8 Highly Interesting Jewelry Facts You Need to Know
Jewelry has been around for over 75,000 years, but many of us don't know a whole lot about it. Here are several interesting jewelry facts that will help you stay informed about your bling.
Keyword(s): Interesting Jewelry
In 2018, Americans spent an astonishing $80 billion on jewelry and watches. Yet how much do you know about jewelry?
It's likely that despite loving jewelry, there are still some interesting jewelry facts that you don't know. For instance, what is the earliest form of jewelry that we know about? Why do engagement rings feature diamonds?
In this article, we're going to take a look at a whole bunch of fun jewelry facts that will help you appreciate your jewelry all the more.
Ready to learn more? Then please, keep reading!
1. The Oldest Form of Jewelry
How old do you think the oldest piece of jewelry is? It's probably much older than you expected. In 2004, archaeologists discovered a necklace in South Africa that is 75,000 years old.
The necklace was made of shells, an early human drilled each one and strung them together. The result is a beautiful and ancient bead necklace.
Other ancient forms of jewelry include beads made of ostrich eggshell in Kenya and ornaments made of teeth found in Bulgaria.
Next time you wear a necklace, take the time to appreciate the ancient heritage of what you're wearing.
2. The First Diamonds
Many diamonds were formed over 900 million years ago, but they weren't unearthed until 400 BCE. The first diamonds that humans discovered were found in India. They found their way to China and other parts of the world via the legendary Silk Road trade route. Originally people valued them more as cutting tools and talismans than as jewelry.
Humanity originally believed that diamonds were only found in India. Yet today, their diamond industry is small. We mine far more diamonds in Russia, Canada, and sub-Saharan Africa.
Diamonds are still featured in machinery and tools today. Diamond-tipped drills and saws are essential for the industry thanks to diamonds' extreme durability and hardness.
3. The Largest Precious Stones Ever
The largest diamond ever is the Cullinan Diamond. This huge diamond weighs over 621 grams or nearly 1.5 pounds!
It went unsold in London for years, until the Transvaal government bought it and presented it to the British King, Edward VII. The British royal family hired the Royal Asscher Diamond Company in Amsterdam who cut it into 105 individual diamonds.
While the Cullinan Diamond is the largest diamond we've ever found, it's not the largest precious stone. That title goes to the incredible Bahia Emerald. Miners in Brazil discovered this stone in 2001 and instantly knew it was a beast. The emerald weighs 751 pounds!
4. Why Do We Use Diamonds in Engagement Rings?
Have you ever wondered why so many engagement rings feature diamonds? The story behind this makes for some of the most interesting jewelry facts around.
In the 1930s, fewer than 10 percent of engagement rings used diamonds. In the 1990s, 80 percent of engagement rings featured diamonds. What changed in those 60 years?
The answer lies with De Beers. This massive diamond company used clever marketing to make diamond rings more desirable and consequently, massively increase their popularity. This is where the slogan "diamonds are forever" originates.
So what makes diamonds quite so special? They're millions of years old and are almost unbreakable. This makes them a fitting symbol of matrimonial love for engagement rings, a bond everlasting.
5. The Most Expensive Jewelry in Film
There are a few pieces of jewelry made classic by cinema. What piece do you think of when you think of jewelry that's been featured in films? The Heart of the Sea from Titanic? The One Ring from The Lord of the Rings?
The most expensive piece of jewelry to ever feature in a film was the necklace that Nicole Kidman's character wore in Moulin Rouge. This incredible statement necklace is made of platinum and diamonds and is estimated to be worth over $1 million.
Coming in a close second for the title of most expensive piece of movie jewelry are the ruby and diamond opera necklace from Pretty Woman and Carrie Bradshaw's black diamond engagement ring from Sex and the City 2.
6. Local Variations
It's easy to assume that diamonds are the most valuable precious stone around the world but this isn't true. In fact, the most precious stone in China is jade. Chinese buyers are particularly fond of jadeite.
When you think of jade, you probably imagine a bright green stone but jade isn't always green. We've also found jade in lavender, yellow, red, and blue.
Why is jade so valuable in China? To the Chinese, jade represents benevolence, justice, and truth. This means that the stone has a lot more significance than just its aesthetic value.
7. Different Name, Same Stone
One of the most interesting jewelry facts lies in nomenclature. Sapphires and rubies are the same stone. They're both made of the same mineral: corundum.
The change in the stone's color is due to trace minerals that each stone contains. Titanium and iron both result in a blue color, giving birth to sapphires. A ruby's red color comes from trace amounts of chromium in the stone.
8. We Can Grow Diamonds in Labs
Did you know that humans found a way to make diamonds in the 1950s? These synthetic diamonds are chemically identical to organic diamonds.
However, they're also a little cheaper. As such, some people prefer to buy them instead of mined diamonds for ethical, and economic, reasons.
Diamonds are made by heat, pressure, and, in nature, a great deal of time. In a lab, this process is much faster. Diamonds are blasted with heat in a high-pressure environment, creating diamonds in a matter of days.
Want to Find Truly Interesting Jewelry?
We hope that you've enjoyed these interesting jewelry facts. If you're looking for beautiful jewelry for yourself or your loved one, why not take a look at our catalog?
If you own jewelry that's your pride and joy, take a look at our jewelry care tips! If you've got any questions about our products or anything else, please drop us a line! You can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org!