6 Things I Never Knew About Diamonds

Diamonds in the rough may appear dull and lifeless. But once cut they come alive and scintillate. In so many ways they characterise the Desire world and the characters that people it: brilliance, constancy, dominancy, excellence, indestructibility, love, glamour, wealth and immortality.

1. The Fascination of Pinks – Pink diamonds might not be a myth. But they are rare. What I didn’t know when we started writing is that Australia is the only place on earth that produces pink diamonds in any significant number. The Argyle mine in Western Australia’s Kimberley region produces over 90% of the world’s pink diamonds. For some idea of how rare these stones are, pink diamonds make up less than 1% of the diamonds mined at the Argyle mine. 

All of the Diamonds Down Under authors were fascinated by these rare and valuable stones. We even became absorbed in the precise shade of pink that coloured the Heart of the Outback. If you’ve read Mistress & A Million Dollars you’ll know that pink diamonds cause Briana quite a lot of grief.

2. Ancient Gems – The Argyle diamonds are ancient stones—over a billion years old. That fact nearly blew me away!

3. A Diamond is Forever – So we’re romance readers…and writers. We believe in finding that special unique love that endures forever. So it’s hardly surprising that the De Beer’s slogan A Diamond Is Forever works for me. What I didn’t know before writing Pride & A Pregnancy Secret was the tale behind the story which, like so many diamond stories, is utterly fascinating!

After surveying more than 5 000 young adult Americans in about 1946 from the target consumer group, De Beers must have been horrified to learn that there was little association between diamonds and engagement rings. Instead, after lean war years, people wanted the best and brightest in life. Cars. Holidays. Homes. Luxurious fashion. And brightly coloured jewellery.

So De Beers retained N.W. Ayer, a New York advertising agency, to put together an advertising campaign around copy that reflected magic moments a woman would want to remember her whole life…against a background of French paintings of romantic settings. But the campaign didn’t take off until 1947. The story goes that copywriter Frances Gerety, desperately tired late one April evening, was searching for that perfect combination of words that writers so often find elusive. Frustrated, she put her head down and prayed, “Please God, send me a line”.

Frances was blessed. It came. A Diamond is Forever. Four words conveying eternity, keepsakes, a legacy of love that would last into immortality. The link between diamonds and love had been made forever.

4. How Hard is a Diamond? – Unlike other stones, diamonds are not formed at the earth’s crust. They are created deep underground in a volcanic crucible of heat and pressure. So it shouldn’t surprise that diamonds emerge a “perfect 10” on the Mohs scale – defining the top of the hardness scale.

It’s the hardest substance found in nature making it as highly desirable to industry as it is to women. Diamonds are four times harder than the next hardest natural mineral corundum – yes, those pretty blue sapphires and red rubies. Being so superior means that diamonds are of course going to be compared to our alpha heroes who can have diamantine qualities – a hard diamond-like stare that glitters with menace!

Queen Elizabeth I was rumoured to have been used the hardness of diamond rings for scribbling messages to her favoured crushes on glass window panes. In ancient Rome Pliny was disturbed by the notion of the time that diamonds were so hard that they could be melted only by the blood of a newborn lamb.

But while diamonds are hard, they can be brittle. Hitting a diamond with a hammer is no test to discover whether it is real-or not. Those shattered shards might well have belonged to a flawless diamond. A diamond has perfect cleavage in four directions. Hit it along one of those and it will split. It’s this that gives me so much admiration for diamond cutters – not only do those guys have skill, they must have nerves of steel too. True hero material.

5. Diamonds in a Pack – Diamonds are the only gem that have a shape of the same name.

In a pack of playing cards diamonds represent the merchant classes, diamonds being significant coinage in commerce. Practical spades are for peasants, clubs, being blunt fighting weapons, are for warriors soldiers while romantic hearts are for the upper classes who had the means and . The King of Diamonds is supposed to represent Julius Caesar and the Knave of Diamonds is heroic Hector.

6. Diamond Anniversaries – On a list created in 1927 by American etiquette writer Emily Post, diamonds were deemed a suitable gift for that 60th or 75th anniversary. But a more up-to-date suggests that the 10th wedding anniversary is a good time to bestow a diamond on a loved one.

It’s not unheard of for the eternity ring to be presented on the first anniversary. Full eternity rings (where diamonds fill the entire circumference) are expensive and usually custom made. More popular are designs with a half arch of diamonds in a channel.

