Diamonds

Diamonds – a girl’s best friend

Well, not necessarily. Today also more and more men decide to go for a wedding band or engagement ring with sparklers.

Choosing a diamond ring is not easy, at least not for ordinary people like me and you. The true quality can often only be seen through a magnifying glass and even then the untrained eye doesn’t necessarily see if it is a high or good quality stone or not.

What is a diamond?

A diamond is actually a type of coal. As the hardest material known diamonds (from the ancient Greek word ‘adamas’) are used in many industrial areas as cutting tools and drilling tips and of course in jewellery.

Not only do they sparkle in their own wonderful way, due to the stability and thus resistance against scratches and they are perfect for jewellery that is worn every day, like wedding or engagement rings.

2/3 of all diamonds come from mines in Africa but recently good quality sparklers have also been found in Canada or Russia.

They exist in different colours like yellow, blue, red, green and light brown. These colors come from a small amount of grime in the diamond.

As far as known, diamonds were found first in India for more than 4,000 years ago. The interest in the stone didn’t awake until Louis de Berqueur found out how to cut them in 1456 though.

An untreated, rough diamond doesn’t sparkle as the ones we know from our rings or ear rings. That comes through the cutting.

Famous diamonds

The biggest diamond in the world is the Cullinan 1. It has 530.20 carat and was found in Transvaal in South Africa in 1905.

Another one is the Koh-i-noor, with today 106 carat. It came as a rough diamond with 186 carat to the English Royal Family from India and is today enclosed in a crown, together with 2000 other diamonds.

Small diamond glossary – the 4 C’s

The first three C’s – Colour, Clarity and Carat – are made by nature, humans can only control the 4th C, the Cut.

COLOUR

Most diamonds in jewellery are colourless or slightly yellow, it is usually impossible for to see a difference. The ‘daily’ diamond has a yellow, brown or grey touch but to the normal layman they all look white.

CLARITY

Diamonds have small or bigger birth marks. The Clarity factor tells us how many small fragments there are from other stones (inclusions) in our diamond. This is being measured by magnifying the diamond by 10x so even here the layman will have difficulties to see the extent of internal flaws.

CARAT

Diamonds weight is measured in Carat (not karat, k, that is gold). 1 Carat is about 0.2 gram. Carat doesn’t necessarily say anything about a diamonds quality. Two diamonds with equal Carat can differ in Colour and Clarity.

CUT

The way a diamond is being cut gives it its sparkling look. The most common diamond cut is the brilliant cut with 58 facets.

Diamond Care

People say ‘diamonds last forever’ or sometimes people wonder ‘what do you mean with care – it’s the hardest material ever?’.

Yes, well, it is not so much the diamond you need to take care of (though a smooth scrub with a tooth brush and some washing-up liquid once in a while will help you maintain the shiny sparkling) but the prongs and fittings. These need to be checked and maybe replaced. This is best done by a professional. A jeweller has the equipment to control and remove all dirt under and in settings and also to replace bended or broken prongs.