The most precious stone of all is, unquestionably, the diamond.
The Diamond is a mineral stone and is found in nature. It is composed entirely of carbon and has the same chemical composition as graphite and pencils but, having a much more compact crystalline structure, it is harder and it is also the hardest material known. The only way to work it is by using diamond tools.
Rarely the specimens found are sufficiently transparent and colourless to be used in jewelry: for this reason and because of the high hardness of the diamond, most of the extracted material is used for industrial purposes and only a small part has the characteristics that make it suitable for jewelry use.
Maybe they were known and considered valuable as early as 6,000 years ago but surely they came to ancient Rome from India due to their use in religious icons.
Then new deposits were discovered in Brazil (1725) and South Africa (1867) and in the 18th century also in Borneo, and this discovery gave rise to the diamond trade in South-East Asia where before it was not much considered as a jewel.
The popularity of this precious stone has been consolidated in the nineteenth century thanks to the increase of the offer, the improvement of economic conditions worldwide and advertising campaigns that have given due importance to this magnificent stone that is now widespread to adorn Jewels in Gold giving it greater importance from the aesthetic point of view, of charm and preciousness in economic terms.
Currently the largest producer is Australia, followed by Russia and several African states including South Africa.
One of the most frequently asked questions is: what is the difference between Diamond and Brilliant?
Diamond is the raw material while the Brilliant refers to the type of cut that, among other things, is used on every type of gem. Thus, for example, we have a ruby with a brilliant cut. But when it comes to brilliance without further specification, it means a diamond with a brilliant cut.
Once upon a time, those who were about to buy a Diamond had to rely on honesty and the experience of a seller, whether it was a jeweler or a merchant of Stones. Today at world level there are strict criteria for the classification of Diamonds to protect those who buy, but for the purchase of this Stone it is always essential to trust those who are about to sell it despite it is not as simple as it used to be to be able to fool the buyer.
When we talk about the classification of the Diamond we refer to the famous 4C.
4C means the following:
- Weight of the stone expressed in carats (in English CARAT);
- Cut (in English CUT);
- Purity (CLARITY in English);
- Color (in English COLOR).
The first of the 4C is the one that refers to the CARAT of the stone, that is the weight.
One carat is 0.20 grams. Its name comes from the carob seed, used as a counterweight in the scales during the measurement of the weight of precious stones in ancient times that weighed exactly 0.20 grams.
Highly technical and delicate process carried out by the man takes its name from the design that the cutter chooses and imprints on the raw gem to maximize the cutting qualities
The main shapes in which the diamonds are cut are eleven, the most used is certainly the brilliant cut:
- Brilliant or Round to brilliant (round brilliant cut)
- Princess or Princess (princess cut)
- Emerald (emerald cut) / Smeraldo in italian
- Asscher (asscher cut)
- Drop or pear (pear or drop cut) / Goccia o Pera in italian
- Radiant (radiant cut)
- Oval (oval cut) / Ovale in italian
- Cushion (cushion cut) / Cuscino in italian
- Heart (heart cut) / Cuore in italian
- Marquises or shuttles (marquises or shuttles cut)
- Trilliant or Trillion (trilliant or trillion cut)
The level of purity of a diamond varies according to the greater or lesser presence of inclusions. The inclusions (possible deformations caused by accidents that the stone has suffered during its process of formation), make the gems unique and unrepeatable;
however, their presence irretrievably affects the final value of the diamond. If analyzing a stone with a 10x lens is not visible any inclusion, the purity of the diamond can be defined "perfect".
What defines the color of a diamond is the presence, within its chemical composition, of elements extraneous to carbon. The representative scale of the colors of a diamond goes from the light blue white to yellowish: the diamond of the highest value is the "pure" one, and is of a brilliant white (also called D color). Yellow, on the other hand, is determined by the presence of a greater or lesser quantity of nitrogen. All the colors foreign to the spectrum previously described are defined "fancy": the fantasy of these colors (green, pink, mauve, blue), rare charm, contributes to increase the value of the gem.