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About Diamond

uncut diamondAny Superman fan can tell you that diamonds are made naturally from applying force and heat to crystallize carbon. (Remember how Superman takes the lump of coal, squeezes ins hi hand and creates the big diamond!)

Diamonds are the hardest substance known to man and the oldest of all gemstones. They have been dated to between more thqn100 million years ago and before 3 billion years ago.

Diamonds are the original "10", their rating on the Mohs scale and the highest rating on that scale.  Because of their hardness, they were not used widely as jewels until about the 15th century when it was discovered one diamond could be used to shape another. 

Diamonds have both a high refractive index (the ability to bend and slow light beams within the gem) and very nigh dispersion (the ability to break white light into it's many colors) which give it that unique sparkle known to well-cut quality diamonds.

Diamonds were first discovered in India about 3,000 years ago but mines are now commonly mined in many parts of Africa, Australia, Botswana, Russia and South Africa.

he DeBeers Corporation is a multinational corporation controlling most of the world's rough cut diamonds.  Along with the World Diamond Council, they are working to certify conflict-free diamonds.

uncut diamondWar, blood or conflict diamonds are mined (often by forced slave labor) in war-torn countries (mostly in Africa) and the profits form the sale of the diamonds is used to fund the conflict.  Most countries have joined in banning the sale, exportation and importation of these blood diamonds.

Colorado and Arkansas also mine diamonds with the stone being the state gem of Arkansas (1967). In Crater of Diamonds State Park, (Murfreesboro, Arkansas), visitors can mine for diamonds and keep what they find.  More than 75,000 stones have been found with the 16.37 carat Amarillo Starlight discovered in 1975 the largest diamond to come out of the park.

When buying diamonds, most people look for the best than can afford of the 4 C's: Cut; Color; Carat and Clarity.

Although diamonds are most commonly thought of and desired in the clear or white color, they naturally occur in any number of colors including all hues of yellow, red, pink, blue, green and brown. Care must be taken and research done to make sure a purchase is for the real diamond and not a substitution, synthetic stone or clear stone treated to create a more desirable and costly color.


Diamond: Myth, Legend and Folklore

The Greeks named the diamond "adamas" translated as unconquerable and considered them teardrops from the Gods perhaps as a testament to how the gem was both precious and incredibly durable. heart shaped diamond

The romantic qualities of the diamond most appropriately may have come from the Romans themselves who believed that Eros, the God of Love, tipped his arrows with falling stars - or diamonds.

Diamonds' flashes of light and incredible strength (the hardest substance known on earth) led early Hindus to name it Vajra which means lightening - a weapon used by the god Indra. (However a flawed diamond was considered very unlucky by the Hindus.)

When it comes to healing properties, some folklore suggests that simply having the gem with you (especially while asleep) can cure all illness.  Supposedly the gem worked healing wonders more readily if warmed up by snuggling with the patient.

Wearing a diamond is thought ti imbue the wearer with the qualities of the gem: clarity of mind and body.  The more clarity in the diamond, the more clarity of thought and character in the diamondperson wearing it. 

Diamonds were also thought to clear the body of toxins and to heal brain and pituitary diseases.

Diamonds are often used to elevate the status of a celebration or honor.  Queen Victoria declared that the celebration of her 50th year as monarch would be called her "Diamond Jubilee".  Diamond is the King Gem and Pearl is the Queen Gem.


Care and Handling of Diamonds

Like all valuable and valued jewelry, diamonds should be stored separately from other jewelry and each other.  They can scratch other gems and settings and they can scratch each other.

round brillant cut Because they are subject to chipping and fracturing, handle diamonds with care and avoid rough handling. 

Be particularly careful with colored diamonds which may have been artificially altered to create the color. 

Diamonds are the hardest substance known to man which means any other gems, stones and the metals of the settings are not as hard.  Using harsh cleaners or tools can ruin them. 

Taking a soft wet cloth to your jewelry after wearing can help remove oils and other materials of normal life. Dry with soft, lint-free clothes. diamond

If the grime has collected, soak the diamond in a warm water with a very mild detergent.  Use a soft wet cloth to wipe off the dirt then dry with a soft lint-free cloth. 

If there is real buildup of grime or substances stuck in the setting, take to a jeweler.  Do not poke and prod at your jewelry. Diamonds should be taken to a professional jeweler on a regular basis depending on amount of wear.  The jeweler will not only properly clean the jewelry but will check for any damage to the setting that could cause you to lose the stone. 


Diamond as engagement, anniversary & Zodiac gifts

diamond ring
Thanks to one of the most successful advertising campaigns every, diamonds have become THE gem for engagement rings. 

However, successful women and men who want to gift diamonds without engagement or marriage have created the term "right hand ring" which can refer to any showy expensive ring worn on the right hand - usually on the right ring finger. diamond jewelry

Trendy and successful women are also following designers by wearing diamonds everywhere and on everything.  Not only are diamonds being worn as jewelry, they are popular on accessories such as purses and cell-phone covers.

Besides being the birthstone for April, it is the star stone for the Zodiac sign Aries (March 21 - April 19) and the anniversary stone for the 40th, 60th and 75th year of marriage.  Diamond jewelry is the gift of choice for the 10th anniversary.

Photo source:  All photos the about, legend and care sections  come from the geology webpages of the University of Nebraska at Lincoln.

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