April birthstone – Diamond

In radiant brilliance, the diamond sparkles as April’s glistening birthstone. Diamonds symbolize eternity, health and abundance, so the gift of diamond jewelry makes it even more special.

One-of-a-kind diamond ring from Gemme Couture

One-of-a-kind diamond ring from Gemme Couture

 

But what are diamonds actually?

Most natural diamonds are formed at high temperature and pressure at depths of 140 to 190 kilometers (87 to 118 miles) in the Earth’s mantle. Carbon-containing minerals provide the carbon source. Diamonds “grow” over periods from 1 billion to 3.3 billion years.

Diamonds are brought close to the Earth’s surface through deep volcanic eruptions by magma. Diamonds can also be produced synthetically (so called “HPHT method”) or through a process of chemical vapor deposition (CVD). There are also several non-diamond materials, which include cubic zirconia and silicon carbide and are often called diamond simulants. These materials resemble diamonds in appearance and many properties. Because of all this special gemological techniques have been developed to distinguish natural diamonds, synthetic diamonds, and diamond simulants.

uncut diamond

The word is from the ancient Greek ἀδάμας – adámas “unbreakable”. And the name is logical because you probably already know of the diamond’s toughness. In fact, diamonds are the hardest gemstone and they are made of just one element: carbon. Its structure makes it 58 times harder than anything in nature and can only be cut with another diamond.

Diamonds come in several colors, including yellow, red, pink, blue, and green, and range in intensity from faint to vivid. Generally speaking, the more saturated the color, the higher the value. In fact, diamonds sparkling with intense color are rare and may be priced higher than a colorless diamond of equal size. Because fancy-color diamonds are very desirable, color is sometimes introduced in a laboratory. These are correctly called color-treated diamonds.

Extraordinary diamond earrings from Gemme Couture

Extraordinary diamond earrings from Gemme Couture

 

However, colored Diamonds, known as “fancies”, can be extremely rare and valuable, and the most valuable gemstones ever known have been fancy Diamonds. In fact, fancy Diamonds are the most valuable substances known to man, with vivid colored Diamonds historically being sold for more than a million dollars per carat!

26th Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union Diamond

Diamond with a most peculiar name: 26th Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union Diamond. It was mined at the Mir kimberlitic pipe (Yakutia, Russia) in 1980. It is the largest gem diamond ever found in Russia or the former USSR with 342.57 weight in carats. It is the size of a pigeon’s egg and is currently kept (as of 2016) in the Russian Diamond Fund (Moscow Kremlin).

Diamonds have many unequaled qualities and are very unique in a world of minerals. It is the hardest known substance, it is the greatest conductor of heat, it has the highest melting point of any substance (7362° F or 4090° C), and it has the highest refractive index of any natural mineral.

Diamonds are number 10 on the Mohs scale, and is 40 times harder than Corundum, which is number 9 on the Moh’s scale. Because of heat conduction, diamonds are cold to the feel at or below room temperature. When heated, a diamond will remain hot long after the heat source is removed.

Diamonds in the Rough Collection from Gemme Couture made of multi-colored diamonds

Diamonds in the Rough Collection from Gemme Couture made of multi-colored diamonds

 

Diamond history

Historically, the diamond first became a popular gemstone in India, when the Moghuls and Imperial Colony easily mined diamonds from deposits along three major rivers.

Frederick Wells holding the Cullinan Diamond, 1905

Discovered in 1905 in Cullinan (modern-day South Africa). It is at 3106.75 carats (621.35 g), the largest rough gem-quality diamond ever found. It was cut into 105 diamonds including the Cullinan I or the Great Star of Africa, 530.2 carats (106.04 g), and the Cullinan II or the Lesser Star of Africa, 317.4 carats (63.48 g), both of which are now part of the British Crown Jewels. On the pic above is Frederick Wells holding the Cullinan Diamond, 1905. On the pic below are the nine major stones cut from the rough diamond. Top: Cullinans II, I, and III. Bottom: Cullinans VIII, VI, IV, V, VII and IX.

Cullinans II, I, and III. Cullinans VIII, VI, IV, V, VII and IX.

Diamond is a perfect gift… ALWAYS

Diamonds have been admired for centuries. Some historians estimate diamonds were traded as early as 4 BC. One of the reasons it is so admired and valued is because of the process by which a diamond must be formed well below the earth’s crust, then forced upward until it is uncovered. But before this process was understood, many ancient civilizations believed that diamonds were lightning made real on earth. Perhaps this is the reason that diamonds have often been associated with great healing powers. Many thought the diamond could cure brain disease, alleviate pituitary gland disorders and draw toxins from the blood.

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Extraordinary necklace with diamonds from Gemme Couture

There is also Lonsdaleite (also known as Hexagonal Diamond), is a type of Diamond found with meteorites and is of extraterrestrial origin. It is scientifically a different mineral than Diamond, and believed to have formed when meteoric Graphite fell to earth. When this happened, great heat and stress transformed the Graphite into Diamond, but it retained Graphite’s hexagonal crystal lattice (structure).

Magic Times Color Change Garnet Diamond Ring

Color Change Garnet Diamond Ring from Gemme Couture

Throughout history the diamond has nearly always symbolized eternal and lasting love. That is why it become nearly synonymous with wedding engagements.

Diamond wedding and engagement rings from gemme couture

Diamond wedding and engagement rings from Gemme Couture – from all time classic to sophisticated and unique elegance

Diamond pendant necklaces from Gemme Couture

Diamond pendant necklaces from Gemme Couture

 

But diamonds are also the perfect stone for individuals who want something that’s just as appropriate for everyday wear as it is for special occasions.

So whether you’re getting engaged, or simply want to give yourself a truly meaningful gift, the diamond has both beauty and enduring symbolism and you can find your perfect diamond jewelry at Gemme Couture!

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