named after the Beatles song, “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” A chuck of crystallized carbon, Lucy is estimated to weigh 10 billion-trillion-trillion carats!

Image credit, documentarytube

3. I can haz carrot?

The word carat comes down from the carob tree. That tree's seeds were used as a standard of measure for weighing precious gemstones. Of course carob seeds can vary in weight. It wasn't until 1913 that carat weight became metric. One carat is now equal to 200 milligrams, or 0.007 ounces. 

4. Diamond Fire

You can actually burn a diamond. It would require enormous effort, at a magnitude of 700-900 degrees Celsius, or 1,290-1,650 degrees Fahrenheit. House fires can sometimes reach those temperatures. So can jeweler's torches (be careful out there, friends).

Image credit, Wikimedia

5. No. No. No... Yes.

Only 30% of the world's diamonds are gem-quality. Ugh. It's hard enough to mine diamonds in the first place, and then over two-thirds of it gets used as industrial or boart. Bonus fact: Although the USA produces nearly no diamonds for commercial sale, America is the largest importer of diamonds, buying over 40 percent of the world's gem quality supply.

6. The Diamond Diet

When a gem-quality diamond goes through production it loses up to 50% of its original rough weight before it's finished. The excess polished away in the process get collected and used as polishing-grit in the fashioning of other diamonds.

Image credit, Cape Town Diamond Museum

7. "Hand me that pencil, Ramesh."

Diamonds were recognized for their amazing hardness when discovered in India, and were used to engrave other gemstones as early as 300 BC.

8. Oh, cursed Hope.

Some people believe the 45.52 carat Hope diamond is cursed. There's a reason for that. One of its owners, Evalyn McLean, considered it to be her good luck charm, but after taking possession of it her son was killed in a car accident, her husband divorced her and her daughter committed suicide.

Image credit, Telegraph.co.uk

9. Oh, crazy Hope.

The Hope diamond arrived to the Smithsonian in 1958, sent to the Institution via the U.S. Postal Service mail! At least it was registered First Class.

10. Born in the USA

Found in the Crater of Diamonds State Park in 1924, the Uncle Sam is the largest diamond ever discovered in the USA. It weighed 40.23 carats in the rough, and was faceted into a 12.42 carat emerald-cut. It has a high clarity of VVS1 and, while it can appear slightly pink to observers, it's officially classified as an M color (for 'Murica!).

Image credit, GIA

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