What is a diamond?
Diamond, the hardest known material is pure carbon, crystallised under a very high pressure and temperature. In nature, such an environment exists only at depths of 150 to 200 km below the surface of the earth. Volcanic eruptions drive the diamond bearing rocks called ”Kimberlite” and ”Lamproite” to the surface of the earth where the diamonds can be extracted.
What is a carat?
Diamonds are weighed in carats. One carat equals a fifth of a gram. The name ”carat” comes from a seed of the carob tree. The seed was called ”carubis” and had an approximate weight of about 0.2 grams.
What is a facet?
A facet is a flat face or plane that has been cut and polished on a gemstone. Facets are placed at varying angles to one another. The placement, angle and shape of the facets are carefully planned and executed to maximize the gemstone’s inherent fire, color and brilliance.
What are inclusions?
Inclusions are the tiny “birthmarks” inside the gemstone that make every diamond unique. They refer to any mineral or crystal trapped within the diamond crystal at the time it is being formed deep within the earth.
Nearly all diamonds – even those of the highest quality – have some inclusions, which fall into these categories: Mineral inclusions – a dark spot from a trapped bit of mineral. Feathers – internal cracks or fractures caused by either internal or external stress during the diamond’s formation.
What shape offers the best sparkle?
Because a round diamond is symmetrical, it reflects nearly all light that enters it. The round brilliant cut has been mathematically researched to produce the maximum brilliance – liveliness or sparkle – and fire – variety and intensity of rainbow colors – from the diamond’s natural properties.
What are "fancy" diamonds?
There are two interpretations to the term “fancy diamond.” The most common use relates to cut or specific shape of the diamond. Fancy refers to any diamond cut other than round including: marquise, pear, oval, emerald, princess, radiant and heart shapes.
The second fancy reference is to diamonds that have a prominent body color, such as canary yellow, brown or blue. Some diamond colors are much more rare and valuable than others. For example, diamonds are often found in shades of yellow and brown. But colors such as blue, pink and light green are uncommon. Deep pink is particularly rare.
What are certified diamonds?
Certified diamonds have grading reports by gemologists from prestigious, authoritative jeweler’s associations — usually gemological institutes that educate professional jewelers. A customer who purchases a certified diamond receives this official grading report with the product. The report verifies the value of a diamond by listing the following information: carat weight, cut, color, and clarity, plus dimensions. The report also lists an approximate replacement value of the diamond. The report for a certified diamond gives you an extra level of assurance as to the diamond’s quality. Well-known laboratories that certify diamonds include the American Gem Society (AGS), Gemological Institute of America (GIA), International Gemological Institute (IGI), and European Gemological Laboratories (EGL).
What is the difference between a "certified diamond" and a "non-certified diamond"?
There is no physical difference between a diamond that is certified and one that is not. The difference is that, with the certified diamond, you have a third party assurance as to the particular nature and quality of the diamond you are purchasing. A certified diamond comes with a diamond grading report from a gem lab. This report assures the customer that the diamond is independently recognized as possessing all the qualities specified by that report.
What type of cut is the best?
It’s all down to personal preference. The most common is the brilliant or round cut diamond. Other cuts include Emerald cut (rectangular shape), Marquise cut (elongated shape with points at each end), Pear cut (resembles a teardrop), Princess cut (square or rectangular shape), Radiant cut (square or rectangular shape with the corners cut off) and Trilliant cut (triangular shape). The best way to decide which type of cut you prefer is to simply look at loose diamonds in a variety of shapes and choose your favorite. You should also take into consideration what ‘look’ you want from your stone. For example, fancy shapes tend look larger than others, yet round brilliants hide defects and yellow tints the best.
What makes a diamond ring the appropriate engagement gift?
Because a diamond is so durable, it has come to symbolize everlasting love and a lifetime of commitment. The tradition of giving a diamond engagement ring is traced back to 1477, when Archduke Maximilian of Austria presented Mary of Burgundy with a simple gold band set with a diamond representing pure, fiery beauty. He placed it on the third finger of her left hand, believing it contained a vein that coursed directly to his beloved’s heart. Over time, this royal tradition gained popularity around the world. And today, according to a recent De Beers’ survey, four out of five brides receive a diamond engagement ring.
What shape is the most popular?
The round brilliant cut. Approximately 75% of all diamonds sold today, particularly for engagement rings, are round.
What’s the biggest diamond ever found?
The largest gem-quality diamond ever found was discovered on January 26, 1905 in the Premier Mine in South Africa. The original rough of the Cullinan Diamond weighed 3,106 carats, which is about 1.3 pounds.
Why are diamonds so rare and expensive?
When mining diamonds, it takes approximately 23 tons of blueground – the earth in which diamonds are formed – to yield 5 carats of rough diamond material. Furthermore, only 20% of any diamonds recovered are gem quality, while the remaining 80% are suitable only for industrial purposes.
Why is craftsmanship in diamond processing so important?
A diamond can be loupe clean and have the best white colour, but if the facets of the stone have not been placed in perfect harmony, then there is no shine, no fire in the stone. The label ”Cut in Antwerp” is a quality label refering to the best diamond cut in the world.
How can I be sure I’m getting a good diamond when I buy it online?
Consider jewelry descriptions carefully when looking for diamonds online. Each diamond jewelry description on our website lists all four Cs of the diamond and has detailed photos of each piece of diamond jewelry, so you know exactly what you’re getting.
How does a lab-grown diamond compare to a natural diamond?
