No gemstone in the world is more valuable than that of diamonds.
It’s a crystal that is made of carbon atoms and then arranged in a cubic matrix. Brilliant to the naked eye, they are the hardest substance on the planet. The combination of its molecular composition and its crystal structure is what makes a diamond so unique. They are extremely resistant to scratches, and they do not easily chip, crack or break.
What’s even more amazing about them is that they are not affected by harsh chemicals like sulphuric and hydrochloric acids. These would completely dissolve the skin and bones of a human being. Actually, those acids are used as cleaning agents to get rid of the oil and dust off of diamonds after they have been cut.
Where Are Diamonds Found
Diamonds are found deep in the ground, where they are exposed to intense heat and pressure for billions of years. Over a very long period of time the diamonds are forced upward towards the surface in a volcanic-like explosion.
This explosion creates what is known as a ‘pipe,’ a deep and wide hole in which the diamonds settle.
The deposits of diamonds are known as primary deposits. Sometimes diamonds can be washed away by water and end up near the coastline of a nearby body of water. These are called alluvial diamond deposits.
The world’s largest deposits are in African countries. South Africa, Angola, Botswana and Namibia produce close to eighty percent of the world’s diamonds.
Diamonds Lose More Than Half Their Weight When Cut
When you walk into a jewelry store and see the diamonds on display, you probably wouldn’t think these stones are rare. But, more than two-hundred tons of ore must be mined and processed to get just one carat of rough diamond.
When you consider that a diamond loses more than half of its weight when it’s cut, it means that all of that effort is necessary to produce just a single .50 carat diamond that you see in the store’s display counter.
Only about a quarter of all diamonds are suitable for cutting. That’s why the price tags on some diamond engagement rings can run up to thousands of dollars when they finally get to the jewelry stores. How do diamonds get to be so polished and shiny?
Much of that hard work is done by diamond cutters and there are also machines that play an important role in this process. In the beginning cleaving or sawing is done to separate the original rough into smaller pieces. The next step is bruting, or cutting away the edges to give the gem a heart, oval or round shape.
Knowing The Difference Between Diamonds
It’s important to know the difference between a certified and a non-certified diamond. With the former you’ll have legal assurances as to the quality of the diamond you are purchasing. The quality of the latter will only be based on the word of the person selling it. A certified diamond will be accompanied by a grading report from an accredited gem lab.
It’s not necessarily a bad thing to possess a non-certified diamond, but the thing is, a grading report will add value to a diamond.
The verifications made by labs such as GIA or AGS are recognized globally. If you buy a non-certified diamond it might not be appraised at the same level at which the jeweler who sold it to you did.