Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Do you know Diamonds ?

From Kohinoor to modern day fancy stones, diamonds have caught the imagination of old and young. Diamonds are indeed forever. But how much do you know about diamonds?
1. What are diamonds composed of ?
Diamond is carbon in its most concentrated form. Except for trace impurities like boron and nitrogen, diamond is composed solely of carbon. Extremes of clarity can produce a brilliant magnificent diamond, or a dead, dull, and lifeless stone. Most diamonds are over three billion years old.
2. In which country was diamond first mined?
Diamond was first mined in India and the earliest known reference to diamond is found in Sanskrit manuscript, the Arthasastra. As a matter of fact, India was the predominant source for over 2,000 years, until the mid-eighteenth century.
3. Which city first started diamond trading?
Diamond trading first started in Venice. By 1499, Portuguese navigator Vasco da Gama discovered the sea route to India around the Cape of Good Hope and Goa was set up as the Portuguese trading centre. A diamond route was subsequently developed from Goa to Lisbon to Antwerp.
4. 80 per cent of diamonds mined annually are used in:
Since diamond is the hardest substance, it is used to cut, grind, and polish most hard substances.
5. Which is known as the 'Diamond City'?
Seventy per cent of the world's diamond trading is done in Antwerp. After Antwerp, New York, Tel Aviv and Mumbai are the most important diamond centres of the world. Near the central station, a half hour's journey from the Brussels airport is the Antwerp Diamond Center, which stretches over one square mile and houses 1500 diamond companies and 4 diamond bourses.

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