16 Facts About Jewelry You Probably Didn’t Know

Ever wondered why your brain remembers useless facts but not the important stuff? We don’t have an answer to that question, but we do have more fun facts about jewelry to fill your head with for your next trivia night!

James Allen's Jewelry

Jewelry is everywhere, but what do we really know about our favorite accessories and their history? We know that men and women have worn jewelry for centuries and we know that gems, gold, and diamonds have played a vital role in human history. 

Whether you simply love jewelry or are a trivia enthusiast, we’re counting down 16 fun facts about jewelry you probably didn’t know! 

#1 What’s In A Name? 

Starting us off is a fun fact about the word jewellery or jewelry. It started with the French word joule (toy), which is derived from the Latin word jocale, which means playing. In late Middle English, around the 17th and 18th centuries, it was spelled “juelrye,” and it later became “jewelry/jewellery,” as we know it today.

#2 The First Engagement Ring 

Maximilian, the Archduke of Austria, started the concept of the diamond engagement ring. Back in 1477, he gave Mary, Duchess of Burgundy, a diamond engagement ring for their wedding. And so the trend began and it’s believed that many other wealthy couples of the era followed suit.  

So what did this ring look like? It was painted as being a yellow gold solitaire engagement ring with a bezel setting which secured the almost pyramid-like diamond center stone.

14K Yellow Gold Petite Solitaire Emerald Cut Diamond Ring

#3 The Largest Diamond Ever Found 

Presently, the largest diamond ever found was unearthed in South Africa in 1905. The famous Cullinan Diamond was recorded at 3,106 carats and weighed 1.3 pounds! Even more interesting is that the diamond was cut into smaller parts and formed part of the British Royal family’s crown jewels. 

#4 The Oldest Jewelry 

Let’s take you back to 100,000 years ago, where archeologists working in Morocco discovered 33 shell beads. These oldest jewelry pieces known to humankind were found in the Bizmoune Caves in the western Moroccan desert. Also known as Nassarius shells, they were assumed to be used for decorative purposes. 

#5 Origins Of Lab Created Diamonds 

The first-ever proven synthetic diamond was created by Howard Tracy Hall in 1954. The project was codenamed “Project Superpressure.” This experiment paved the way for gem quality lab created diamonds and is changing the industry to this day! 

Lab created diamonds

#6 Where Is Gold Really From? 

Believe it or not, gold is extraterrestrial. Nearly all of the gold found on earth was cooked up in space and came from meteorites that crashed into earth 200 million years after the planet formed. 

#7 You’re Made Of Gold, Baby! 

We bet you didn’t know that an average person – weighing roughly 70kg’s – has about 0.22 milligrams of gold in them. Insane, right?? Some scientists have determined that the gold in our bodies does serve a small role in maintaining the health of our joints. 

#8 The Most Unique Gemstone 

Though not as popular as other gemstones, peridot is the only gem that comes in a single color and is formed in the earth’s mantle (the mostly-solid bulk of earth’s interior). So, why is this cool? Well, the only other gem to be formed in the earth’s mantle is the diamond. All other gemstones (except pearls) are formed in the earth’s crust. 

Fun fact: Peridot is the August birthstone and comes in an array of stunning fine jewelry pieces.

Peridot: August birthstone

#9 Amber Is Sap

Amber is actually the result of resin from fossilized prehistoric trees! It’s considered to be the softest and lightest gemstone on earth. This sun-kissed gemstone is so light that it will float in saltwater. 

#10 The First Diamond 

Did you know that the first diamond was discovered in India during the 4th century? Up until the 18th century, people believed that India was the only source of diamonds. That was until a 21-carat diamond was discovered in South Africa! Nowadays, seven countries across five continents dominate the world diamond industry as leading diamond producers. 

#11 Pearls 

It may surprise some of you to learn that pearls are the only gemstone that comes from a living animal- the mollusk! That’s why pearls are known as “organic” gemstones. Nowadays, almost all pearls are cultured, making them readily accessible for commercial use. 

Fun fact: Pearl is one of June’s birthstones and has continued to be a staple trendsetter throughout the centuries.

Pearls: June birthstone

#12 The World’s Most Expensive Engagement Ring 

And the honor goes to none other than Mariah Carey. This legend was given a massive 35-carat diamond ring by ex-fiancé James Packer. The ring cost an astonishing $10 million!!! The style was a bold platinum band with an emerald cut diamond and two tapered baguette diamonds.

#13 Bending 24K Gold 

While gold is a durable metal, did you know you can bend 24K gold with your bare hands? For this reason, no jewelry is made using 24K gold. Instead, jewelers will alloy this gold with other metals to make it hard enough to create jewelry. 

#14 The Most Recognizable Piece of Jewelry 

Princess Diana’s stunning sapphire halo engagement ring is often said to be the most recognizable piece of jewelry of the 20th century. The iconic blue Ceylon sapphire surrounded by a halo of diamonds is now worn by The Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton.

What did this ring look like? We’ve shared our closest and most affordable lookalike below!

14K White Gold Cathedral Pavé Halo Diamond Engagement Ring

#15 Leaving Gold To The Fishes 

Unfortunately for us, our next fun fact isn’t a get-rich-quick scheme. The ocean we love is filled with close to $150 trillion of gold! And if we could find a way to cultivate it, each person on earth could have 4.5 kilograms of gold. For now, we’ll keep dreaming! 

#16 The Most Expensive & Famous Jewel In The World 

The most expensive and perhaps the most famous jewel in the world is a 45.52 carat blue stone known as the Hope Diamond. It was this diamond that also inspired the “The Heart of the Ocean” necklace featured in the blockbuster favorite, Titanic. 

We hope you enjoyed these fun facts! To learn more about fine jewelry or to see what’s trending this year, give us a visit at or check out our Insta page for everyday accessories and rings that’ll make you want to say I Do.

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