Fun and Fascinating Facts About Diamonds

Fun and Fascinating Facts About Diamonds

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Fancy color diamonds from the Aurora Butterfly of Peace Diamond Collection, ranging from 0.62 to 2.00 ct. Courtesy of Alan Bronstein and Aurora Gems.

By Andrew Stratton

With their dazzling brilliance and simple beauty, diamonds appeal to many people. Their symbolism in engagement and wedding bands makes these gems popular in jewelry. Their history and details make for a fascinating study, which adds to consumer enjoyment.

Pressure and high temperatures of between 1,652 and 2,372 degrees Fahrenheit were responsible for the formation of diamonds that occurred billions of years in the past. Diamonds form at depths of as much as 120 miles below the surface of the Earth.

Jewelers measure weight in carats. This word originated from the Greek word “keratin,” which is a carob tree with seeds that were historically used as a standard for weighing precious gems. The carob seed was used because it varied only slightly in weight. Standardization of the carat as a weight occurred in 1913 with one carat being equivalent to .2 grams or .007 ounces.

The Hope Diamond is one of the most well-known gems. This stone has a blue-grayish color, and it initially weighed 112 carats before being reduced to 45.52 carats. Some people think that the Hope Diamond is cursed, bringing calamities and bad luck to its owners. Currently, this gem sits safely in the Smithsonian Institute, where it has been since 1958.

Diamonds contain almost 100 percent carbon, making them exceptionally hard and heat-resistant. Their melting point is 6,420 degrees Fahrenheit. A jeweler’s torch may be hot enough to burn this substance. Only another diamond can produce a scratch on this surface.

Most of these gems mined are not suitable for setting in jewelry. Up to 250 tons of soil will be moved to produce a single one-carat stone. Approximately 80 percent of the diamonds mined will be used for industrial uses and not for jewelry.

Grading of these gems includes scores for carat weight, cut, clarity, and color. Because carat denotes weight, stones of different size can have the same number of carats. Clarity describes inclusions and blemishes, which can be present both within the depths of the stone or on its surface. Clarity can make a major difference in overall value. Color ranges from colorless to heavily colored. The stones with the least color are the most valuable.

Cutting is an important factor in the overall brilliance of a stone. Poor cutting will result in a loss of light reflection, which reduces beauty significantly. Effective cutting will provide shape, symmetry, proportion, finish, and visible light reflection.

The original mining location of these gems was India. Trade of these brilliant stones caught on quickly in European markets. Eventually, the supply in India declined. New mines were discovered in Brazil and South Africa. A number of countries are among current producers, including Russia, Canada, China, the Ivory Coast, and Australia.

Ancient people attributed special powers to these stones. The Romans thought they could ward off evil spirits. Greeks were convinced that they were star splinters that fell to the Earth.

Everyone has different preferences for jewelry, but these multi-faceted gems appeal to many people for their dazzling beauty.

To learn more about their options for diamonds, Fayetteville, NC residents should visit http://walterguyjewelers.com/diamonds.

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