The April birthstone, diamond is the gift of choice for the 60th and 75th wedding anniversaries. And, today the diamond engagement ring has become a near-universal symbol of love and marriage. Sparking with an internal fire all its own, the diamond is one of the world's most sought-after and adored gemstones. Those born in April are lucky enough to call this scintillating gem their birthstone, a symbol of clarity and strength. Diamond is so strong, in fact, that its name comes from the Greek word "adamas," which means "invincible" or "unbreakable". The timeless charm of the diamond was cherished long before it became the April birthstone, and the places where the diamond comes from are as fascinating as the lore that surrounds it.
The world's love of diamonds had its start in India. Where diamonds were gathered from the country's rivers and streams. Some historians estimate that India was trading in diamonds as early as the fourth century BC. Indian diamonds found their way, along with other exotic merchandise, to western Europe in the caravans that traveled to Venice's medieval market. By the 1400s, diamonds had become fashionable accessories for Europe's elite. In the early 1700s, as India's diamond supplies began to decline, Brazil emerged as an important source. Brazil dominated the diamond market for more than 150 years. The discovery of diamonds near Kimberley, South Africa, in the late 1860s marked the beginning of the modern diamond market. Entrepreneur Cecil Rhodes established De Beers Consolidated Mines Limited in 1888, and by 1900 De Beers controlled an estimated 90 percent of the world’s production of rough diamonds.
Diamond is the only gem made of a single element: carbon. Diamond is typically about 99.95 percent carbon. The other 0.05 percent can include one or more trace elements, which are atoms that aren't part of a diamond's essential chemistry. Some of them can influence its color or shape. Diamond professionals use a special set of four value factors to describe and classify diamonds: color, clarity, cut, and carat weight. These are known as the four Cs. When used together, they describe the quality of a fished diamond. Which is directly related to its value.
1) Color: Many people think of diamonds as colorless. In reality, truly colorless diamonds are quite rare. In the 1950s, GIA established a color-grading system for diamonds. The GIA diamond color grading system is the universal standard in the jewelry industry. And, diamond color grades in the normal color range from D (colorless) to Z ( light yellow to brown or gray). We need to know the three elements that make up the colors we see every day. those elements are hue, tone, and saturation. Fancy-colored diamonds are far rare than diamonds in the normal color range. GIA uses the following grade terms to describe fancy-colored diamonds: Faint, Very Light, Light, Fancy Light, Fancy, Fancy Intense, Fancy Dark, Fancy Deep, and Fancy Vivid.
Diamond Types:Gemologists place diamonds in categories they call Type Ia, Ib, IIa, and IIb. Each category has its own characteristics and color variations. The classification system is based on the presence (or absence) and type of impurity element in a diamond.
TYPE IMPURITY ELEMENTS.COMMON COLORS
Ia (Abundant) Plentiful nitrogen. Near-colorless to yellow.
Ib (Rare) Less nitrogen. More yellow than Ia.
IIa (Very rare) Little or no nitrogen. Colorless, Brown, or gray.
IIb (Very rare) Little or no nitrogen. Blue.
Blue Diamonds: The color of most natural blue diamonds is caused by the presence of boron impurities, the more boron, the deeper the blue. The GIA Laboratory graded the Hope diamond, perhaps the most famous blue diamond in the world. Gemologists assume that their blue color by natural radiation was present when they formed.
Green Diamond: Green diamonds are typically light in tone and low in saturation. Their color often appears muted, with a grayish or brownish cast. The hue is generally in the yellowish-green category. Most green diamonds get their color when radiation displaces atoms from their normal position in the crystal lattice, as a result of treatment by irradiation. The Dresden Green diamond is the largest and most famous green diamond in history and has a beautiful, bottle-green hue throughout. The rare, uniform green hue is actually caused by exposure to radiation over a long geological time span.
Yellow Diamond: Yellow is the diamond's second most common fancy color. yellow diamonds are sometimes marketed as "canary". Most yellow color in diamonds is related to the presence of nitrogen. A few brownish-yellow diamonds have been found to contain hydrogen-related defects.
Brown Diamond: Brown is the most common colored diamond color and also the earliest to be used in jewelry. Brown diamonds were typically considered industrial quality until the 1980s, when abundant quantities of them began to appear in the production of the Argyle mines in Australia. They gave them names like "cognac" and "champagne". Brown diamonds are found in many medium-priced jewelry designs today.
Black Diamond: Until the late 1990s, there was not much demand for black diamonds. But designers started using them in jewelry, especially contrasted with colorless melee in pave' settings, and they began to gain popularity. The most famous black Orlov diamond is the 67.50 Cts.
Pink, Red, purple, and Orange Diamonds: Pure pink, red, purple, and orange are more popular than diamonds that are brownish or grayish.
2) Clarity: Diamonds have internal features, called inclusions, and surface irregularities, called blemishes. Together, they are called clarity characteristics. Clarity is the relative absence of inclusions and blemishes. Five factors determine the overall effect of characteristics on a clarity grade. The five factors are Size, Number, Location (Position), Relief, and Nature.
3) Cut: A well-cut diamond can make light perform in breathtaking ways, resulting in a magnificent display of three diamond attributes: brightness, fire, and scintillation. And, the three major parts of a polished diamond, top to bottom, are the crown, the girdle, and the pavilion. Some polished diamonds also have a flat facet at the bottom of the pavilion, called the culet. The standard full cut is by far the most popular diamond cut. It has 57 or 58 facets, depending on whether there's a culet or not. Very small round diamonds are sometimes fashioned as single cuts, with just 17 or 18 facets.
4) Carat Weight: Diamond weights are stated in metric carat, abbreviated "Cts". One metric carat is one-fifth (0.200) of a gram. The metric carat is divided into 100 points. A point ( abbreviated "Pt" ) is one-hundredth of a carat.
Durability: Durability is a gemstone's ability to withstand wear, heat, and chemicals. It varies from gem to gem, depending on chemical composition and structure. Durability consists of three properties: Hardness, Toughness, and Stability.
Treatment: Scientists began to understand how some of those color-causing conditions might be reproduced in the lab. Since then, scientists have experimented with many ways to change or modify diamond color. These are Irradiation, Annealing, HP( Heat and Pressure), Laser Drilling, and Fracture Filling.
Diamond Sources: Canada, Botswana, Australia, Congo, South Africa, Central African Republic, and Russia.