Diamond

Diamond

Diamond is the Primary birthstone for the month of April and a Secondary birthstone for the Zodiac sign Aries.

More than just beautiful, diamonds have been for possibly thousands of years a symbol of love, romance and commitment.

Diamond Benefits

Mental Health

Diamond is believed to clear emotional and mental pain, to help reduce fear and foster new beginnings.  It can stimulate your creativity and imagination. It also brings about clarity of mind. 

Diamond may also reinforce a sense of invincibility, fearlessness and fortitude.

Blue diamonds are said to strengthen willpower and help you take care of your health. Pink is for your creativity, and yellow makes you more thoughtful and considerate of others.

Physical Health

Diamond is often worn to help purify and detoxify all of the body’s systems. It can build stamina and help strengthen the body against illness generally.

More specifically, it helps with glaucoma to improve sight, is beneficial for the brain and can treat vertigo.

It is also said to help counteract poisoning.

Other Life Benefits

Diamond is said to help bring our lives into a cohesive whole.  It fosters love and clarity into relationships, reinforcing bonds. 

It also help spiritually by allowing the soul to shine, reinforcing aspirations and spiritual evolution.

Buying Guide

You may think a perfectly clear diamond is the ideal stone, but coloured stones are in high demand today, and consequently can be far more valuable.

Like all gemstones, natural versus treated, clarity and the quality of the cut are all important factors in the valuation.

Colour

If you are looking for a clear stone, aim for a stone with as little yellow hue as possible. Colourless stones can come as a D (colourless) through to a Z (light yellow). The closer to a D the better.

Coloured diamonds, known as ‘fancy’ diamonds, can come in many colours. Aim to purchase stones with the brightest colour possible. Consider current fashion, which often determines value of coloured stones.

Clarity

With diamonds it is difficult to find stones that have no inclusions. However, most inclusions are invisible to the naked eye. You will need a loupe to examine your stone for inclusions.

The less inclusions in a stone the better.

Cut

As with most gemstones, diamonds can be cut in a wide variety of styles. The style is your choice. However, as with all gemstones, the quality of the cut is of high importance. Most stones in commercial jewellery are production cut. Look for custom cut stones, if you can find them and can afford them. A stone should be brilliant across the entire stone. A dead and dull centre is a certain indicator of a bad cut.

Carats

Larger diamonds of the same quality will be substantially more expensive, due to their rarity.

If you are after a larger stone, consider a slightly lower grade. To the eye it may not be substantially different to a higher grade, but the price may be much lower.

Natural Versus Manmade

As with all stones, if it is being sold as a natural stone, ask for a certificate or have it tested.

History of Diamond

The name diamond is derived from the ancient Greek αδάμας (adámas), meaning “proper”, “unalterable”, “unbreakable”, “untamed”.

It is thought that diamonds have been known and in use in India, possibly the first use, for about 6,000 years. There are significant alluvial deposits that have yielded diamonds along the Godavari, Krishna and Penner rivers.

Since their use as religious icons in India, they have been valued and cherished throughout history. They have been used in talismans to ward of evil and to protect the wearer in battle, and also as medical aids to heal wounds and cure illness.

There ability to engrave metal and other materials also made them very desirable in manufacturing, greatly assisting in many areas.

Until the 18th century, India was considered the only source of diamonds. When the mines started to run out the search for other sources became a much higher priority. Brazil mines took over as the new primary source for many years until newer technology assisted in discovering other sources.

While diamonds are not the rarest of gemstones, they are certainly one of the most admired and desired, and are sure to remain so for a long time.

Diamond Gemology

Diamond is a solid form of the element carbon with its atoms arranged in a crystal structure. See below for diamond properties.

It has the highest hardness and thermal conductivity of any natural material.

Colour

The perfect diamond, which is structurally and chemically pure, is completely colourless and transparent. But these rarely appear naturally in a size suitable for cutting.

In nature, diamonds occur in a range of colours, from steel gray, white, blue, yellow, orange, red, green, pink to purple, brown to black.

Due to rarity, and fashion, coloured diamonds can be more valuable than the perfectly clear stone. Intense pink and blue stones are very valuable, as well as the rarest which is red

Treatments

Diamonds, like most gemstones, can be treated to improve its properties.

Inclusions can be filled with a glass like material, though this isn’t permanent. It can often be found through bright flashes of colour that can be seen. The presence of bubbles in the filling is another give away.

Inclusions can also be treated by drilling a hole through to the inclusion and then treating the inclusion through bleaching, etching or further laser treatment. This reduces the appearance of the inclusion, though it is still there.

Colour can be treated through high heat and pressure. This is usually reserved for a certain type of diamond to reduce its brown colouring. This treatment can also be detected by an expert gemologist.

Coatings can be applied to mask an underlying colour or enhance a specific colour. Coatings are temporary and will wear off.

Irradiation can be used to change either the internal or surface colour of a diamond. This treatment is generally permanent, though testing by an expert should be able to detect it.

Regardless of the type of treatment, the seller must disclose to the buyer that the stone has been treated and how.

Where Found

Diamonds are found in about 35 different countries. Botswana, South Africa and Russia are probably the greatest producers., but they are also found in countries like Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, India, Siberia and the United States.

A few of the top producing mines in 2016 were –

  • Jwaneng, Botswana – 12,000,000 carats
  • Jubilee, Russia – 9,000,000 carats
  • International, Russia – 4,000,000 carats

But the state of the industry keeps changing as new fields are discovered and made productive.

Physical Properties

PropertyValuePropertyValue
Category:Native minerals Lustre: Adamantine
Colour:Usually yellow, brown, or gray to colorless. Less often blue, green, black, translucent white, pink, violet, orange, purple, and red. Specific Gravity:3.52
Crystal System:Cubic Refractive Index:2.418
Crystal Class:Hexoctahedral Pleochroism: None
Crystal Habit: Octahedral Melting Point: Pressure dependent
Cleavage:111 Perfect in four directions
Fracture:Irregular / Uneven
Mohs Scale:10

IMAGE CREDITS: Diamond by Mario Sarto [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

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