How diamonds are formed, diamond buying advice and more!
A lot of us keep seeking tips and advice on how to choose and buy that special diamond. But there’s a lot more to these precious gems, like how they are formed and where they are found. So let’s start at the very beginning. Think of this as Diamond 101. Let’s go!
How are diamonds formed?
Most natural diamonds are between 1 billion and 3.5 billion years old. These diamonds were formed at depths of 150km to 200km beneath the earth’s surface in what is known as the earth’s mantle. Under high pressure and temperature, fluids containing carbon dissolve minerals and replace them with diamonds. Eventually, these are carried to the surface via volcanic eruptions and deposited in the much sought-after igneous rocks known as kimberlites.
What are natural diamonds?
A natural diamond is nature’s masterpiece. Made from carbon, it is the hardest known natural substance on earth. A natural diamond goes through an extraordinary journey spanning a billion years to eventually find its place in homes and hearts.
So we know how diamonds are formed, but where are diamonds found?
Natural diamonds are currently found in about 35 countries. South Africa, Russia and Botswana are the main producers of natural diamonds while Australia produces most of the industrial diamond. Diamonds are also found in Siberia, Australia, Canada and the United States.
Who discovered diamonds?
For the longest time, India remained the only major source of diamonds, with these jewels dating back to as early as 4th century BC. Diamonds were then said to be discovered in Brazil in 1725. But as far as modern-day mining goes, the first diamond in Africa was found in 1866 on the banks of the Orange River in Kimberley, South Africa.
Why are they so valuable?
Extracting real diamonds and seeing them through to their finished form can be a highly specialized process. New kimberlite pipe discoveries have also become increasingly scarce. To add to that, no two natural diamonds are the same. Just goes to show how incredibly unique and these miracles of nature truly are, and why they fetch the price and adulation they do.
Understanding your diamond’s anatomy
Diamond buying advice: understanding the 4Cs
Colour. Cut. Clarity. Carat. You’ve probably heard these terms before. Together, they form the core of diamond grading—the process of assessing the quality of diamonds—and, consequently, the crux of diamond purchasing. These four attributes come together to form the unique identity of a diamond. A fundamental knowledge of these 4Cs can give you a good starting point to understand the diamond you’re looking at, and identify the diamond you’re looking for.
Diamond buying advice: diamond certification
While the diamond has come to epitomize enduring love, its purchase is usually associated with another virtue: trust. You need to know what you’re buying, and who you are buying it from. Diamonds themselves are certified on parameters like the 4Cs to help you arrive at the right decision, as well as assure you of their authenticity and value.
Diamond buying advice: diamond appraisal
A diamond appraisal is a document that seeks to ascertain a diamond’s monetary worth. Factors like the overall appearance, quality and current market value go into drafting and determining a diamond appraisal.
What is diamond cutting and polishing?
From rough jewels to sparkling, finished beauties, it is the process of cutting and polishing that brings a diamond to life. A job for highly specialized craftsmen, this is where the final part of the magic happens.
Why only natural diamonds?
Nothing comes close to a real, natural diamond. Apart from them being timeless pieces of heirlooms, they are also highly unique. But even in terms of care for the environment, natural diamonds are the way to go. As of 2016, for instance, the estimated CO2e—the standard unit for measuring carbon footprints—associated with energy use in natural diamond production was nearly three times lesser than that from laboratory-created diamonds.
How do natural diamonds have a timeless appeal?
A natural diamond never goes out of style. Formed a billion years ago, a natural diamond never loses its allure. If you’ve had a classic piece of natural diamond jewellery passed down through generations in your family, you would know. As heirlooms or otherwise, a diamond, as they say, is forever.