1. How are diamonds formed?
The formation process that diamonds go through is absolutely amazing! Diamonds are the only element discovered that consist of one single element, Carbon, that form between 120-200 kms below the earth’s surface.
Obviously, the farther below the earth’s surface you go, the hotter the temperature gets, majorly increasing the pressure from all of the layers of surface above. This extreme heat and large weight of pressure cause carbon atoms to crystallise – which is how we get these beautiful diamonds that we treasure.
2. How are diamonds mined?
Not many people really think too much about the extraction part of the diamond process when putting a diamond on their finger but extraction is exactly what mining diamonds is. Before it can even be worthy of catching your eye, diamonds are pretty unrecognisable when inside of a mine.
Because it takes great skill and patience to gather diamonds without damaging them, there are two types of mining that are the most commonly used methods: Pipe mining and alluvial mining. Pipe mining is the more dramatic of the two since it involves recovering diamonds from volcanic pipes. Miners have to be lowered deep within the cave to be able to find these valuable stones.
Alluvial mining is a little less intense and one that most people are likely to be more familiar with since it’s done above the earth’s surface. This type involves the screen you’ve actually seen before at riverbeds and ocean beaches, where people sway them back and forth, sifting in search of diamonds and other treasures.
3. Can diamonds break easily?
This is a very important question because the popular thought is that diamonds are invincible when surprisingly, they’re not! Remember that even Superman has his weaknesses!
While they are the strongest gemstone known to man, they can still go through wear and tear just like any other precious stone and yes, diamonds absolutely can be broken if hit hard enough with a hammer (not that anyone would likely want to do this!).
Not only can they be damaged, they can also damage other gemstones if sitting too close together. For example, if a person is wearing two rings next to each other – a diamond ring on the ring finger and a ruby ring on the middle finger – and both rings accidentally turn towards each other, the diamond will win that battle, hands down.
4. What are the 4 C’s?
Instead of constantly spelling out all four components that make up a diamonds value (cut, clarity, colour, carat), it’s commonly known as the 4 C’s in the jewellery world.
The cut of a diamond is perhaps the most important ‘C’ of the bunch. This is what determines a diamond’s beauty and when cut to perfection, will enhance the diamond’s colour and hide inclusions at the same time.
Since everything is based on the diameter of the diamond, the perfect diameter for a 1ct. round diamond is exactly 6.50mm – not 6.48mm or 6.55mm – but 6.50mm. This allows for the perfect proportion to then be cut, resulting in a diamond that is now able to break up white light into the appropriate colour spectrum very strongly rather than very weakly.
The clarity of a diamond has to do with how ‘clear’ a diamond is. Any inclusions or imperfection within the diamond can lower its overall grade which decreases the diamonds value. In layman’s terms, the more clarity a diamond has, the more the diamond is worth.
The colour of a diamond is simply just that: the colour. Diamonds come in a beautiful variety of colours, to include just about any colour you can think of. To distinguish the difference between their colours, the terms Faint through Fancy and Fancy through Fancy Vivid are given to these gorgeous coloured diamonds.
And finally, the carat, refers to the weight of the diamond (see question #7).
5. What process do diamonds go through to get that, ‘Girl’s Best Friend’ sparkling, Fire and Brilliance finish?
Believe it or not, diamonds don’t pop out of the earth, glittering and ready to be sold! Diamonds are actually pretty dirty rocks that take an enormous amount of fixing up to get it engagement ring ready. Of course, diamonds are valuable as rough, raw stones but cutting and polishing them improve the diamond’s value by a minimum of 50%!
In order to get the full price and value put into a diamond, it takes an extreme amount of expertise and patience (this process can sometimes take up to an entire year to finish!) until the diamond is ready to be placed into a jewellery setting.
The first important C’s of any diamond is its cut, followed closely by the diamond’s colour. This is what gives each diamond, what I refer to as, that ‘Fire and Brilliance’. The cut and colour of every diamond is its heart and soul which makes these two C’s matter greatly in just how important a good diamond is.
Because diamonds rate a full 10 on the Mohs scale of hardness, very precise tools, such as diamond saws and lasers, are used to cut the shape of the diamond. A Russian mathematician, Marcel Tolkowsky, worked out a formula in the early 1900′s that’s used nowadays to maximise the Fire and Brilliance of diamonds.
To give it that special dazzling factor, jewellery professionals use a special formula to determine where the facets should be placed on the diamond. The final process involves a fine, mechanically controlled saw, a laser or a rotating disk that is sprinkled with diamond powder.
6. What constitutes the carat of a diamond?
This is a very short answer with a single explanation: Technically speaking, a diamond’s carat is the term used to express the weight of a diamond, with one carat equalling 200 milligrams of actual weight. If a diamond is extremely small, it can then be expressed by points, i.e. 0.01 or one-hundredth of a carat.
7. Is there a difference between certified and uncertified diamonds?
Those who aren’t in the professional world of jewellery have a hard time fully grasping the concept of certified and uncertified diamonds. The reason that the difference between both kinds of diamonds might throw people off is because these words sound more like more valuable and less valuable. This is a diamond myth that has absolutely nothing to do with a diamond’s value, whatsoever!
Certified diamonds are graded diamonds. In other words, diamonds with a piece of paper that reputable gemmology labs grade a diamond’s quality with. This may sound a little disappointing but it’s actually the biggest difference between certified and uncertified.
Now, here is where this myth that certified diamonds cost more lies: Diamond wholesalers who possess a certified diamond will occasionally charge more for a certified diamond because the buyer knows without a doubt that everything about the diamond is authentic. This has nothing to do with the certification and has everything to do with the seller.
8. What are the three most famous diamonds in the world?
There are so many famous diamonds but sticking to the three biggest and most magnificent diamonds:
The Cullinan diamond: This is, without a doubt, the biggest diamond to have ever been discovered to date. Coming in at 3,106.75 carats of pure white diamond, it was then cut into nine smaller (figuratively speaking) diamonds with the two biggest rocks taking on famous names themselves: The Great Star of Africa (or Cullinan I) weighing 530 carats and the Lesser Star of Africa (or Cullinan II) weighing 317 carats
The Golden Jubilee: The reason for this diamond’s fame isn’t just on carat weight alone but for its colour. The Golden Jubilee is the biggest brown diamond to make its way to the earth’s surface with a whopping weight of 345.67 carats!
The Incomparable: This amazing yellow diamond was first discovered in its 890 carat glory but after being cut and polished, still holds firmly in third place with 407.48 carats of pure beauty.
9. Are diamonds a good investment?
Absolutely! Diamonds will always be valuable and is the one precious stone that will always remain in tact and at the top of the gem hierarchy. They’re a completely tangible investment because of this very reason.
Even if there is a slight fall in inflation, diamonds are guaranteed to ALWAYS go back up on the rise. Even if it’s hard to find a buyer right off the bat, it’s like any other investment that takes patience. The rewards that can be reaped by diamond investments can cover pensions, send children to college and provide a life of financial security if the right investment techniques are used.
10. Where can people find the best quality diamonds?
The most important advice for those who are looking for the best quality diamonds that nature has to offer, is to begin their search with the most reputable jewellery professional in town. Clients need to feel a sense of security and trust with their jewellery professional before rushing into any purchase so that they’re left 100% satisfied with their purchase with all questions answered.