Eternity rings have become a popular way to celebrate the birth of a first child (a reward for childbirth?:) ) and are often worn on the same finger as the engagement ring and wedding ring – in any order that the wearer finds most comfortable. I love the trend that is growing where Eternity rings are becoming popular for renewals of vows ceremonies too – a reminder of that forever pledge. Love – and diamonds – are forever.

I’ve spent months reading about diamonds – and some of the above was simply absorbed in the jump from website to website. Some fragment would catch my fancy…then Google would do the rest… but Buried Treasure by Victoria Finlay  is a fascinating source of facts and legends about diamonds—the source of some of the above tales.

Share your most fascinating or unusual fact about diamond and win a copy of Tessa’s first Desire, BLACK WIDOW BRIDE and a copy of TYCOON’S VALENTINE VENDETTA, Yvonne’s February release.


29 Responses to “6 Things I Never Knew About Diamonds”

  1. I am the first post YEA!

  2. I never knew that some coloured diamonds are actually treated to look like a different colour like the purple or red diamond. These are so rear that a jeweler said that they had only four purple diamonds over the past 25 years and only two of those were natural.

  3. azteclady Says:

    Does it count as rare that I wanted a smaller solitaire in my engagement ring than my then fiancé? 😀

    (It won’t surprise anyone to know we got divorced long ago, will it?)

  4. oooh, Aztec Lady let’s not even talk about rings and exes LOL. I have a few doozies.

    I love learning about this stuff – and not coz diamonds are pretty 😀

  5. LOL! Avi! you’re on the ball today! 😀

  6. Ooh, also meant to say, a woman can NEVER have too many diamonds 😀 😀

  7. I’ve never been engaged, so I’ve never been in possession of an engagement ring. Maybe one day I will have my pink diamond. I know pink diamonds are rare, but I didn’t know most came from Australia. I remember when my older cousin got a diamond ring from her boyfriend, but everyone thought the diamond looked fake. We read up on diamonds and found out that diamonds can cut glass, so we proceeded to try it out and came to conclusion that the gem was a fake. I wonder if Tiffany’s sells pink diamonds. A pink engagement ring from Tiffany’s would be a dream come true.

  8. Howzat Avi!

    Oh, no, AztecLady…Paula the rings and exes are all grist for the writer’s mill. LOL. I’m with you on how fascinating all this stuff is. And, Yvonne, if diamonds are supposed to be a girl’s best friend, how could one ever have too many???

    Jane, a pink diamond from Tiffany’s sounds gorgeous! I’ve spent waaaay too much time looking at their site over the past eighteen months. I love those candy stack rings that Paloma Picasso designed…and I even found something I like that’s quite affordable. A red heart-shaped paperweight that I may still yet buy…


  9. Hi Tessa, hope you are following the cricket with West Indies and Sri Lanka we’re up 2-0 one more to go and it’s a white wash victory over Sri Lanka. A pink diamond sounds really good Jane. Tessa I some times love to watch the diamond and amethyst jewelry from Tiffany’s web site, but I so love the earrings especially long ones. Can’t afford them but just love to watch it (lol).
    Now this is me right now (screaming!!!!) I just got my exam schedule so you may not see for a while, got to study for finals, wish me luck.

  10. Good luck with your finals, Avi!

    Tessa, that paperweight sounds just the thing a romance writer needs on her desk (when she can see her desk that is ;-), I certainly can’t see mine under pens, paper, folders, scraps of notes…really, I’m not here on the blog at all.)

  11. Patricia Cochran Says:

    I may have used this before, sorry but I totally believe it! This is something I read years
    ago: One can never wear too many diamonds!

    Pat Cochran

  12. limecello Says:

    Hehe – way to go on grabbing that coveted first post, Avi ;-). I’ve heard about scribbling “love notes” on glass – I think that was a Valentine’s thing… read it on some other blog in February. Most of us decided we’d be more upset and touched if someone scratched up our windows. Haha, I guess we weren’t a very romantic lot.
    This is my best diamond “fact” – I actually learned it in 4th grade doing a report on emeralds :D. They’re extremely rare, and [so said World Book 1991?] I think most are found in South America? Well, when the conquistadors arrived, they were looking for diamonds, so they’d grab a stone (usually an emerald), and smash it with their sword to check if it was a diamond. [Tessa, if only they knew about the cleavage lines…] So, along with all those “fabulous” things they did to the natives, the conquistadors also seriously depleted the world emerald supply.

