Diamonds

Diamond is the birthstone for April and is also associated with the Star Sign Aries.  Diamond Wedding Anniversaries celebrate both the 60th and 75th year of marriage.

Diamonds are associated with Spirituality, Protection Courage and Peace.  In ancient times diamonds were worn as polished stones, and also often used in magic rituals and to aid meditation and spirituality.  It has projective properties and is also associated with the metals Platinum, Silver and Steal.  Though not a stone of love in the way of rose quartz, diamonds can still be worn to reconcile arguments with your significant other and to ensure fidelity.  To ensure the wearer luck it is believed diamonds are at their best when faceted into a six sided cut.

The classic enagement ring is a solitaire diamond, if you are getting married be sure to check out the information below before buying your ring.

Crystal Structure

Cubic

Composition

Carbon

Hardness

10

Things you should consider when buying a diamond

When buying a diamond become familiar with the four C’s, Carat, Color, Clarity and Cut. Diamonds of equal weight can have very different monetary values dependent on these four things.

Carat
The larger the diamond, the more rare it is, which is why the price of a stone tends to increase dramatically the larger the diamond becomes. However, bigger is not always better, sometimes a smaller but ‘colorless’ well cut stone can command a higher price due to its higher quality.

Color
Though almost all diamonds have a some degree of a yellowish or brownish tint, a true colorless diamond is the most valuable. Often the difference in color can only be noticed by comparing diamonds side by side. Diamond color is graded according to the amount of yellow in the stone. Laboratories such as the GIA(Gemological Institute of America) have Master sets of stones used specifically for diamond grading.

Nowadays, you can choose varying shades, but pink, blue and chocolate have been a particular trend in modern jewelry more recently. Although fancy-color diamonds in prized strongly colored hues are the most rare and costly.

Clarity
Diamonds are graded according to their clarity. Clarity refers to a diamonds internal inclusions or blemishes. In most grades these cannot be seen with the naked eye, however, they can still dramatically affect the price of the stone. According to De Beers, less than 1% of diamonds mined, are free of inclusions.

Shaye Earrings
Diamond Cluster Earrings

Cut
The cut refers to the number and arrangement of facets. For example the ‘brilliant’ cut is usually the more traditional round solitare stone, and features a combination of triangle and kite-shaped facets.

Whilst the ‘Emerald’ or ‘Baguette’ are both step cut and have rectangular facets arranged parallel to the girdle.  You can also get ‘Mixed Cuts’ which combine both the brilliant and step cut. A badly cut stone will look dull and not show fire or reflect the light well.

Diamond Grading as used by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA)

 

Category Flawless Internally Flawless Very Very Slightly Included Very Slightly Included Slightly Included Included
Grade FL IF VVS1 VVS2 VS1 VS2 SI1 SI2 I1 I2 I3

 

Flawless of course being the most expensive and rare.

The Hope Diamond in its present case at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History

Did you know…..

The famous ‘Hope Diamond’ at 45.52 carats, is not the largest diamond in the world, however, it is the largest known deep blue diamond. Perhaps the major reason for the diamonds fame is its three-century history of mystery and intrigue, that includes kings, a revolution, a theft, and other stories of tragedy befalling previous owners, leading some to believe the stone is cursed.

An examination by the GIA (Gemological Institute of America) in 1988 described the stone itself as a “fancy dark grayish-blue”, weighing 45.52 carats (9.104g). This color description was revised in 1996 to “fancy deep grayish-blue”.  The stone is described as an antique Cushion Cut and originates from India.

Adair Pendant, classic wedding jewelry

Of course, there are other famous diamonds, but some personal favorites include:

The Cullinan Diamond –  cut into 105 diamonds of which the Cullinan I or the Great Star of Africa, 530.2 carats (106.04g), and Cullinan II or the Lesser Star of Africa, 317.4 carats (63.48 g) are both part of the British Crown Jewels.

The Koh-i-noor a 105 carat (21.6 g) white stone, which was originally presented to Queen Victoria during the time of the British Raj, is now in the crown of Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother.

The Tiffany Yellow Diamond was cut into a cushion shape of 128.54 carats (25.708 g) with 90 facets which is 32 more than a traditional round brilliant, this was done in order to maximize its brilliance.  This stone was also worn by Audry Hepburn in 1961 publicity photographs for the film Breakfast at Tiffany’s.  It is now on display at Tiffany’s New York store.

The Tiffany Yellow Diamond

References

Hope Diamond originally came from French crown Associated Press

The National Gem Collection/Jeffery E Post, 1997 Smithsonian Institution

Thompson, Ryan (2004). “The Tiffany Yellow”, Famous Diamonds.

Pictures taken from Wikipedia under the Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 2.5 License.

Breakfast at Tiffany’s, www.imdb.com/media/rm2443024384/tt0054698

Specific Gravity

3.52

Refractive Values

2.42

birefringence (doubly refractive gems only)

None

Lustre

Adamantine

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