A 2.45 Carat Antique Cushion Cut Diamond.
Photo Courtesy of Lang Antiques.

Diamond is a gemstone composed of chemically pure carbon, with a cubic crystal structure and manifesting extreme hardness resulting from the incredibly strong chemical bonds between the carbon atoms. Diamonds are valued for their brilliance, fire and beauty. Usually perceived to be a colorless gemstone, diamonds actually occur in every color including: yellow, green, pink, blue, purple and red. Diamond color and clarity can be altered such treatments as irradiation, heat and high pressure.

The value of a diamond is set by measuring and evaluating what in the diamond business is referred to as the four C's. - color, clarity, carat weight and cut. Diamond color is measured on a scale ranging from D to Z with D being the most colorless (and most desirable). Clarity has a series of designations that range from Flawless to Included representing the relative number, type and visibility of inclusions. Carat is a measure of weight where one carat is equivalent to 1/5 of a gram or 200 milligrams. Cut includes the shape of the finished diamond as well as a determination of how well the diamond was fashioned, its proportions and finishing details.

For over 2,500 years the only known source for diamonds was the Golconda region in India. After the depletion of the diamond mines in India c. 1700s, a new diamond deposit was discovered in Brazil c.1725. Brazil quickly became largest supplier of diamonds worldwide and remained so until the discovery of diamonds in South Africa in 1866. De Beers Consolidated Mines LTD was formed in 1888 to stabilize the South African diamond market and maintained a near monopoly on the diamond trade for over 100 years, controlling 80% of the market. Diamond deposits in Russia, Australia, Canada and elsewhere have cut DeBeers' market share to less than 50%.

Diamond is the birthstone for the month April and commemorates the 10th and 60th anniversary (65th in some countries.)

Victorian Diamond Chandelier Earring.jpg

Victorian Diamond Chandelier Earring.
Photo Courtesy of Lang Antiques.

Gemological Information For Diamond

Color: All colors
Crystal Structure Cubic
Refractive Index: 2.417
Durability: Excellent
Hardness: 10
Similar Stones: Diamonds can be confused with a large variety of colorless gemstones and synthetic gemstones:Zircon, Cubic Zirconia, Moissanite, YAG, Strontium Titanate, Leaded Glass, Rhinestone and Synthetic Rutile
Treatments: Heat Treatment, Irradiation, Fracture Filling
Country of Origin: Diamond deposits are found all around the world. The most notable being Africa, Australia, India and more recently Canada

Diamond Care

Ultrasonic Cleaning: Safe unless the stone is fractured
Steam Cleaning: Safe unless the stone is fractured
Warm Soapy Water: Safe
Chemical Attack: No reaction
Light Sensitivity: None
Heat Sensitivity: Diamond is an excellent conductor

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