Diamond

Diamond: The Gemstone of Enduring Beauty

Diamond, a gemstone that embodies the resilience and brilliance of the earth, has long been revered for its unparalleled beauty and exceptional qualities. Its name, derived from the ancient Greek word “adámas” meaning “unbreakable”, perfectly encapsulates the essence of this magnificent stone.

Diamond is a form of carbon, a mineral made under extreme heat and pressure conditions deep within the Earth. The gemstone’s colour palette ranges from colourless to shades of yellow and brown, with the most desirable being completely colourless. Diamonds owe their exceptional sparkle to their high refractive index and the precise way they’re cut and faceted. Exhibiting hardness and brilliance, diamonds are an ideal choice for jewellery designs that aim to highlight their innate beauty.

Lab-grown diamonds and traditionally mined diamonds are identical in terms of their physical, chemical, and optical properties. The primary difference lies in their origins. Traditional diamonds are naturally formed over billions of years, while lab-grown diamonds are manufactured in a controlled environment using advanced technological processes in a matter of weeks or months. Despite being chemically identical, lab-grown diamonds typically have a lower resale value compared to their natural counterparts.

 

Ancient Legends: Diamond in Mythology and Symbolism

The Romans and Greeks, during their respective empires, held beliefs that diamonds were the tears of the gods or splinters from falling stars. Romans also wore diamond talismans for protection and strength during battle. The Romans and Greeks appreciated gemstones greatly, believing in their mystical properties, including diamond’s ability to bring courage and victory in battle. In ancient Indian mythology, it was believed that diamonds were created when bolts of lightning struck rocks. Diamonds were regarded as sacred and were used in religious icons, symbolising purity and strength.

Regal Adornments: Admired for their extraordinary brilliance and resilience, diamonds have been sought after for grand jewellery creations. Iconic figures such as Queen Elizabeth II, Empress Josephine of France, and Princess Grace Kelly of Monaco have been entranced by diamond’s glamourous appeal, incorporating them into their royal jewellery collections.

 

Diamond’s Iconic Jewellery Pieces in History

The Great Star of Africa: This legendary diamond is the largest clear cut diamond in the world. Now set in the Royal Sceptre of the British Crown Jewels, it shines with unrivalled splendour and regal elegance. The Hope Diamond: This notorious and allegedly cursed gemstone, now housed in the Smithsonian Institution, is famous for its rare blue colour caused by traces of boron in its crystal structure.

Taylor-Burton Diamond: This pear-shaped diamond was famously purchased by Richard Burton for Elizabeth Taylor, contributing to its status as one of the most legendary diamonds in the world.

 

Diamond in Jewellery

The resilience of diamond, rated at a 10 on the Mohs scale, makes it an ideal choice for all types of jewellery, including rings, necklaces, earrings, and bracelets. The diamond’s stunning sparkle and clarity make it a favourite among both contemporary and traditional jewellery designers. High-grade diamonds are typically set in gold or platinum, and lower-grade diamonds can be set in silver. High-grade diamonds typically exhibit exceptional brilliance, clarity, and cut, while lower-grade diamonds may have visible inclusions or imperfections.

To differentiate between the two, closely examine the diamond’s colour, clarity, cut, and carat weight – known as the four Cs.

Cut: Among all diamond gradings, the cut significantly influences a diamond’s beauty. Two diamonds may have the same size, colour, and clarity, but their visual appeal can greatly vary depending on their cut. One could radiate brilliance and sparkle, while the other appears dull and lacklustre. A diamond’s cut plays a pivotal role in enhancing its brilliance and overall aesthetic appeal.

Colour: Diamonds exhibit a wide array of colours, which significantly affects their value. A diamond is graded highest, labelled as D, if it displays no colour at all. The colour grading continues down to Z. The icy white tones of a diamond are typically found in D, E, or F grades and are usually the most desirable. However, diamonds graded as G, H, and I also emit lovely shades of white and are commonly described as having excellent colour.

