Diamond

buyers guide

What is Diamond?

A Diamond is a gem which is transparent and is made of pure carbon which has crystallized. They were formed millions of years ago by heat and pressure within the earth. The youngest diamond is 900million years old. It is thought to be nature’s most perfect creation. “They are a gift from the Gods” (Pliny the Elder – Roman Historian)

The word ‘diamond’ comes from the Greek word ‘adamas’ which means indomitable. ‘Diamonds are forever’

Only out 25% of diamonds mined are of sufficient quality to be able to be cut into gem diamonds. The rest are used in industrial settings.

The closer a white diamond is to being colourless, the more valuable it is.  However, some of the most valuable varieties of diamonds are those in a variety of  rare and brilliant colours, such as blue, pink and yellow.  Diamonds can be found in virtually all colours.

A large amount of diamond production comes from South Africa and Namibia. Zaire is the country which produces the most diamonds, accounting for about 20% of the world’s production. Other diamond producing countries include Angola, Botswana, Ghana, Sierra Leone and Tanzania.

Diamond cutting takes place in New York, Antwerp and Israel.

The finished diamond may have any of several shapes:

  • Round or brilliant cut
  • Oval cut
  • Emerald cut
  • Square cut
  • Baguette
  • Triangle

The beauty of a diamond is affected by the way it handles light. Brilliant cut diamonds reflect the maximum amount of light through the stone.

The value of a diamond is affected by:

  • Rarity
  • Beauty
  • Durability
  • Symbolism

But the main determining factors are the four ‘C’s:

  • Carat weight
  • Colour
  • Clarity
  • Cut