Category: Native Minerals
Chemical Formula: C, Carbon
Molecular Weight: 12.01 u
Color: Yellows, light blues, white, colorless, black, greenish and even reddish.
Mohs Scale Hardness: 10
Specific Gravity: 3.52 (± 0.01)
Density: 3.5-3.53 g/cm³
Crystals: Isometric forms such as cubes and octahedrons.
Diamonds have been treasured as gemstones since their use as religious icons in ancient India. The name diamond is derived from the ancient Greek (adamas) "unbreakable" and is the real-world origin of myths about a superhard metal called adamant. Diamonds are traditionally given to signify wealth, prosperity and love, but that was not always the case. Early diamonds were used for their strength instead of their beauty and were used as tools. The trade of diamond was done in both east and west of India. It was recognized by various cultures for their gemological or industrial uses. Chines mainly used diamonds as diamond tools for engraving jade and drilling holes in beads. South Africa, one of the major modern sources of diamonds, began mining in earnest in the 1800. There are many legends about diamonds. Some people believe that wearing a diamond will protect them from harm. Others believe that wearing a diamond will grant good luck unless the diamond is a very large one.
What are diamonds?
Natural diamonds are pure carbon, formed into crystals deep below the earth’s crust many millions of years ago. Each carbon atom is surrounded by four neighboring carbon atoms in a tetrahedral coordination that is the result of a covalent bond and a face-centered arrangement in the cubic unit cell. Diamond is in the isometric crystal system, which is reflected in the commonly found octahedral or cubic crystal form. As the hardest natural substance known to man, diamonds brought to the surface in this way have survived the effects of geological erosion, often being washed down river valleys and into the sea.
Diamond is the hardest natural material known, where hardness is defined as resistance to scratching. Diamond iss hardness has been known since antiquity, and is the source of its name. Because it can only be scratched by other diamonds, it maintains its polish extremely well. These diamonds are generally small, perfect to semiperfect octahedra, and are used to polish other diamonds.
Diamonds come in a variety of shapes. Do not confuse cut with shape. The cut brilliant, step or mixed is the arrangement of facets and determines the diamond’s brilliance. Shape is the contour into which the diamond is cut. Diamonds are available in various shapes including round, square, pear, heart, marquise and oval but cut refers to the angles and proportions of a diamond. A well cut diamond reflects light from one mirror-like facet to another and projects the light through the top of the stone.
Diamond Cutting Styles:
Cutting styles include brilliant cut, step cut or mixed cut.
Brilliant cut is designed to maximize brilliance. It has 58 facets — 33 on the table (top), 24 on the pavilion (bottom) and the culet (the bottom point). In this cut, all 58 facets appear to radiate from the center out through the top of the diamond.
Step cut resembles stair steps because three concentric rows of facets are arranged around the table, the pavilion and the culet. The emerald cut is an example of a step cut diamond.
Mixed cut combines elements of both the brilliant and the step cuts. For example, the crown may be cut as a brilliant cut and the pavilion as a step cut.
Cuts range from ideal to poor. A poor cut diamond, for example, may be cut too deep or too shallow. In a diamond that is cut too deep, light is reflected through the sides and the center of the diamond may appear dark. A shallow cut diamond allows light to escape from the bottom and makes the table appear dull. Too shallow a cut gives the appearance of a black hole, referred to by industry insiders as a “fish eye.
White-colored diamonds remain the most popular, even though diamonds are found in a kaleidoscope of colors. Diamonds are graded on a color scale implemented by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), A lack of diamond color is a sign of quality, indicating fewer impurities. A color scale beginning with D and ending with Z, each descending letter denotes an increasing amount of light yellow, brown or gray in the diamond.
Almost all diamonds contain slight impurities. Often invisible to the naked eye.
Diamond Carat Weight:
The carat weight is the standard unit of weight for a diamond. Carat refers to weight and not size. Weight affects price. One carat is divided into 100 "points" so that a diamond of 25 points is described as quarter of a carat or 0.25 carats. The larger stone is actually more than twice as valuable because it is rarer. In higher-quality diamonds, the price rises as the size increases.
A diamond certificate is a printed report based on a gemological analysis of a specific stone. This is a fairly straightforward process by which a diamond is measured and tested. The results of this scientific study of a particular diamond are recorded in a report that accompanies the diamond. This report, or certification, serves as an identifier or fingerprint for the particular diamond, as no two diamonds are alike.
Rare and very expensive, natural colored or “fancy” colored diamonds reflect the colors of the rainbow. Yellow is the most common colored diamond, while pink, red, blue and green diamonds are extremely rare. Fancy color diamonds are cut to maximize color. Generally, the higher the saturation of color, the more valuable the stone.
Brown is caused by a distortion of the atomic structure of the stone. Brown diamonds vary in shades from Champagne to Cognac.
Yellow gets its color from the presence of nitrogen.
Blue diamonds are created from trace elements of boron.
Pink diamonds owe their coloring to a phenomenon in the crystal lattice structure of the diamond.
Green diamonds were exposed to natural radiation as they were forming billions of years ago.
Diamond Antique Cuts:
Clean the diamond. Use a soft brush, soap and water. The easiest way for you to replicate this at home is by using Windex and mix it with hot water. The heat in the water will loosen up any oils on the stone. Soak it for a few minutes and then scrub with a brush. After the cleaning use a clean cloth to dry the jewelry. Today there are also special ultra-sonic cleansers that use high frequency which is able to clean diamond jewelry. If you do not wear your diamond jewelry for a length of time, you should store it in a jewelry box and keep it apart from other jewelry. Thus you will protect your diamond from being scratched as well as from damaging other jewelry pieces.