e-book Life Is Like A Diamond, Hard Yet Valuable

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Well, since it is , we're betting your answer is probably no, but it may be time to change that. They're a part of the company's "Black Diamond Collection," a group of 25 tapes that were released between and Each video has—you guessed it—a black diamond on the upper spine of the cassette case to mark its originality. As you dust off your 90s goods, here's what to look out for. Remember, just because something is listed for that price, doesn't mean it'll actually sell for it. So as you peruse the bidding site, make sure to use your best judgement.

And, if you are trying to offload your old faves, set your expectations reasonably. Now if you're on the other end of the spectrum, and you're looking to add to your VHS collection, Urban Outfitters may be the place to look. The catch? You can pick from five genres—s romance, '90s comedy, '00s rom-com, sci-fi, and horror—but won't know what movies you're getting until you receive the mystery set.

Its other main export is wool. The Letseng mine has developed something of a reputation for housing mammoth diamonds. The latest find is only the fourth largest diamond to be found there. The biggest, Lesotho Promise, weighed in at carats.

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Originally, India was the principle source of diamonds, but that switched to Brazil and then to several African nations, including South Africa and Lesotho. For all its beauty, a diamond is actually an extremely simple material. It is made of pure carbon and is the hardest naturally occurring mineral. In fact, the only thing separating the precious stone from coal is its molecular structure it's all in the isometric-hexoctahedral crystal lattice. Though the classic colour for a diamond is a dazzling white, they also naturally occur in shades of pink, cognac, blue, yellow and green.

Yes, though diamonds have meant different things to different societies. Until the 15th century, they were seen by leaders as symbols of supreme strength. The name itself comes from the Greek word "adamas", meaning indestructible. The Greeks were a romantic sort, and for them the dancing sparkle of the diamond was the sign of the extinguishable flame of love. Many have seen diamonds as having a magical quality — fuelled by the fact that many glow in the dark. As a result, they have been used as a cure for madness, to ward off evil spirits and devils, and even as a cure for nightmares.

The Greek philosopher Plato was said to share the belief that diamonds were living spirits. Diamond "powder" has also been used as a potent poison — apparently one favoured by Catherine de Medici in the 16th century. We have a particularly romantically-minded Austrian aristocrat to thank for that innovation. It caught on, though the custom of wearing the ring on the third finger of the left hand thought to contain a vein that led straight to the heart has been around since the ancient Egyptians.

Unsurprisingly, most of the big ones have ended up in the hands of royalty or other members of the international elite. The biggest of all can be found at the Tower of London among our very own Crown Jewels. The Cullinan diamond, which at 3, carats is the biggest rough diamond ever discovered, was handed to King Edward VII after being mined in South Africa in It was then cut into three pieces — a risky business at the time.

The largest slab was named Cullinan 1, or the Great Star of Africa, and can be found mounted in the head of the Sceptre with the Cross. But the British royals are not he only ones to end up with weighty diamonds. The Orlov, a Another, the carat Regent diamond, which has a blue tinge, is housed in the Louvre, Paris.

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After acquiring associations with conflicts in Africa, exploitation and even child labour, the glitz of the diamond trade was looking increasingly tarnished and, crucially, consumers began to become wary. By , the industry was beginning to feel the pinch with a 20 per cent fall in sales.

The pursuit of diamonds has exacerbated political instability in places such as Angola and Sierra Leone in the past, where the funds raised through the illegal trading of the gem have ended up buying weapons for warring parties. But in recent years, the diamond trade has made moves to stamp out the practice, using fair-trade logos to help consumers spot the ethically sourced examples from the so-called blood diamonds.

They are proving popular again and making big bucks at auction. It was the second highest price ever paid for a diamond at auction. The Anyone who wants to give the impression of total decadence, so they are popular with the bling merchants of Hollywood. Stars from Kiera Knightly to Jade Jagger have been snapped wearing diamonds worth hundreds of thousands of pounds at premieres. Elizabeth Taylor is often seen donning the 33 carat Krupp Diamond, set in a ring.

She was the proud owner of an even larger stone, the pear-shaped Taylor Burton diamond — a 40th birthday gift from her then husband Richard Burton in It was a whopping 69 carats after it had been cut. She used the money to fund the building of a hospital in Botswana.

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The coloured varieties are in short supply — some of the main providers say they might run out within a decade. But as demand for the gems increases with the growing ranks of the middle classes in China and India, demand could be met by diamonds manufactured in the laboratory. They are chemically identical to mined diamonds, but the practice has started a debate over whether the man-made examples can honestly be certified as the real deal.

In many people's eyes, the real romance of the gem lies in the discoveries of big, naturally occurring diamonds. You can find our Community Guidelines in full here. Want to discuss real-world problems, be involved in the most engaging discussions and hear from the journalists?

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