All About Diamonds – Part one

Diamonds have everything to do with jewelry, jewelry care, beauty, and investments. And, with online jewelry stores, buying precious stones has become seemingly easier than ever.

Are you looking to buy diamonds online?

First, engage in intensive research to learn everything you can about diamonds, and that’s what this comprehensive article is all about. We’ve gathered everything you need to learn about diamonds before buying the precious stones online.

What are Diamonds?

Derived from an ancient Greek word ‘Adamas,’ the word diamond means invincible, indestructible or unbreakable. Made up of simple carbon atoms like those found in graphite or coal, diamonds are the hardest rocks on earth. They’re crystalline carbons.

They have unique attributes that render them the most valuable substances on the planet. Unlike graphite with stronger molecular bonds, diamonds have a 3D molecular structure.

As a result, graphite is brittle in nature due to its flat structure. On the other hand, diamonds neither scratch easily nor get stained with impurities. According to the Moh’s hardness scale, diamonds are ranked 10th followed by sapphire or rubies, with talc at the bottom of the list.

Diamond is said to be 58 times harder than corundum, the mineral used to form sapphires. It’s worth noting that only diamonds can scratch diamonds.

Apart from their hardness, diamonds are popular for their luster and ability to disperse light (brilliance; explains why diamond structures are often referred to as prisms), atop having great thermal conductivity. Diamonds are also available in various colors such as blue, brown, red, orange, green, yellow and pink, among other bright hues. However, most diamonds are colorless.

Small traces of different elements or impurities sometimes mix with diamonds, resulting in colored diamonds. Despite being few, the elements are often found between the molecular structure of diamonds.

For instance, brown and yellow diamonds often contain nitrogen, an element responsible for the yellowish color. Boron results in blue diamonds. On the other hand, green diamonds result from exposure to radiation.

Most diamonds, at about 80%, are either impure or too small to be used as gemstones. Instead, they find a wide industrial application. The other 20% of diamonds are large and pure, but rare and thus highly valued. Carats is the unit of measuring diamonds; a carat equals to a fifth of a gram.

Sources of Diamonds and Uses

Where do diamonds come from?

Natural diamonds are found in igneous rock structures known as lamproites or kimberlites. The rock structures usually develop due to volcanic eruptions. The diamonds can also be washed away through water or erosion in a process known as placer deposits. Large meteor impacts also tend to carry small diamonds in small amounts.

Although synthetic diamonds are produced artificially, they’re available in small quantities. Diamonds can take up to 3 billion years to form naturally in the earth’s upper mantle. They’re formed under high heat and pressure to develop their unique 3D structure. Volcanic eruptions then bring them closer to the earth’s surface.

Meteorite impacts under similar heat and pressure as the earth’s core or mantle also form small diamonds. The diamond formation process is also simulated in controlled settings with high heat and pressure to form synthetic diamonds. A mathematical and scientific process is used to cut diamonds in precise places because the gems are brittle.

Over 35 countries worldwide are major sources of diamonds, with Australia, China, the United States, Russia, South Africa, Canada, and Brazil topping the list. South Africa is the largest source of diamonds worldwide, with the greatest number of large mines. It produces about 49% of the world’s diamonds.

What are diamonds used for?

India is believed to be the first place where diamonds were used to engrave tools and as religious items. Although it’s still in use today, it has few applications. Diamonds are used to make exquisite jewelry such as necklaces or rings due to the gem’s luster and durability.

The highest number of diamonds, usually available in small sizes, finds use in industrial areas. For instance, they’re used to grind, cut and drill other substances due to their hardness. Therefore, most drills and cutting blades are made with small diamonds on the edges and tips for added strength.

Diamond Crystals

Diamonds commonly take the shape of an octahedron, but they can also be found in dodecahedra, cubes and a combination of any of these shapes. Depicting a true cubic crystal system, diamond shapes are symmetrical with equal dimensions in three distinct yet perpendicular directions.

The gems can also take the shape of etched crystals with round faces or composite (twin) crystals known as macle with flat surfaces. You can also find them in trigon (triangular-like) and elongated shapes.

Since the 19th century, diamonds have increased in supply. Diamond polishing and cutting techniques have also improved over the years. Coupled with successful and innovative marketing campaigns and increased growth in the economy of the world, diamonds have grown in popularity.

Every year, about 130 million carats of diamonds are mined worldwide, translating to USD $9 billion in value. Approximately 100,000 kg of synthetic diamonds is also processed artificially on a yearly basis. According to the Bain 2013 Global Diamond Report, the industry is worth more than USD $70 billion.

