Color: Colorless (D-Z Color Scale); Rainbow Shades (Fancy Colored Diamonds)
Mohs Hardness: 10! (Diamonds are the hardest material on the planet!)
"It’s hard to be a diamond in a rhinestone world”
- Dolly Parton
They are loved, collected, and greatly desired. Touted as a “girl’s best friend” and synonymous with the word “Forever”, diamonds have infiltrated society and become traditional symbols of power, wealth, and promise.
Diamond value and lore extend far beyond the sparkle of the stone. Some diamonds
represent covetable provenance and others possess curses that will befall the owner. Despite the curses (or maybe because of the curses ;-)! ), diamonds have a long legacy linked with love.
The first diamond engagement ring on record was given in 1477. The ring was placed on the fourth finger of the recipient, known today as the "Ring Finger". It was believed during this period that the fourth finger linked directly to the heart by way of the vena amoris, Latin for “the vein of love”. By encircling this finger with a ring, the symbol of eternity, the diamond ring symbolized a love that would last forever.
This gift set a trend and began a tradition of using diamond rings to show love among the European aristocracy. What better way to say, “I love you” than with a gem that is as interesting, scintillating, and mesmerizing as the person of your dreams?
But what is it about diamonds that make them so highly regarded?
I think the beauty of diamonds, April's infamous birthstone, starts with the story of their creation…
“A diamond is a chunk of coal that did well under pressure.”
― Henry Kissinger
Every diamond was created millions of years ago under extreme conditions of pressure and heat. 90 to 120 miles below the earth’s surface, under the heaviest part of the earth’s crust located in the center of ancient continental plates, the weight of the land creates downward pressure. This pressure and combined heat from being so deep inside the planet create the perfect conditions for carbon rich pockets to crystalize into diamonds.
Without the exacting heat and temperature conditions in this location, carbon will not form diamonds. The carbon will either stay in its gaseous form, or it will remain soft, like the carbon we see in pencils.
Once diamonds are formed, they are transported to the surface of the earth in volcanic explosions. In order for the carbon to retain its form as a diamond as it travels to the earth’s surface, it must come to the surface quickly while embedded inside a rock that maintains pressure on the diamond during the journey.
At the surface, diamonds are then mined in a variety of ways. Open pit mines, alluvial mining in riverbeds, and even offshore dredging of the ocean floor can all result in the discovery of diamonds as they are transported from the site of the original volcanic explosion to various landscapes through erosion.
The journey of a diamond is rare, romantic, and symbolic of the meaningful moments that result in giving or receiving the gem. Traveling great distances from the center of the earth to the finger takes immeasurable amounts of care and consideration at every step of the journey. Not only through finding the diamonds in the ore and landscape, but also through sorting the diamonds according to the quality of the uncut stone, fashioning the diamond to maximize its best qualities, designing the jewelry that will highlight its features, and, ultimately, creating an experience when a customer selects the right diamond to commemorate a personal milestone.
Why Do We Want Diamonds?