Wednesday, 4 December 2013

The Diamond Studio Daily 04/12/2013

After queuing up to get your turkey, you arrive home only to find the cat has swallowed most of the tinsel and you completely forgot to buy any tangerines.
But have you ever stopped to wonder how these traditions started - why we kiss under the mistletoe, or give each other stockings full of goodies?
Here are 33 festive facts to get you even more in the mood for Christmas...
1 US scientists calculated that Santa would have to visit 822 homes a second to deliver all the world's presents on Christmas Eve, travelling at 650 miles a second.
2 Robins on cards were a joke 150 years ago when postmen wore red tunics and were named after them.
3 Although now mostly vegetarian, in Victorian times, mince pies were made with beef and spices.
4 The tradition of putting tangerines in stockings comes from 12th-century French nuns who left socks full of fruit, nuts and tangerines at the houses of the poor.
5 Carols began as an old English custom called wassailing, toasting neighbours to a long life.
6 Hanging stockings out comes from the Dutch custom of leaving shoes packed with food for St Nicholas's donkeys. He would leave small gifts in return.
7 Nearly 60 million Christmas trees are grown each year in Europe.
8 The word Noel derives from the French expression "les bonnes nouvelles" or "the good news".
9 The chances of a white Christmas are just 1 in 10 for England and Wales, and 1 in 6 for Scotland and Northern Ireland.
10 James Pierpont's 1857 song Jingle Bells was first called One Horse Open Sleigh and was written for Thanksgiving.
11 Before turkey, the traditional Christmas meal in England was a pig's head and mustard.
12 In 1647, after the English Civil War, Oliver Cromwell banned festivities. The law wasn't lifted until 1660.
13  In 1999, residents of the state of Maine in America built the world's biggest ever snowman. He stood at 113ft tall.
14 Many parts of the Christmas tree can actually be eaten, with the needles being a good source of Vitamin C.
15 The first commercial Christmas cards were commissioned by civil servant Sir Henry Cole in London in 1843. Featuring a family drinking wine, one sold for £8,469 last year.
16 Hanging presents on trees comes from the Druids who believed the tree was the giver of all good things.
17 The largest Christmas cracker - 45.72m long and 3.04m in diameter - was pulled in Australia in 1991.
18 Santa has different names around the world - Kriss Kringle in Germany, Le Befana in Italy, Pere Noel in France and Deushka Moroz (Grandfather Frost) in Russia.
19 The word Christmas comes from the Old English "Cristes maesse" meaning "Christ's Mass".
20  The bestselling Christmas single ever is Bing Crosby's White Christmas, shifting over 50million copies worldwide since 1942.
21 In Britain, the best-selling festive single is Band Aid's 1984 track, Do They Know It's Christmas?, which sold 3.5million copies. Wham! is next in the same year with Last Christmas, selling 1.4million.
22  Since 1947 Oslo has sent an Christmas tree to London to thank us for our help in the Second World War.
23 Christmas pudding was originally a soup made with raisins and wine.
24 London sweetmaker Tom Smith created the first Christmas crackers in 1847, based on the sweet wrapper design.
25 Boxing Day gets its name from all the money collected in church alms-boxes for the poor.
26 Kissing under the mistletoe is thought to spring from Frigga, the Norse goddess of love, who was associated with the plant.
27 The Beatles hold the record for most Christmas number 1 singles, topping the charts in 1963, 65 and 67.
28 Electric tree lights were invented by Edward Johnson in the US in 1882.
29 The highest-grossing festive movie is 2000's How The Grinch Stole Christmas, which has raked in £175m so far.
30 There are 13 Santas in Iceland, each leaving a gift for children. They come down from the mountain one by one, starting on December 12 and have names like Spoon Licker, Door Sniffer and Meat Hook.
31 Gold-wrapped chocolate coins commemorate St Nicholas who gave bags of gold coins to the poor.
32 The first Christmas celebrated in Britain is thought to have been in York in 521AD.
33 In Greece, Italy, Spain and Germany, workers get a Christmas bonus of one month's salary by law.

Today's Diamond of the Day is known as the "Lucky Diamond," the Great Chrysanthemum Diamond is a beautiful and mysterious 104.6 Carat diamond certified by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA).
The exceptional color of this diamond is a glowing Fancy Orange-brown, the radiant color of fire. It has been described by many as a miracle of nature.
This amazing diamond has an unusually high dispersion of light, creating a stunning supernatural appearance of "fire, slowly burning in ice." News Media outlets have described it as "the fire of a joyous and unending sunset." 

in at number 37 in our Celebrity Engagement Ring Countdown is Anne HathawayAdam Shulman is an actor but also an accomplished jewelry designer.  He helped to dream up Hathaway’s 6 carat ring, estimated at $150,000The center diamond is an emerald cut surrounded by a halo of round brilliant cut diamonds.The thin platinum band is also studded with round diamonds.

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