The Use of Diamonds Today to Make Jewelry

Diamonds are popular in jewelry-making. Due to the durability of diamonds and ability to last a lifetime, they’re associated with love. This explains why diamond engagement rings are highly sought-after.

So, what makes diamond perfect gemstones for jewelry? Let’s find out.

Durability

As mentioned before, diamonds are the hardest elements on earth. The hard and durable nature of diamonds can be attributed to its slow process of formation that goes up to 3 billion years.

As a result, diamonds are resistant to cracks, scratches, and even breakages unless they’re from other diamonds. The molecular structure of diamonds resulting from intense heat and pressure cause covalent bonds to link carbon atoms.

Beauty

Diamonds are among the most attractive gemstones you can lay your eyes on. They have a desirable crystal clear appearance, meaning the gems are clear, beautiful and bright with few flaws. The right cut makes a diamond to sparkle due to internal light refraction on the prism.

Light refraction, the number of angles on the stone’s walls, depth of the stone and precise cuts improve the brilliance and shine of diamonds, making them even more attractive. The weight and density of diamonds in carats also render the gems ideal for jewelry-making.

Cultural Importance

The first use of diamonds dates back 3 centuries ago in India. The crown of the Hungarian Queen was the first jewel to be made from diamonds in 1047. In 1477, about 7 decades after the diamond was first cut professionally in 1407, Mary Burgundy received a diamond engagement ring from her fiancé, Archduke Maximillian.

In 1947, De Beers championed a marketing campaign where a copywriter created the phrase “A diamond is forever” for the first time. It was after the campaign that diamonds spiraled in popularity.

Often worn on special occasions, diamond jewelry is treasured, thanks to their beauty, rarity, explicit link to romance and love, and hardness. Professional jewelers use GIA certified diamonds to make high-quality custom diamond engagement rings for a unique piece that’s perfect for you.

Other Interesting Uses of Diamonds beyond Making Jewelry

Beautiful diamond jewelry can easily brighten your life and turn around a bad day. Apart from diamonds’ extensive use as a symbol of commitment and love, its distinct strength and properties have seen it find use in many other ways. Here’re other innovative and creative diamond uses you probably didn’t know:

1. Nanodiamonds (tiny particles of diamonds) are used in chemotherapy to effectively treat cancer because the crystals stick treatment inside the patient.

2. Nanodiamonds are used to monitor the progression of cancerous cells due to their reflective properties and compatibility with human cells.

3. Diamonds are being tested for use as eye implants and bionic eyes.

4. The tips of dentistry tools are tipped with diamonds to drill cavities and polish them.

5. Diamonds are used to make beauty products such as diamond-flecked sprays, diamond facials and diamond dust exfoliators for treating cellulite.

6. Diamonds are used in audiophiles and DJ equipment because they can vibrate at fast speeds without distorting the quality of sound.

7. Diamonds are used to make polishing, cutting and drilling tools used in the mining and military industries. They’re also used to cut and polish diamonds used in jewelry-making.

8. Diamonds replace silicon in computers due to high resistance to voltages and heat, resulting in faster, lighter, powerful and simpler computers.

Benefits of Diamond Jewelry – Why Buy Diamond Jewelry?

Diamonds are beautiful and shine. Whether you’re buying a diamond jewel for yourself or to give out as a gift to a loved one, there’re many mystical benefits of diamonds you’re bound to benefit from as follows:

1. Diamonds are strong and perfect, reflecting your personality.

2. Diamond jewelry can improve your energy, endurance, and prosperity; they have astrological and spiritual benefits for those who believe.

3. They’re meaningful and a good form of investment (diamonds are durable, storable and can be used as a form of currency).

4. Diamond jewelry can be worn on any occasion and make beautiful memories.

Diamonds also have magical and mystical benefits, especially when worn as jewelry. They also attract abundance, creativity, courage, and purity. Diamond soaked in water is used as a heart tonic in the East. It can heal many illnesses, including cardiovascular diseases, depression, leukemia, etc.

 

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Jewelry Care Instructions: All You Need to Know

Is it important to care for your jewelry? And, do you know how to care for your jewelry?

The need to care for your jewelry goes without saying. Whether you own diamond, silver, fine or heirloom jewelry, it needs proper care.

Even though some jewelry is created to last a lifetime, they can wear out due to various factors not limited to wear and tear. They fade over time despite initially looking beautiful.

With proper handling, cleaning and wearing with care, your jewelry can last a lifetime. When worn, put in storage or transported, jewelry requires proper care.

