Things You didn’t know about fine jewelry

Things You Didn't Know About Fine Jewelry

Jewelry has been around for millennia, but many people know little about it. If you need to get some interesting facts about jewelry, Greenleaf Diamonds has got you covered. 

In the financial year 2018, Americans spent approximately $80 billion on watches and jewelry. But, how much information do they actually know about jewelry?

Most probably, little to none, despite the love for jewelry, there are still exciting jewelry facts that clients do not know. For example, what is the earliest form of jewelry that most people know? Have you ever asked yourself why engagement rings feature diamonds? In this post, we will look at several fun facts about jewelry that will maybe help you appreciate that special piece just a little bit more.

The oldest form of jewelry

What is the age of the oldest piece of jewelry? It is likely much older than you think. Two decades ago, archeologists discovered a necklace in South Africa that is 75,000 years old. The chain was made of drilled shells that were strung together to form a unique piece. The result is an ancient and beautiful necklace. Other traditional forms of jewelry include ostrich eggshell necklaces from Kenya and Bulgarian ornaments made from teeth. So, next time you wear that beautiful necklace, take your time to appreciate its ancient heritage.

The first diamonds

The formation of most diamonds happened over 900 million years ago before unearthing at around 400 BC. The discovery of the first diamonds happened in India before shipping to China and other regions of the world through the Silk Road trade route. Initially, people valued diamonds more as cutting tools than as jewelry. Society believed that diamonds originated from India. Nonetheless, today, the diamond industry is small. In contemporary society, diamonds still form part of the machinery and tools that people see. For example, diamond-tipped drills and saws are essential for several organizations because of the metals extreme hardness and durability. 

The largest precious stone in history

The largest diamond ever mined is the Cullinan Diamond that weighed over 621 grams or approximately 1.5 pounds! The stone went unsold in London's English capital for years before the Transvaal government purchased it and presented it to King Edward VII. The British royal family hired the Royal Ascher Diamond Company in Amsterdam that cut the stone into 105 distinct diamonds. While the piece is the largest ever found, it is not the most significant precious stone in the world; the incredible Bahia Emerald that weighs a staggering 751 pounds takes the title of the more precious stone. 

The importance of 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 exciting jewelry facts. In the 1930s, less than ten percent of all engagement rings had diamond stones. In the 1990s, nearly eighty percent of the engagement rings had polished diamond stones. What happened in the six decades? 

The answer lies with De Beers. This colossal diamond corporation used innovative marketing to make diamond rings more desirable and immensely increased their popularity. The company's approach formed the foundation for the slogan "diamonds are forever." However, what makes the stones so unique? They are millions of years old and are just about unbreakable. This makes them an appropriate symbol of matrimonial love for engagement rings or an everlasting bond.

The most expensive piece of jewelry in a motion picture

There are several pieces of jewelry made classic by motion pictures. What work do you think of when you think of jewelry that was a feature 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 feature in a movie was Nicole Kidman's character's necklace in the Moulin Rouge motion picture. This unique statement necklace is made of diamonds and platinum, and its value is in the North of $1 million. Coming in second in the list of the most expensive piece of jewelry in film are the diamond and ruby opera necklace from Pretty Woman and Carrie Bradshaw's black diamond engagement ring in the film Sex and the City 2. The investment in unique pieces in these movies shows you the value of these stones.

Local variations

One can easily assume that diamonds are the most valuable precious stone globally, but that is not true. The more precious stone in the Peoples' Republic of China is jade, and the Chinese buyers are fond of jadeite. When you think of jade, what color comes to your mind? Well, we have found the stone in yellow, red, blue, and lavender. 

What makes jade valuable in China? To the Chinese buyers, jade epitomizes benevolence, impartiality, and truth, meaning that the stone has a lot more significance than just its aesthetic value. Such unique features represent significant local variations that you need to consider when purchasing jewelry.

Different name, same stone

One of the most interesting facts about jewelry rest on nomenclature. Rubies and sapphires are the same stone, and they both have the same mineral corundum. The change in the stone's color is because of the trace minerals present in the stone. Titanium and iron both offer a blue color that gives birth to sapphires. Rubies color comes from trace amounts of chromium in the precious stone. 

The First Engagement Ring

People are so used to the idea of engagement rings in the West that it seems strange to think of a time when this tradition was not around. It was not until romantic Maximilian of Austria gave his beloved Mary of Burgundy a ring to promise the impending nuptials back in 1477. This caught on, and today engagement rings are a multi-billion-dollar industry.

The Most Expensive Engagement Ring

The honor of being given the world's most expensive engagement ring falls to Mariah Carey. The ring, given to Carey by James Packer, cost a stunning $10 million! On a side note, the couple never ended up getting married, proving that the ring's price is not a guarantee for the success of the relationship.

Desire to find fascinating jewelry?

We hope that you have enjoyed all of these exciting jewelry facts. Suppose you are looking for attractive jewelry for yourself or your loved one, why not look at our catalog? If the jewelry you own is your pride and joy, take a look at how we care for our jewelry. If you have any questions about our products, please get in touch.