A diamond is a mineral made of carbon that is crystallized in an isometric arrangement. The atoms have essentially the same arrangement in all directions. This is what makes the diamond the hardest known substance natural or artificial.


Where Diamonds Come From

First found in India. Today’s gem quality diamonds come from South Africa, Botswana, Russia, Zaire, and Australia.


Custom

The custom of wearing engagement and wedding rings on the fourth finger of the left hand seems to owe its origin to an ancient belief that a special vein or nerve ran directly from this finger to the heart.


First Used

Diamonds were first used in an engagement ring by an Austrian prince in the fifteenth century and has been a symbol of love since.


Largest

The largest gem diamond ever found was called the Cullinan found in 1905 in South Africa. It weighted 3,106.75. Two large stones were cut from it at 530.20 carats and 317.40 carats. They are the largest fashioned diamonds in the world. 105 smaller stones were also cut from this diamond. The 2 largest are in the British Crown Jewels in London, England.

Cut
Is the human contribution of the diamond’s beauty and has important effects on each of the other C’s. Cut means the proportions and finish of a diamond. The term proportions refers to the relationship between size, shape, symmetry, weight distribution and cutting angles in a stone while finish refers to the details of facet shape, placement, and polish. Cut also means shape of the diamond (round, marquise, pear, emerald, and oval etc.)

It is the cut that enables a diamond to make the best use of light. When a diamond is cut to proportions light is reflected from one facet to another and then dispersed through the top of the stone. If the cut of the diamond is too deep some light escapes through the opposite side of the pavilion. If the cut is too shallow light escapes through the pavilion before it can be reflected.

Color
​Means body color: the basic color of an object. Diamonds come in all colors. Colorless diamonds are very rare. Most have a normal slight color of yellow, brown, or gray. Yellow is the most common seen. Diamonds with distinct tints other than those of the normal range (and yellow, brown, and gray diamonds) with color deep enough to be attractive are classed as fancy colors. Diamond is the only gem in which an absence of color means it is more valuable. Color is measured by means of a letter of the alphabet ranging from A (which is colorless) to Z (which is canary yellow).

Carat Weight
The unit of weight used for measuring diamonds (and other gems) is the metric carat. It is 0.200 grams. Weight measurements are also referred to in terms of points. 100 points equals 1 carat. 50 points is considered ½ carat and ¼ carat consists of 25 points.

Clarity
Refers to the presence of internal impurities such as breaks or foreign bodies (called inclusions) within a diamond and to external imperfections such as scratches (called blemishes). Both blemishes and especially inclusions lower the clarity grade. In most cases they have very little effect on a stone’s beauty or durability. Inclusions can be dark or light in appearance.

What is a Diamond?

The 4 Cs of Diamonds

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