Dog may be man’s best friend, but Marilyn Monroe was right when she sang, “Diamonds are a girl’s best friend!” Diamonds are the enduring symbol of love, romance, and devotion. Once only available to the super-wealthy, today they are within reach for most everyone.
The word diamond comes from the Greek word adamas which translates to ‘invincible.’ Perhaps this referred to how hard diamonds are?
Where Do Diamonds Come From?
Diamonds are found close to the Earth’s surface and often found in kimberlite pipes, which are formed by volcanoes. Earth-formed diamonds are created by applying extreme heat and pressure to graphite which lies deep in the Earth’s interior (also known as mantle), around 150km-200km below our crust. The transformation of graphite into beautiful diamonds can be attributed to extreme heat and pressure.
Lab-created diamonds are manufactured diamonds that have the same physical, chemical, and optical properties as earth-formed diamonds. They are made using cutting-edge technology that replicates the conditions under which diamonds are formed in the Earth. These diamonds are also sometimes called man-made diamonds, synthetic, or cultured diamonds. They are not to be confused with simulated diamonds, which are artificial materials that imitate the appearance of diamonds but have different physical and chemical properties. Simulated diamonds include cubic zirconia and moissanite.
Is A Diamond A Gem?
The answer is yes! Diamonds are gemstones, which are defined as hard substances that are cut and polished to be used in jewelry. Diamonds meet this definition because they are physically tough and can be cut and polished into beautiful shapes. Diamonds are the hardest gemstone, which is why they are so popular for engagement rings and other fine jewelry. While not all gemstones are diamonds, all diamonds are gemstones.
Why Are Diamonds So Valuable?
A lot goes into mining a single diamond. They are extremely rare because so few can survive the arduous journey from deep within the Earth to reach our surface. For this reason, only 50% of all diamonds mined will ever make it onto a market and be sold, with most being too low quality for buyers’ tastes.
While lab-created diamonds cost less than natural diamonds, they are still quite expensive. Diamonds created in a lab are an excellent choice for people desiring a diamond’s beauty at a fraction of the cost. Thanks to technological advances, lab-created diamonds are becoming more and more accessible.
The most common factors that influence the cost of a diamond include the following:
The rarest and most valuable cut diamonds are hundreds of years old. Older diamonds are not common, and their value increases exponentially with age. Lab-made diamonds typically have a much lower price tag than their natural counterparts, and earth-mined diamonds are always considerably older!
Hardness & Cut
Harder diamonds tend to be more valuable because of their durability. Similarly, those that have a higher quality cut will come with a heftier price tag.
Diamond Birthstone Facts
Diamonds are associated with eternal love, health, and strength. If you’re lucky enough to have a June birthday, then you can treat yourself to a beautiful piece of jewelry featuring a diamond. If you’re looking for a unique gift for an April birthday, consider a diamond ring, necklace, or simple stud earrings that will always be on-trend. No matter how you choose to incorporate diamonds into your life, they are sure to add a touch of elegance and luxury.
Ten More Diamond Fun Facts That You May Not Know
Diamonds are fascinating gemstones with a history of value and influence. Here are ten more facts about diamonds that you may never have heard before!
- Diamonds are billions of years old, and in some cases, more than three billion years old!
- The Romans and Greeks believed that diamonds were the tears of the gods or pieces of falling stars.
- A diamond is the only substance that can scratch another diamond.
- Miners move about 250 tons of earth to produce a single one-carat diamond.
- Diamonds were seen as symbols of courage, resilience and strength in ancient times.
- There is a diamond in the sky named Lucy. In 2007, the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics announced the discovery of a 10 billion trillion trillion carat diamond in the sky. Scientists named the star after the Beatles song, “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds.” It is fifty light years from Earth!
- Not all diamonds are colorless. Natural diamonds can be blue, yellow, green, pink, brown, orange, and black. The rarest color diamond is red.
- In 1477, Archduke Maximillian of Austria ordered the very first diamond engagement ring on record for his love, Mary of Burgundy. This sparked a taste for diamond rings among European nobility and high society.
- The Early Egyptians started the tradition of wearing an engagement ring on the fourth finger of the left hand. They believed that the vein of love (vena amoris) ran directly from the heart to the top of that finger.
- Diamonds lose about half of their original weight after they are cut and polished.
Happy diamond hunting!!!
Facts from the American Gem Society and Cape Town Diamond Museum