Diamonds – Much More Then A “CARBON”

The word is from the ancient Greek – adámas “unbreakable”

Diamond is a metastable allotrope of carbon, where the carbon atoms are arranged in a variation of the face-centered cubic crystal structure called a diamond lattice. Diamond is less stable than graphite,. Diamond is renowned as a material with superlative physical qualities, most of which originate from the strong covalent bonding between its atoms. In particular, diamond has the highest hardness and thermal conductivity of any bulk material.

Because of its extremely rigid lattice, it can be contaminated by very few types of impurities, such as boron and nitrogen. Small amounts of defects or impurities (about one per million of lattice atoms) color diamond blue (boron), yellow (nitrogen), brown (lattice defects), green (radiation exposure), purple, pink, orange or red. Diamond also has relatively high optical dispersion (ability to disperse light of different colors).

Most natural diamonds are formed at high temperature and pressure at depths of 140 to 190 kilometers (87 to 118 mi) in the Earth’s mantle. Carbon-containing minerals provide the carbon source, and the growth occurs over periods from 1 billion to 3.3 billion years (25% to 75% of the age of the earth). Diamonds are brought close to the Earth’s surface through deep volcanic eruptions by magma, which cools into igneous rock known as kimberlites and lamporites.

Natural diamonds are created very deep in the World about 180 km beneath the surface where high temperature and pressure exist naturally. Logically, this is the reason behind the highest value and pricing compared to crystals. While looking to buy a diamond it’s significant to be familiar with the 4 C of diamonds, which is cut, color, clarity, and carat. Diamond accreditation is an essential aspect with regards to purchasing diamonds and it’s sometimes referred to as the fifth C.It’s strongly recommended that you buy a diamond which comes along with a study, because you might never know the value as well as worth of your rock if you do not.

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The first diamonds were found in the alluvium of the Golconda River in India. The exact date of its discovery is not known. An extract from an accounting book written in Sanskrit, in the 4th century B. C., reveals that diamonds were a trading commodity in India at that time.

In ancient Egypt people believed in the mystical power of diamonds. When four diamond rings were worn on four fingers of the left hand it would ensured that vena amoris (“vein of love“) would lead from the fingers straight to the heart. Placing diamonds or diamond powder on fingertips was believed to be the best way of ensuring the connection of love with eternity.

Diamonds were probably brought to Europe by Alexander the Great. First, they were considered to be a mysterious rarity with magical and healing proprieties.

It is believed that when Alexander the Great reached the Valley of Diamonds he saw its floor covered with gemstones guarded by giant snakes with deadly stares. But he succeeded in cheating them and took their diamonds. In ancient Greek diamonds were considered to be the tears of gods which fell down to earth. To point out the hardness of diamonds people used to name them “adamas” (invincible). Plinius wrote about diamonds in his “History of Nature” 60 years B.C. The first uncut diamond appeared in Rome between the 1st and 3rd century. Marco Polo mentioned Ormuz as the main Persian diamond market in the 13th century.

 It was not until the 14th century that clear octahedrons were first polished on a wooden or copper pad covered with diamond powder. This method was previously used to work gemstones and ivory, however in the case of diamonds, this was a lengthy process. Since the 15th century new methods of diamond processing were developed and unsquared stones were cut by cleaving. In the course of cutting, the original shape of the stone was still kept. Pyramidal shape diamonds were set into rings. The main purpose of processing diamonds was to get rid of the surface roughness and impurities. Samples of these stones were found in fragments of jewelry and old pottery.

The invention of cutting on a steel pad covered with diamond powder offered cutters more possibilities to work stones. At the end of the 15th century the “table” cuts (shapes of rhombus, square, rectangle and rose cut) appeared.

The discovery of a direct sea route to India by Vasco de Gama in 1498 shifted the trading centre from Venice to Lisbon. Antwerp became the most important diamond trade centre since the end of the 14th century. Diamonds were considered to be a perfect symbol of eternal bond. The tradition of unending love has been maintained for several centuries already. The first notion of donating a diamond as a unique symbol of love came from the 15th century.

In the 17th century diamonds began to be cut in many different shapes like oval, drops, marquise and others. Specialists who cut the stones however came from Antwerp and worked in the highest floors of houses where light was the best.

By the end of the 18th century the Indian mines were exhausted and although the first mines in Brazil were found in the second half of the 18th century, the prosperity of Antwerp was not restored.

In the second half of the 19th century, Henry Morse of the USA discovered the first modern brilliant cut after extensive experimentation which was later perfected, mathematically substantiated and described by Marcel Tolkowski in 1919, in the USA, who is considered to be the inventor of the modern brilliant cut.

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