Watch: 5 incredible facts about diamonds

Top 5 Facts About Diamonds

Diamonds are the ultimate proof of the value of marketing. 100 years ago they weren't particularly fashionable, so demand had fallen through the floor. At the same time, large finds of the mineral in South Africa meant a glut of diamonds. If the market had been allowed to take its natural course, diamonds would be just another inexpensive semi-precious stone. Instead, we have seen one of the most effective price manipulations of all time.

The De Beers diamond company changed everything. The key was taking full ownership and control of the entire diamond industry, so they could stockpile diamonds and create scarcity - pushing up the price.

One of the most striking tales about this stockpile is that just before World War II it got so big that they considered dumping them at sea, but then demand for machinery and vehicle production during the war kick-started demand and avoided this odd prospect.

This control of the supply was combined with one of the most famously effective marketing campaigns of all time, linking diamonds to engagement rings, and therefore to love. Before World War II only 10% of engagement rings contained diamonds, after the campaign, almost all of them did. This boosted demand, keeping prices artificially high.

Fascinating facts

It means that diamonds are aspirational gems that we're all interested in, and to celebrate Watchmojo produced this list of five fascinating facts about diamonds.

The list reveals when the world's biggest diamond was mined, who received it as a present, and where it now resides.

It also spills the beans on the companies offering to turn you into a diamond.

It explains why the fashion for expensive chocolate diamonds may not be everything it seems.

It unveils the planet made entirely of diamonds.

And it reveals what diamonds were originally used for - long before anyone decided they might be pretty to wear.

But what do you think? Do you think diamonds are worth what we pay for them? Let us know in the comments.

10 incredible auctions
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Watch: 5 incredible facts about diamonds

The most expensive watch ever sold at auction fetched just under $24 million in November 2014. The gold pocket watch was made by Patek Philippe, and is the most complex ever made without the use of computer technology.

The Henry Graves Supercomplication was commissioned in 1925, and took eight years to make.

The world's most expensive stamp sold at auction in 2014 for over $9 million.

The British Guiana One-Cent Magenta is as rare as a stamp can get. British Guiana was one of the first countries in the New World to start issuing stamps, but in 1856, they ran out, and asked the local newspaper printer to produce extras.

There were two denominations: the four-cent, which is very rare, and the one-cent - of which only one has ever been discovered.

In May 2015, an anonymous London businesswoman snapped up the licence plate KR15 HNA for £233,000, making it the most expensive standard number plate ever to be sold in the UK.

Queen Victoria's bloomers sold at auction for £6,200, along with a pair of her silk stockings.

They have a 52-inch waist, and belonged to the monarch in the 1890s - "towards the end of her life when she had eaten a lot more than most people could afford to," said auctioneer Michael Hogben. In today's sizing, they'd be a size 26.

In 2014, a three-year-old slice of cake sold at auction for $7,500 (£4,800). The reason the stale cake was in such demand was that it was from the marriage of Prince William to Kate Middleton in 2011.

The buyer said he intended to give it away as part of promoting his Silicon Valley start-up.

A British coin sold at auction for a record-breaking £430,000 in 2014. After fees, the buyer paid £516,000 - making it the most expensive modern British coin ever to be sold.

The coin is only one of two in existence. It was a 'proof' for a gold sovereign which was meant to be produced to commemorate the coronation of Edward VIII in 1937. However, Edward abdicated in 1936, so the coronation never happened and the coins were never made


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