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All About Diamonds – Part one

By Michaela Farkasovska || Jul 29, 2019

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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