A lab-grown diamond is sometimes called a “synthetic” diamond. This is often wrongly interpreted as “fake.” Lab-grown diamonds have the same physical, chemical, and optical properties as stones mined from the earth, and each lab-grown stone is unique. They have the same hardness, specific gravity, dispersion factor, and refractive index as natural diamonds. They are polished the same way, and they have the same brilliance and sparkle. Basically, both are real diamonds; one is just grown in the earth and the other in a lab.
How can I keep my diamonds clean?
You can easily clean your diamonds with a soft toothbrush and mild dish soap mixed with water. Don’t scrub too hard, however. The toothbrush won’t scratch the diamond, but the metal of diamond jewelry is often soft and scratches easily. You should, now and then, get your jewelry professionally cleaned by a jeweler.
How are diamonds mined?
The mining methods are very diverse, depending on how diamonds present themselves at the earth’s surface. Mining of Kimberlite pipes involves ”open-pit” or ”underground mining”. When freed by erosion from the Kimberlite matrix, diamond crystals are carried along by rivers. Riverbeds are dug away and the river silt is sieved. This technique is called ”alluvial mining”. ”Marine mining” is the exploitation of sandy coastal strata by dredging. Finding diamonds can thus be the result of large industrial operations, but also of small-scale methods, or even manual labour. Diamonds are rare. It is usual that 250 tons of rock, sand and gravel must be processed to yield one carat of diamond. The annual world production amounts to approximately 100 million cts of which only 20% are of gem quality.
How are diamonds transformed from rough to polished?
A rough diamond obtains its final shape and brilliance by a succession of manufacturing processes : cleving, sawing, bruting and polishing.
How do I know I’m paying a fair price for my diamond?
Make sure you’re as well-informed as possible. Read through all the educational material on the International Diamond Laboratories website for a thorough understanding of the qualities of a diamond that will impact the price. The most important advice to remember is if a deal is almost too good to be true, then be wary. Make sure your diamond is certified either by the
How do I know that it is a ‘real diamond’?
There are several tests, but in reality, unless you’re a gemologist you can’t really tell 100% whether the diamond you’re looking at is a simulant, synthetic of even ‘fake’.
If you can not easily find inclusions under a 10 times magnification you should become suspicious, most likely it is not a real diamond. But be aware of the fact that some gas bubbles in cubic zirconium may appear like inclusions if you do not look carefully. Diamond grading reports do give you certainty on the nature of the gem.
Where are the main diamond sources?
Throughout history people have always been fascinated by the beauty and mystery of diamonds. Until the 18th century, India was the only source of diamonds in the world. In the second half of the 19th century, the first diamonds were discovered in Africa and soon after, a ”diamond rush” started. The first diamond diggers worked individually by hand, but when the pits became deeper, large mining companies were established, exploiting the diamond mines with mechanical equipment. Today, the most important diamond supplying countries are Australia and Congo for industrial diamonds and Southern Africa, Australia, Congo, Russia, Namibia and Botswana for gem quality stones.
Should I buy a loose stone or do I get a better deal buying the whole ring?
This depends on the store. When setting a diamond, it is common (and sensible) to put any defects or “inclusions” under a prong. The problem with buying the whole ring is that the stone cannot be examined out of the setting. Most stores will not charge a setting fee if both the stone and setting are purchased there. Buy the stone loose if you can.
Is a diamond a good investment?
The answer depends on whether you are investing in the diamond itself, or in what a diamond represents. Diamond prices have been steadily increasing for the past decades and diamonds tend to hold their value.
Can a diamond break or chip?
Even though diamonds are extremely hard, they can still be damaged from abuse. Diamonds can scratch each other and all other gemstones, such as sapphires, rubies, emeralds, and pearls. You should store your diamonds away from other gems in a jewelry box and don’t wear any valuable gemstones while doing hard work.
I’ve set a budget, but how do I choose a stone? There are so many in different sizes and qualities, how do I decide which is the best one for the price?
This is the million-dollar question with no precise answer. You should try and find a balance between the appearance and the size of the stone. Do not simply go for the largest size stone you can afford. Follow these simple steps and you’ll be able to buy the stone at the price you’ve set with confidence.
Take stones of various color grades and compare them so that you can learn to tell the difference. Try to view in sunlight if possible. Some stores will have educational material that will help you in choosing your desired color. Once you have decided at which point you can detect yellow tinges, you have determined a limit on your desired color.
Use a jeweler’s loupe or microscope and view various grades of stones so you can see the inclusions. Now view the stones without magnification. Even knowing the locations of the inclusions, they should not be visible if the stone is SI2 or better. If you are a collector or are buying the diamond for a special occasion, you might want to go for the highest purity. Remember that inclusions are normalities, not abnormalities in a diamond. They are useful in helping one identify a particular stone.
Ultimately, the cut has the greatest overall impact on the appearance of the stone. The further the cutter has deviated from the optimum cut, the more dead spots there will be in the diamond.
Finally speak to your jeweler. Don’t simply tell them how much you’re willing to pay. Explain your budget and your preferences in the 4Cs and work together. Discuss the kind of jewelry you want the diamond to be set in. Examine the gemological certificate and make sure an independent lab such as the International Diamond Laboratories has graded the stone so you absolutely sure you’re getting what you expect.
Do you sell conflict diamonds?
Most of the world’s diamonds are mined in Africa. Unfortunately, in some of those countries, militia groups illegally mine and smuggle diamonds to fund their fight against their governments. Such stones have come to be called “conflict diamonds,” also called “blood diamonds.” Bengal Protea actively supports the United Nation’s Kimberley Process Certification Scheme to help eliminate the sale of conflict diamonds and guarantees that all diamonds offered for sale on our site have been purchased from recognized, legitimate sources in compliance with all United Nations Resolutions, and to the best of our knowledge and ability, none of our diamonds fund any terrorist activity.