Monday, June 28, 2010
Dropping a Knowledge Bomb
Today's KB is all about a girl's best friend! Diamond's!
#Most diamonds are over three billion years old, two-thirds the age of the Earth. There are a few "youngsters," though, which are only 100 million years old.
#Most diamonds were formed more than 100 miles below the surface of the Earth, some from perhaps 400 miles down.
#The most recent kimberlite volcano eruption was approximately 53 million years ago - just a few ticks of the geologic clock - but there is no reason to believe there will not be more in the future.
#Although diamonds are perceived as a white—actually colorless—gem, they come in a spectrum of colors; colored diamonds are called "fancies."
#India was the only known source of diamonds before the sixth century and the predominant source for over 2,000 years, until the mid-eighteenth century.
#Romans believed that diamonds had the power to ward off evil and wore them as talismans. They inherited this belief from Indian mythology.
#A law in thirteenth-century France decreed that only the king could wear diamonds.
#Diamonds were not used as gems in European jewelry until the late 13th century. They were initially used for such purposes as engraving other gems, such as sapphire cameos, and for drilling holes in hardstone beads (such beads drilled by diamonds have been dated to archaeological sites as early as 400 BCE).
#The most recent diamond discoveries have been made in North America—in the Northwest Territories of Canada and in Colorado—where explorers found diamond pipes in 1990.