Caring for your jewelry ensures they don’t lose their shine and keep shining for years. Learning to care for your jewelry will ensure that you get to enjoy the full benefits that come with owning unique pieces of art, atop preserving them for future generations.

Here’re jewelry care instructions you can follow to ensure your jewelry always look as good as new with consistent quality and luster.

How to Take Care of Your Jewelry – Necklaces, Earrings, Rings, Bracelets, etc.

 

Diamond Jewelry Care

Diamond is the hardest natural material, but still susceptible to damages. Although rare, diamonds can also chip, crack and even scratch.

Fine Jewelry that’s often worn such as engagement and wedding rings are susceptible to chips. Diamonds in rings can chip at the girdle, the widest and thinnest point on a diamond. With a chip, a diamond can then break especially when it is subjected to hard blow or great pressure. Therefore, proper care is recommended when engaging in manual work, sports or even heavy lifting.

Store your diamond jewelry separately from other jewelry to prevent scratches. If you’re unable to store your hard gemstones separately, wrap them with anti-tarnish paper before storage to prevent scratches.

Use alcohol to safely clean diamonds, sapphires along with rubies and other nonporous and hard materials. Alcohol or a weak solution of ammonia can clear away fingerprints and body oils from your diamond jewelry. Harsh chemicals and chlorine can also corrode and fade your jewelry. Therefore, avoid using harsh cleaners and solutions with chlorine.

To give your diamond jewelry a sparkle, dip it in a bowl of warm water mixed with mild dish detergent and leave it for a few minutes. Scrub it gently with a soft toothbrush. Rinse the jewelry with clean warm water and dry with a soft cloth to polish it.

You can also use a polishing kit or an ultrasonic cleaner to remove any tarnish on your diamond jewelry or give it an extra shine. Alternatively, take it to a reputable jeweler for polishing. This is more so true for diamond rings and earrings.

Sterling Silver Care

Silver tarnishes fast upon getting in contact with sulfur or oxygen. Wear your sterling silver jewelry often to ensure the oils your skin produces protects it from tarnishing. Keep your jewelry in an airtight container for jewelry such as a Ziploc to store it when not in use.

Add anti-tarnishing strips to a plastic bag to prevent your jewelry from tarnishing. Use a jewelry polishing cloth to clean your silver jewelry if it’s tarnished.

Don’t use polyester, paper or coarse fabrics to clean your sterling silver jewelry because the metal is soft and can easily scratch. Use 100% nub-free flannel or cotton cloth to gently rub dirt off your jewelry and restore its shine. Be careful because even the dirt deposits can easily scratch your art pieces.

Keep your jewelry in airtight plastic bags, anti-tarnish jewelry bags or boxes to prevent your jewelry from oxidizing and darkening. Don’t use harsh chemicals to clean your silver jewelry to prevent abrasions and a reduction in metallic luster. If it’s exposed to water when polishing with warm water and a gentle detergent, dry it thoroughly with a soft cotton cloth after rinsing

Oxidized Silver Care

Oxidized silver with a matte, black finish doesn’t require polishing. Use lukewarm water and a clean cloth to clean your matte jewelry without using cleaning agents and soap that can easily eliminate its oxidization patina.

With continued use, your jewelry can easily lose its patina and become shiny. Take it to a reputable jeweler for re-oxidization. Don’t store your sterling silver jewelry with oxidized silver jewelry because the latter can easily tarnish the former.

Gold Jewelry Care

Learn how to care for gold jewelry with these gold jewelry care tips.

Gold is a soft metal that can easily scratch or dent. Harsh chemicals such as chlorine can easily tamper with the structure of your gold jewelry. Cleaning is only recommended when your gold jewelry visibly has dirt on it. Body lotion, oil from your skin and makeup can easily make your gold jewelry dirty.

If your gold is pure without gemstones in its structure, clean it with soap and lukewarm water. Gently scrub it with a soft toothbrush. Otherwise, wipe it with a clean damp cloth without soaking it. For soaked gold jewelry, rinse with clean water to remove all traces of soap then dry it with a soft cloth.

Let the gemstone parts of your gold jewelry be on the upper side to prevent absorption of moisture.

Other Gemstone Jewelry Care

Soft, gemstones like pearls, coral, ivory, opals or turquoise require gentle care. Avoid storing them in tight zip-lock bags. Instead, store them in a breathable place. Most of the gemstones can be cleaned as explained in the general jewelry care instructions below, but certain gems cannot.

