AN AMAZING FACT: Diamonds are the hardest natural material known to mankind. Their hardness has been legendary since antiquity and is the reason for its name coming from the ancient Greek word adamas for “invincible.” Approximately 130 million carats are mined annually, with a value of nearly $9 billion. About 220,000 pounds of manmade diamonds are synthesized every year. Diamond formation requires exposure of carbon materials to very high pressure. Diamonds can also form in other natural events. For example, very small diamonds, known as microdiamonds, have been found in craters caused by a meteorite impact.
The biggest earthly diamond is the 530-carat Star of Africa, one of the British crown jewels. That was, at least until August 28, 2007, when a diamond mine in South Africa announced it found a diamond believed to be twice the size of the former record holder. The uncut diamond is expected to sell for up to $30 million. But it still may not be the biggest.
Some astronomers believe they have actually found the biggest known diamond in the universe up in the sky directly above Australia. According to American astronomers at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, a white dwarf star in the constellation of Centaurus, next to the Southern Cross, has been found to have a 2,000-mile-wide solid core of crystallized carbon, or in other words, a diamond. It weighs 2.27 thousand trillion trillion tons—that’s 10 billion trillion trillion carats, or a one followed by 34 zeroes. “It’s the mother of all diamonds,” said astronomer Travis Metcalfe, who led the team of researchers that studied the star.
God loves jewels and will decorate the New Jerusalem with many precious stones that surpass anything we’ve ever seen on Earth. When we think of the Lord’s creation in the heavens, it doesn’t seem impossible that every gate in the city of God is highly unique. “The twelve gates were twelve pearls: each individual gate was of one pearl. And the street of the city was pure gold, like transparent glass” (Revelation 21:21). I look forward to walking on that street someday.
KEY BIBLE TEXTS
And the LORD their God shall save them in that day as the flock of his people: for they shall be as the stones of a crown, lifted up as an ensign upon his land. Zechariah 9:16