Monday, March 13, 2006

A Girl's Best Friend

This Week's Trivia Topic: Diamonds

--The word diamond is derived from the Greek adamas, which means unconquerable.

--The Cullinan Diamond is the largest gem-quality diamond ever discovered. Found in 1905, the original 3,100 carats were cut to make jewels for the British Crown Jewels and the British Royal family's collection. The largest stone was put into a sceptre (shown left.)

So, even though JK Rowling is richer than the Queen, I'll bet she doesn't own this big a diamond.

--In medieval times, it was believed that diamonds could ward off the plague. This was because the poor always died first, but this was because they lived nearer to where plague-bearing ships docked, not because they didn't have two pennies to rub together. Even so, the rich mistakenly thought that if they wore their wealth like a talisman that this would keep them disease free.

--Diamond powder is a legendary poison, often used by Catherine de Medici. I wonder if using diamond powder to kill someone would make good fodder for a mystery novel or forensic TV show.

--Most diamonds found in nature are 1-3 BILLION years old.

--Each suit in a deck of cards represents the four major pillars of the economy in the Middle Ages. Hearts represent the Church; spades, the military; clubs, agriculture; and diamonds, the merchant class.

--A diamond will not dissolve in acid. The only thing that can destroy it is intense heat. If you put it in an oven at 850 degrees for about an hour, it will dissipate.

I'll take this one on faith, thank you!



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