Coral, pearl, and turquoise, for example, should only be wiped down with a damp cloth and dried thoroughly. This is because, if submerged in water, its chemicals and minerals will remain in the gemstone and will end up ruining it over a period of time. Hence, wiping with a soft cloth after wearing is all that these stones need.

Top 4 General Jewelry Care Tips for Different Materials

The following jewelry care instructions can apply to your jewelry items.

1. Store Your Jewelry Correctly

Avoid entanglements, scratches, and damage of your jewelry by storing it in separate pouches and consider investing in a jewelry box with compartments that can safely organize and store your pieces.

Hard gemstones, such as diamonds, sapphires should not be stored with soft ones, e.g.: moonstone, opal in order to avoid damage from possible contact with another. If you do not have a pouch or a jewelry box available, wrapping each piece of jewelry separately in the soft anti-tarnish paper is a good option.

It is normal for sterling silver jewelry to tarnish over time, which you can prevent by storing it in air-tight zip log bag.

All Michaela Farkasovska Fine Jewelry comes in a padded box when purchased, which can be used for future storage or when traveling, to prevent damage or loss. We recommend removing jewelry before, undertaking strenuous activities, showering or going to sleep.

2. Stay Clear of Chemicals

A simple rule to keep your jewelry clean is to avoid having it on when applying hairspray, makeup, lotions, washing dishes or cleaning with any chemicals. This will prevent oil and dirt build-up when using lotions, and avoid stains, deterioration, or surface abrasions when using chemicals.

Swimming in chlorinated pools and using household cleaners while wearing valuable jewelry should be avoided at all costs.

3. Use Simple Cleaning Methods

Jewelry made of gold, sterling silver, platinum, or palladium, can be safely cleaned with warm soapy water. Use mild soap and a soft brush (can be replaced with a water-pulsed dental brush or a lint-free cloth) to gently clean away dirt and dust. Always quickly rinse in a cup to avoid potential loss of a gemstone.

However, annual professional cleaning should be considered for important pieces and best upkeep.

Although professional ultrasonic cleaning kits can be purchased online, use them with caution as they should not be used on every metal nor gemstone in your jewelry. The vibrations from the device may also cause loosening of certain gemstones or corroding of metal.

When in doubt, we recommend reaching out to a professional jeweler for advice or cleaning.

4. Keep Away from Extreme Temperatures/ Sudden Temperature Changes

Extreme and sudden temperature changes can cause fractures in certain gemstones. Prolonged exposure to sunlight can lead to bleaching (in delicate materials such as pearls or ivory) or darkening (in materials like amber).

Certain gemstones, for example, topaz, can suffer from color fading or damage. Pearls and opals can dry out and become brittle or opaque.

The DO’s

1. Sort your jewelry according to the material.
2. Take them off before engaging in a sport.
3. Use a clean, soft cloth for cleaning to maximize the shine on your jewelry.
4. Keep them in airtight bags.
5. Clasp chains to avoid tangling.
6. Always opt for safe jewelry cleaning methods.
7. Take off jewelry before going to bed.
8. Take jewelry off first and put it on last.
9. Wipe your jewelry after every use and make sure it’s always dry.
10. Use a jewelry case when traveling to store your art pieces.
11. Insure expensive jewelry or those with special memories, values or meanings.
12. Lay pearls flat during storage so that the silk thread doesn’t stretch.
13. Treat colored gemstones to enhance their clarity and color.
14. Regularly take your jewelry to a reputable jeweler for inspection.
15. Polish silver and platinum jewelry on a regular basis to prevent tarnish.
16. Use mild soapy water and a soft brush to clean gemstone jewelry.

The DON’Ts

1. Avoid exposing your jewelry to harsh chemicals such as perfumes, hair lotions, sunlight and harsh detergents.
2. Keep threaded or beaded pearl jewelry away from water to keep its shine.
3. Avoid cleaning jewelry with damages such as scratches, chips or cracks.
4. Avoid using water to clean pearls (only damp cloths).
5. Don’t swim, shower or garden in your jewelry.
6. Never use abrasive cleaners such as washing brushes.
7. Don’t wash antique jewelry unless that’s recommended by a specialist.
8. Avoid cleaning gold jewelry with silver “dip” cleaners.

Treat your jewelry treasures with gentle care and TLC, best wrapping, and store them separately. This way, you can enjoy wearing them for many years. Whether your jewelry is made of gold, silver, pearls or diamond, learn how to care for it properly to ensure it lasts.

If you’re still unsure of how to care for your jewelry, contact us for more information on jewelry care instruction. Otherwise, feel free to order your favorite piece of jewelry if you’re looking for where to buy jewelry online.

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