  13. Virginia H. Says:

    I love diamonds and that is my birth stone. They say diamonds are forever and I can believe that. I lost the diamond out of my engagement ring and believe it or not I found it and had it put back in. I have always heard that a diamond is a girls best friend

  14. Hi Tessa,
    Have you ever been to Tiffany’s, the one in NYC? I love going there, just to browse. Tiffany’s is only a bus or train ride away for me, but maybe that’s not such a good thing because I can’t afford more than half the stuff in that store and I end up being jealous of all the rich folks buying all the bling.

  15. Jane, I’m jealous of you being able to go to Tiffanys any time you like. Sigh. Maybe one day I’ll get there.

    Avi, I let you have that first post because I knew you were studying for your finals and didn’t need further distraction. 🙂

    Of course Tessa’s blog this week is a huge distraction. It’s fabulous. Thanks, Tessa!

    And hello to everyone dropping by.

  16. azteclady Says:

    limecello, I didn’t know that! wow, talk about shooting themselves in the foot! *shaking head*

  17. Virginia H. Says:

    Every natural diamond has an internal flaw!

  18. Well, when I was a small kid, I had this pendant, an L for my name that had a teeny, tiny diamond in it. So as I got a bit older, and we noticed the shop at home channels (LOL), Mom got our first bit of cubic zirconia in the house. And it was a bigish piece, maybe 1 carat marquis pendant. It took me forever to realize that that piece of CZ is supposed to be like a diamond, in size and everything — and that little speck of nothing wasn’t it, that there was more to diamonds. LOL 🙂 But took so dang long. LOL 🙂

    And it took longer to get that when they say the Hope diamond, yep, it’s the blue thing. LOLOL


  19. limecello Says:

    azteclady – I KNOW! I’m loving this blog and learning about all sorts of different things. Nice to know at least part of the diamond industry is working to make things better!

  20. Rebekah Elrod Says:

    When I was buying my diamond ring I learn alot. I had no idea about the differences in quality and clarity. It is all very interesting. I love my diamond rings. One of them was my great grandmothers and it is by far my favorite.

  21. Ok, Hi I back. thanks Yvonne, one part down four to go. Maxine thanks for your big Sacrifice (LOL). Well I learnt that there is a Chameleon Diamond and it is one of the rarest of gem. Also it changes color after exposed to different kinds of light and temperature.

  22. I never really gave diamond much thought before you guys started this blog. Hope you still count me in the normal girls category:-) Just haven’t been engaged before..

    Actually I’ve been involved with it in more of a scientific way when I was trying to design a diamond jewellery some time ago. and one of the basic things is that when designing the shape of a diamond it’s all about the play of light. It’s refraction and its reflection. When studying these optical properties it will lead to the calculation of the shape and proportions of a perfectly cut diamond that you had in mind.

  23. Sorry Tessa, I have been absent this week, touring the East Cape of the North. Didn’t mean to ignore you.

    Fabulous post, I love this stuff, it’s a fascinating subject. Limecello, although I love diamonds more than emeralds, I still couldn’t imagine whacking one with my sword and smashing it to bits!

    Okay, now confession time. Our blog tonight is Diana Ventimiglia’s Q&A, which she assured me she would have the answers to me by the 18th. Since I was away all week, I forgot to remind her and now it’s the weekend and because of the time difference, we are probably not going to get a reply till Tues NZ time. So I apologise for this, as I know you guys will have been so looking forward to hearing what Diana has to say, not to mention going in the draw to win her critique of your manuscript. But bear with us and look for the blog early in the week.

    Good luck to you all for Tessa’s great prize!

  24. limecello Says:

    The way you described what the conquistadors did made me laugh. Haha – emeralds aren’t my favorite either, but I can’t imagine destroying one just in hope of finding something else.

  25. oooh, just realized we didn’t draw this prize!! Okay, rolling the barrel… it’s # 22 – Mona, you’re the winner! Email me with your address and we’ll get your prize off asap.

  26. azteclady Says:

    Congrats, Mona!

  27. Wtg, Mona.

  28. Congrats Mona

  29. Wow.. Thank you so much, guys. The best surprise ever. It’s really great being with you 🙂

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