Gemstones, Birthstones, Gemstone Jewelry

 

 

 

Diamond

April Birthstone

Diamonds, since inception, have been a girl's best friend. They the most valued rock on the earth and the hardest. The history of diamond is full of legends and lore explaining the beauty and brilliance of the rock.

This exemplary gem has a beautiful history that goes back to 4000-years ago when the stone was mined in India. The Golconda mines of India were the most famous diamond sites in history. Although, they were depleted around 18thy century, they have given the best of the diamonds to the world - Koh-e-noor and Hope diamond are just the examples of it.

Science of Diamonds

Scientifically, diamonds are the allotropes of carbon and found some 200 kilometers deep within the earth's surface. They could also be found at a depth of 300-km. The conditions required for diamond formation are an extreme pressure of more than 45 kilobars and an optimal temperature between 900-1300 degrees Celsius. The complete carbon structure of diamond is a significant reason of its colorless and brilliant shine. Although, colored diamonds are also available in nature and they form due to a mutation in the atomic structure. These colored diamonds are only 1% of the total diamond available in nature and have a great demand in jewelry.

Etymology of Diamonds

Diamond has derived its name from the Greek word 'adamas’, which means 'invincible' or 'indestructible'. It was called so because diamond is the hardest gem available on the planet. It scores 10 on the moh's scale of hardness. Thus, the stone is durable and resistant to normal wear and tear.

Symbolism of Diamonds

For civilizations, these stones have been symbolized as the source of divine and spiritual powers. They are best known as the stones of wisdom, virtue, strength, truth, devotion and commitment. Their association with beauty and cosmic brilliance is another major symbolic factor of diamond in jewelry.

A diamond is the birthstone for the people born in the month of April. This is also an auspicious gem for 60th and 75th wedding anniversaries because the rock signifies enduring love and forever bonding.

In ancient times, the stones were used as a talisman and as a medical aid to heal wounds. They were believed to stimulate imagination, creativity and ingenuity. The stone was said to bring clarity of thoughts, purity to soul and aids spiritual enlightenment.

It was believed to be very helpful in healing, detoxifying and purifying all the systems of the body. Good to balance metabolism, stamina building, treating dizziness and enriching mind, diamonds were used as a poison suckers.

Properties of Diamonds

A diamond has a lot to discover and it could be confusing to choose a perfect piece for jewelry. Therefore, certain standards have been made by GIA to monitor the quality and value of this gemstone. These standards include a combination of four C's - color, cut, clarity and carat, its durability, rarity and history.

The four C's thus, are very important in deciding the value of a gem.

Color:

It is the most prominent mark up for diamond quality. A diamond of perfectly no color is rare to find and could cost a premium. GIA's color grading scale has the divisions from D to Z with D as the colorless and the best diamonds.

The presence of color could hinder the path of light, making the stone dull and less brilliant.

The stones from G to I range are mostly used in jewelry as they are equal to colorless with very rare traces of color in them. Colored diamond grading is different from the white ones and includes a range from pale to deep hues.

Clarity:

Clarity defines the level of flaws present in a diamond. A naturally flawless diamond is extremely rare and if found, it costs a premium. GIA has divided the clarity of a diamond on a scale of 'flawless' to 'included'.

Inclusions can greatly reduce the quality of light refraction as they can hinder or distract the path of light. Therefore, pieces with visible inclusions are not suitable for jewelry.

Clarity of a gem can be improved by cutting it into a right direction.

Cut:

A very important factor in deciding the cost of a diamond is how it has been cut. A perfect cut can greatly enhance the brilliance and fire of a diamond. In addition, it can improve the color and clarity.

Diamonds are cut in facets that give the stone its distinctive shape. A cutter has to carefully analyze each piece before choosing the right cut for it.

The cut of a diamond depends on its weight, the objective of cutting i.e. for jewelry or any decorative purpose etc., and how the aesthetic appeal can be elevated.

Brilliant cut and step cut are the two basic types of modern cuts for diamonds. Brilliant cut greatly enhance the brilliance and fire of a diamond. It is good to hide the flaws as the extra sparkling of the stone can deviate from the inclusions.

Step cut especially emphasizes on the clarity so it is important to choose diamond of minimum H color with very slight inclusions. Emerald cut is the most popular step cut for diamonds.

A third kind of cut called 'mixed cut' is also very popular for diamonds. It is a combination of above two cuts and is mostly used to enhance both the brilliance and the clarity of a stone. Princess cut, radiant cut and Asscher cut are few very famous mixed cut for diamonds.

Carat:

Diamonds of above a carat with good color and clarity cost a genuine amount. For engagement rings above a carat two months' salary is expected. But this is not a thumb rule and the cost could vary depending on a combination of various factors.

Certificate:

These days, the market is full of diamond imitations. To avoid any fraudulent and to get the best out of your money, it is suggestive to ask for a third party diamond grading certificate.

GIA, AGTA, IGL and EGA are major labs to issue genuine grading certificate.

A grading cert gives a detailed information about the four C's of a diamond along with its exact dimensions, a key note about individual stone from an expert gemologist and the photo of the piece that was certified.