Intro To Diamonds
There are four key factors to consider when choosing a diamond. They're known as the 4 C's—cut, color, carat weight and clarity.
Cut is the most important of the 4 C's because it has the greatest impact on a diamond's brilliance, fire and sparkle.
The closer a diamond is to being totally colorless, the more rare and valuable it is.
A diamond's weight is measured in units called carats. As carat weight increases, so does rarity and value.
Clarity is the least important of the 4 C's because it has little to no effect on a diamond's beauty.
How Are Diamonds Formed?
Diamond is carbon in its most concentrated form, and is made up by pure carbon atoms. These carbon atoms are imbedded deep in the ground in the Earth's mantle, below the Earth's crust. When introduced to extreme heat and immense pressure, diamonds are formed. Diamonds come to the Earth's surface in molten rock, or magma, that begins deep in the earth's layers. Pushing diamonds and other pieces of the Earth's mantle, is this magma. With all the pressure and heat, the earth's inner matter erupts with small, but strong explosive volcanoes. When these volcanoes erupt, the earth is left with a carrot-shaped "pipe" that contains volcanic rock, mantle fragments, and embedded diamonds. The rock is called kimberlite named for the city of Kimberley in South Africa. Kimberley was the first place these pipes were discovered in the 1870s. A second example of rock that carries diamonds is lamproite. You could say that these pipes and their matter are elevators for diamonds. These massive elevators allow what scientist call "deposits", to surface. Geologist, refer to these as "primary" and "secondary" sources. Primary sources are kimberlite and lamproite that have risen from the Earth's mantle. Secondary sources are created by erosion, which leads to scattering around the pipe, which can be washed away into rivers or channels. Due to the movement by these rivers and channels, large secondary deposits can be found in the ocean or on our ocean's beaches, like that along the South African coast.
What Is The History Behind Diamonds?
In modern times the diamond represents prosperity, stability, class, and superior quality. Throughout history, many cultures believed diamonds were majestic. Diamonds were associated with power, strength, enchantment, defense, and resilience. This is a true testament of the diamond's prosperity through time.
As we all know, diamonds have been used in jewelry for many, many years. Diamonds can be dated back to 1st century BCE. In the 2nd century a Roman poet made note that wedding rings are known because of interior inscriptions recording the marriage contracts signed in the presence of the Emperor's image. This custom continued and the diamond became a religious item by the 4th century, when a diamond ring was given as a token of love and marriage. This has been a long lasting tradition over the millennia.
Diamonds can be dated back as far as the 4th century in India. A minister in India referred to a diamond as "(a diamond that is) big, heavy, capable of bearing blows, with symmetrical points, capable of scratching (from the inside) a (glass) vessel (filled with water), revolving like a spindle and brilliantly shining is excellent. That (diamond) with points lost, without edges and defective on one side is bad." The people of India considered a diamond to be a valuable resource. Without question, India is the first known place diamonds were mined, which made for great power in ancient times.
How Do Diamonds Contribute To Social Impact Programs Throughout The World?
The revenue from diamonds has made positive contributions to communicate where the diamond industry does business around the world. Investments in education, healthcare, infrastructure, entrepreneurship and local economies have helped these communities develop and grow. Read about many of these stories on diamondsdogood.com.
Diamonds In Industry
Eighty percent of the diamonds mined yearly are used in industry. Four times that amount are diamonds that are grown synthetically for industry. This equals a total of over 500 million carats or 100 metric tons. Diamond is a useful industrial material that affects everyone's lives. Because diamond is the hardest substance, it is used to cut, grind, and polish most hard substances. It shapes stone, ceramics, metals, and concrete, as well as eyeglasses, gems, and computer chips. Its wide variety of uses include the creation of blades used during critical surgeries.
Stories & Tales Of Diamonds
In early Buddhist times, only powerful figures were allowed to own diamonds of an exact color. A priest or ruler could own a white or colorless diamond, a landowner or a warrior could have brown, the middle class merchant—yellow and the lower class merchant—gray to black. Only kings could possess all colors of diamonds.
In the Middle Ages, diamonds were believed to portray their owners as courageous and fearless. Nobleman like Cosimo the Elder, Henry II of France, and possibly the Dukes of Burgundy, used diamond rings as symbols of their status. They even wore them into combat.
It was believed that a diamond could heal a sick person if they took it to bed and warmed it with their body, by breathing on it or wearing it on the skin. A diamond placed in the mouth would beat the bad habits of liars and scolds. Diamonds were even worn as a lucky charm against poisoning. However, diamond powder taken internally was a legendary poison. Turkish Sultan Bajazet, possibly murdered by his son, was given a large quantity of powdered diamond in his food. In l532, the doctors of Pope Clement VII prescribed 14 spoonfuls of ground gems, including diamond, which caused death for the patient, along with a very high bill for his treatment.
Information Source: American Museum of Natural History or AMNH.