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A diamond is forever – the true story
 
 
 

Men grow cold as girls grow old
And we all lose our charms in the end
But square-cut or pear-shaped
These rocks don't lose their shape
Diamonds are a girl's best friend"


- from the movie "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes"

"A diamond is forever," as the old saying goes.
The late actress Marilyn Monroe said it best: "a diamond is a girl's best friend." So much tribute has been paid to the everlasting glory of the diamond, which is among the most valuable (and expensive!) precious stones in existence. Is it any wonder then that diamond jewelry is so fashionable? Diamond earrings, necklaces, rings, bracelets – many of these are regarded as works of art.

The diamond is the most unadulterated of all the gemstones composed of a single pure element. It is also the hardest transparent substance that exists. It is for this that the diamond stands as a symbol of strength, purity of spirit, and even physical chastity. Diamonds are formed over a period of a billion or more years deep within the Earth's crust - about 90 miles deep - and is pushed to the surface by volcanoes. Most diamonds are found in volcanic rock called kimberlite, or in the sea after having been carried away by rivers when they were pushed to the surface.

A diamond is 58 times harder than the next hardest mineral on earth, corundum, the stuff from which rubies and sapphires are formed. Only diamonds can cut other diamonds. Ironically, diamonds are also brittle. If you hit one hard with a hammer, it will shatter. If it is placed in an oven and heated to about 763 degrees Celsius (1405 degrees Fahrenheit), it will simply vanish, releasing only a little carbon dioxide and NO visible traces whatsoever.

It is also the anniversary gem for the 10th and 60th years of marriage when eternity bands and other diamond-detailed rings replace original wedding bands.

 
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The ancient Greeks believed that diamonds were splinters of stars fallen to earth. It was even said by some that they were the tears of the Gods or perhaps crystallized lightning or hardened dew drops. In fact, the exact origin of diamonds is still something of a mystery, even to scientists and geologists.

India is thought to be the first river-bed source of diamond mining. The ancient Hindus called the diamond "Vajra," (lightening) because of the sparks of light that it emits as well as its invincible strength. Arguably the most beautiful gemstones on the planet, diamonds are also harder than any other substance on earth and found today in Australia, Botswana, Russia and South Africa.

Diamonds have long been credited for having certain medicinal properties. During the middle ages, these gemstones were thought to heal illness, but only if the ailing person took the diamond into bed to warm it up first!

Legend has it that Cupid’s arrows were tipped in diamonds and over the centuries, this magnificent gemstone has acquired a well-deserved reputation as the ultimate gift of love.

In less democratic times, diamonds were reserved for royalty…the only people "entitled" to their symbolism of strength, courage and invincibility. But in 1477, Archduke Maximillian of Austria gave a diamond ring to Mary of Burgundy and before long the tradition of diamond engagement rings was one embraced by even the most humble brides-to-be and their suitors.

The diamond's white hue signifies life, joy and innocence. But diamonds may be nearly any color in the rainbow plus a wide range of browns, grays, and white. Shades of yellow are most common, followed by colorless. Blue, black, reddish, and greenish are more valuable (some extremely so).

It's interesting to note that a woman wears her diamond on the third finger of her left hand because early Egyptians believed the vena amoris (vein of love) ran directly from the heart to the top of the third finger, left hand

A gift of a Diamond is symbolic of everlasting love. There is no more convincing a promise of an enduring relationship than the brilliant gemstone that has endured in people's hearts throughout the history.

Diamonds emphasize superiority and endurance. Unlike pearls they do not trap light, but reflect them -- projecting not just a glow, but a finely subtle ray of light upon the bearer's features.

Primarily, a diamond is graded by its 4 C’s: the cut, clarity, color, and carat weight. These characteristics are taken into consideration in the crafting of the finest diamond jewellery and hence should always be on your mind while picking one up for yourself. However, scales are not uniform: a clarity grade of “slightly included” may represent a different grade on one grading system versus another, depending on the terms used in the scale. Make sure you know how a particular scale and grade represent the color or clarity of the diamond you’re considering. A diamond can be described as “flawless” only if it has no visible surface or internal imperfections when viewed under 10-power magnification by a skilled diamond grader.

 
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Diamond accessories speak of the wearer’s high-class taste and love for things of beauty.

The diamond is generally regarded as the premier gem in the world of precious stones. As with other gems, diamond weight usually is stated in carats. Diamond weight may be described in decimal or fractional parts of a carat. If the weight is given in decimal parts of a carat, the figure should be accurate to the last decimal place. For example, “.30 carat” could represent a diamond that weighs between .295 - .304 carat. Some retailers describe diamond weight in fractions and use the fraction to represent a range of weights. For example, a diamond described as 1/2 carat could weigh between .47 - .54 carat. If diamond weight is stated as fractional parts of a carat, the retailer should disclose two things: that the weight is not exact, and the reasonable range of weight for each fraction or the weight tolerance being used..

Of all the precious stones the diamond has the simplest composition; it is merely crystallized carbon. The most common substance that is known, a substance that is present in everyplant, animal and mineral on the earth.

Diamonds come mostly from the mines in South Africa, but are also found in Brazil, India, Australia and even in the United States.

The diamond is the hardest substance known, being #10 on the Mohl scale, despite it’s hardness, the diamond is not indestructible; diamond will cut diamond; it can be burned in the air, being carbon and will leave behind carbon dioxide gas.

The facets of a cut diamond can be worn away to some extent by the constant rubbing of clothing. The diamond is also brittle, and can fracture if struck against a hard surface.

Diamonds have a wide range of color; most numerous are the whites, yellows, and browns in a great variety of shades; then come the greens; red stones of strong tints are very rare, as are also blue, which have been found almost exclusively in India; other tints of occasional occurrence are garnet, hyacinth, rose, peach-blossoms, lilac, cinnamon, and brown; black, rarities. Diamonds without tint or flaw are rare indeed and even most of the world’s famous diamonds have imperfections.

The origin of the diamond’s name is the Greek word adamas, meaning unconquerable; from the same root spring our words adamant and adamantine.

The origin of the diamond, according to classical mythology, was its formation by Jupiter, who transformed into stone a man, Diamond of Crete, for refusing to forget Jupiter after he had commanded all men to do so.

 
 
   
 
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