Clarity: The clarity of a diamond pertains to its purity—the fewer the internal or external flaws (inclusions and blemishes), the higher its value. The clarity grades Flawless, VVS (Very, Very Slight), VS (Very Slight), and SI1 (Slight Inclusions 1) contain the fewest flaws. SI2 (Slight Inclusions 2) represents the grade where inclusions start becoming noticeable to the naked eye.

Carat Weight: Carat weight measures the size of the diamond. One carat is equivalent to one-fifth of a gram. Larger diamonds tend to be more expensive, but the cost can vary greatly. The weight of a diamond doesn’t always dictate its value, especially if other factors like cut, colour, and clarity are subpar.

 

Rough Price Guide

Commercial Grade: Diamonds of lower quality, with inclusions or less-than-perfect cut and clarity, can be found at lower prices. Prices for smaller diamonds (under 1 carat) can range from $1,000 to $3,000 per carat.

Good Quality: Diamonds with superior colour, clarity, and cut will be more valuable. Prices for good-quality diamonds can range from $5,000 to $15,000 per carat. The range of hues, from clear to light yellow or brown, may affect the pricing within this category.

Fine Quality: Fine-quality diamonds with excellent colour, clarity, and cut can command higher prices. These stones exhibit stunning brilliance, high transparency, and minimal inclusions. Prices for fine-quality diamonds can range from $15,000 to $30,000 per carat.

High-End and Famous: Exceptional and rare diamond specimens, such as large, flawless stones or those with exceptional brilliance and clarity, can fetch even higher prices. In this range, prices can go beyond $30,000 per carat. Famous diamond gemstones with historical significance or associated with notable personalities can also command premium prices.

Rings: Diamond rings, often set in white gold or platinum, create a timeless and sophisticated look. The gemstone is frequently cut into various shapes, such as round, princess, or emerald cuts, to maximise its sparkle and brilliance.

Necklaces: Diamond pendants and necklaces offer a captivating focal point, with the gemstone’s radiance complementing a wide range of skin tones. Designers often use accent gemstones to enhance the beauty of diamond centrepieces.

Earrings: Diamond earrings can range from simple studs to elaborate drop designs. The gemstone’s luminescent sparkle adds a touch of elegance and class to any outfit.

Bracelets: Diamond bracelets often showcase the gemstone’s striking brilliance in a variety of styles, such as tennis bracelets, charm bracelets, or bangle designs.

 

The Magic of Diamond

Diamond is the birthstone for April and is often gifted on 60th and 75th wedding anniversaries, symbolising eternal love and commitment. Diamond is believed to possess powerful properties that can bring strength, courage, and clarity to its wearer.

Diamond is a gemstone that exudes enduring allure and timeless elegance. Its dazzling brilliance and captivating history make it a popular choice in the world of jewellery. Whether set in a delicate ring or a statement necklace, diamond’s allure is undeniable, making it a prized addition to any jewellery collection.

 

Caring for your Diamond
Diamonds, renowned for their exceptional hardness, are suitable for all types of jewellery, including rings. They are, indeed, the hardest gemstone available, lending to their endurance and long-lasting nature. Nevertheless, despite their durability, they are not invulnerable. Caution is still necessary as heavy impacts could potentially damage them. Always treat your jewellery with care, avoiding harsh handling, exposure to chemicals, and sudden changes in temperature.

To clean your diamond jewellery, follow these steps:
Place your diamond piece in a bowl of warm, soapy water (using dishwashing liquid or hand soap).
Let it soak for a few minutes to help loosen any dirt or residue.
Using a soft, old toothbrush, gently scrub the piece, paying particular attention to the diamond.
Rinse thoroughly and pat dry with a soft polishing cloth.
Regular cleaning will ensure your diamond maintains its brilliance.

For precious gemstones such as diamonds, rubies, sapphires, and emeralds, you can take them to a reputable jewellery shop for professional cleaning using an ultrasonic cleaner. Alternatively, you can invest in a small ultrasonic cleaner for home use to keep your jewellery sparkling all of the time.

Unique Contemporary Diamond Jewellery by Paris Argentina