|Diamond comes from Greek term adamas which means invincible or unconquerable and thus symbolizes the type of love proposed when offered as an
engagement or eternity ring. Diamonds are weighed in carats and they are almost solid carbon. Surprisingly they have the same, albeit arranged differently,
chemical fingerprint as graphite and buckyballs. Diamonds are one of the hardest most durable substances known to man being a perfect 10 on the hardness
scale. Graphite is one of the softest carbons and somewhere in that carbon cycle are you and me, carbon based, lover of diamonds.
The brilliance of the most beautiful diamonds owe their beauty to yet another diamond, an industrial diamond, the only known natural substance which can
cleave and cut them.
For centuries the only known source of diamonds was India but in modern times South Africa is the largest supplier of quality diamonds and stones of
varying quality can be found in, what is known by miners as the Blue Rock and Blue Earth, in other areas of Africa, North and South America, Australia,
Russia and Borneo.
Diamonds come in an array of colors from colorless to almost black. The brown and gray varieties tend to be used as industrial diamonds and the pink and
blue ones are the most valuable. Red diamonds are very rare and only 25% of all diamonds can be considered as gem quality.
Diamonds have been used as currency, talismans, adornments and tools. From warding off evil spirits to decorating the crowns of kings and queens they
have been valued by many races and generations as being the most precious of possessions.
The universally recognized grading system for diamonds was established in Belgium in 1939 and is usually referred to as the 4’c.s Color, Clarity, Carat and
Although diamonds have been used in society for centuries it was not until the 14th century in Europe that they were cut professionally and used in jewelry.
The lapidary or gem cutter cleaves the diamonds into a variety of designs of which the most popular modern cut is the brilliant. The gem cutter’s job is to
ensure that the stone is cut into facets underneath the girdle (the widest point) in such a precise way as to allow the most light to enter and maximize its
refraction, reflection and therefore its brilliance, fire and scintillation. It is a common misconception that cut means the shape of the finished gem this is not
the case. The cut is the manner in which the gem is cleaved regarding symmetry and uniformity. The shapes into which the gems are mainly cut are princess,
marquis, oval, pear, radiant, trilliant, cushion, heart, emerald, Asscher and the most popular as the classic and timeless engagement ring, round.
Diamonds are graded in the following classifications:
FL - flawless diamond
IF - internally flawless diamond
VVS1 - VVS2 – diamonds with very, very slight inclusions
VS1 - VS2 – diamonds with very slight inclusions
SI1 - SI3 – diamonds with slight inclusions
I1 - I3 – diamonds with inclusions
Care of your diamonds:
Keep your diamond clean at all times.Wash with very mild detergent or a solution of one part ammonia and six parts water
Try not to touch the surface of your diamond as even natural oil in your fingertip will leave a smudge and dull its brilliance.
Gently clean with a natural bristle brush (avoid vigorous brushing) So gentle cleaning is a must.
Rinse with fresh clean water
Dry with a soft cleaning cloth.
Store them safely and carefully and away from other jewelry items which they could touch and scratch.
If you clean your jewelry by a sink make sure that the plug is in situ.
Vigorous brushing may loosen the stones settings.
Make sure that you remove your rings before using hand and body lotion and creams and wait at least 15 minutes for the lotion and cream to be
absorbed before replacing them.
When you spray hairspray, perfume, insect repellent etc remove your jewelry and place, preferably in your jewelry pouch, away from the spray.
To maintain your stones in pristine condition remember to remove them before sunbathing, gardening or performing any household chores.
It is also a good idea to remove them before any gym or sports activity as perspiration can cause a build up and dull the brilliance of your gems.
Before wearing your jewelry double check that the settings and safety clasps are secure as a moments thought can prevent an avoidable loss and at
least once a year take them to a jeweler for professional cleaning and a setting check.
Several of the largest known diamonds:
The Cullinan: 3,106 carats. Cut into 9 major diamonds. Largest uncut Diamond
The Star of Sierra Leone: 968.8 carats was cut into 17 gems.
The Excelsior: 995.2 carats but was cut into 10 pieces and later into 21
The Incomparable: 890 carats was cut into 15 gems
The Great Mogul: 793 carats. Its whereabouts is a mystery.
The Woyie River: 770-carat diamond
The De Beers Millennium Star: 777 carats. De Beers cut this almost flawless gem into a 203 carat pear shape stone
The Sefadu: 620 carats
The Lesotho Promise: 603 carats
The Centenary: 599.1 carats
The Star of Africa: 530.20 carats is in the Royal Scepter and is part of the English Crown Jewels and is securely kept in the Tower of London
The Golden Jubilee: 545.67 carats. Largest cut diamond.
The Kimberley: 490 carats
The Regent: 410 carats
The Premier Rose: 353.9 carats
The Tiffany: 247.82 carats
The Jubilee: 245 carats.
The Taylor/Burton/Cartier: 240.8 carats
The Oppenheimer: 253 carats
The Orloff: 194 carats was purchased by Count Orloff and presented to Catherine the Great. There are several theories but no conclusive
evidence as to its present day whereabouts.
The Darya-e-Noor: 186 carats
The Taj-e-Mah: 146 carats.
The "Florentine: 139 carats
The Great Chrysanthemum: 104 carats
The Idols Eye: 70.2 carats
The Sancy: 55 carats
The Blue Hope: 45.52 carats
The Uncle Sam: 40.23 carats
The Dresden Green: 41 carats
The Hortensia: 20 carats
The Kahn Canary: 4.25 carats – flawless diamond
Diamonds have been here forever and black diamonds may even have been one of the universe’s earliest hitchhikers arriving here on a wing, a prayer and a
meteorite. When we choose a diamond as a symbol of our endless love and devotion it represents so much more than a pretty bauble. A diamond is part of
the fabric of the universe, a unique mirror of timeless quality reflecting the beauty and sparkle of the stars above.