1. What is a diamond?
Diamonds are created from pure carbon which is crystallized under high pressure and temperature. Diamond crystals form as cubes, octahedral and dodecahedra. Diamond is considered to be the hardest among all natural substances. Diamonds come in various colors like yellow, brown, green, blue, purple, pink etc. Diamond is a highly valued gemstone. Mostly 90 percent of the women in the world are drawn to diamonds because it has a natural beauty. No other gem is everlasting, rare, precious, beautiful or magical.
2. Where are diamonds found?
The most famous diamond bearing country is South Africa. The first diamond was found in 1866. Different types of diamond are found in different parts of the world. The famous Kohinoor diamond was found in Golconda area in Hyderabad. Alluvial Diamonds are found in USA. Fancy colored diamonds like pinks and pinkish brown are found in argyle in North Western Australia. Mostly 80 % of the stones come from Angola, Australia, Botswana, South Africa, Russia and Zaire. But out of this only 20 % of all rough diamonds are suitable for gem cutting. Most of the diamonds are supplied by Australia and Congo for industrial diamonds and other countries like South Africa, Australia, Congo, Russia, Namibia and Botswana for gem quality stones.
3. What are the characteristics of a gemstone?
The four main characteristics of gem are color, clarity, cut and carat
Color: If the gemstone is more vibrant, strong and beautiful, the stone will be more valuable. This strength in color is known as Intensity. Another important aspect in gemstone is the color that can affect its value is its rarity. For example, a golden-pink topaz is more valuable than a blue topaz. You should select the gemstone according to your own personal taste. Beads have poor clarity and dull color. To spot a valuable bead, they should have regularity in shape, symmetry, and smoothness of polish.
Cut: The cut of a gemstone is extremely important. If the stone is properly cut then it can enhance the beauty. A good cut will be symmetrically and beautifully proportioned and perfectly polished. There are different forms in which gemstones can be “cut”. The three different forms are faceted, beads and Cabochon. Faceting allows for the most sparkle and light reflection. Cabochon cuts are widely used for gemstones that are of low clarity, exceptional color, opaque in nature and too soft to be cut in facets.
Clarity: One of the important characteristic of a gemstone is clarity. It is important to know that a completely flawless stone scarcely occur. Even the most costly gemstones have some inclusions. Clarity is also affected by internal cracks.
Carat: The bigger the stone, the more valuable it is. The effect that size has on price and value is determined by how rare large stones are. One factor is the more carats, the more its worth. Another factor in the value is the rarity of large stones.
4. How diamonds are mined?
There are two methods of mining diamonds: Pipe mining and Alluvial Mining. When diamonds are extracted from the earth through volcanic pipes, pipe mining is used. These are not man-made pipes. Alluvial mining is done in riverbeds and beaches.
5. What is the process of transforming a diamond from rough to a polished stone?
A rough diamond is transformed from a rough stone to a polished one after passing through a process. First the diamond is cleaved or sawn, then bruiting and at last polishing. Cleaving is done by a chisel and hammer, where the hardest material available is split into 2 pieces at the blow of the hammer. Earlier sawing was done by sawing machines wherein diamonds are cut into 2 with blades. This process is very time consuming because it takes hours to saw a diamond. But this process is still practiced throughout the world. Currently laser sawing is the latest technology in sawing. After sawing process is complete, next comes bruiting the diamond. Bruiting is the process of giving shape to the rough diamond. At last, polishing is done. In polishing, the diamond is given its final look. In polishing the final work of faceting is done.
6. What is Diamond clarity?
A stone with perfect clarity is very rare and most flaws that do exist in diamond cannot be seen without a magnifying loupe. Diamond clarity is divided into two- Diamond Inclusions and Diamond blemishes. Diamond Inclusions have certain flaws inside a diamond. Tiny spots of white, black or other colors are found. It has colored and uncolored crystals and some diamonds have cracks on them. Different types of Diamond inclusions are crystals and mineral inclusions, pinpoint inclusions, laser lines, feathers, cleavage, girdle fringes, bearding, grain lines and growth lines. Diamond blemishes have flaws on a diamond’s exterior surface. Different types of diamond blemishes are scratches, nicks, and pits, natural, trig on and polishing lines.
7. What is Diamond Cut?
Many gemologists believe that cut plays an important role because if it has poor cut will give a dull finish. The width and depth can have an effect on how light travels within the diamond, and how it exits in the form of brilliance. Diamond symmetry means alignment of diamond's facets, its flat and polished surfaces. In Diamond polish the surface of the facets would be smooth and polished so that light can pass through them.
8. What is Diamond Color?
The color of a diamond refers to its degree of yellowness. An ideal diamond is completely colorless and so it is very expensive. Color of certain diamonds can be reduced by using HPHT (high pressure/high temperature) processing. HPHT changes appear to be permanent. Diamonds that appear to be lightly yellow will appear colorless when mounted in white setting-platinum or white gold.
9. What is Diamond Carat?
Carat is actually a standard unit of measure that defines the weight of a diamond. One carat is equivalent to 200 milligrams. Carat sizes are expressed as points with one carat being 100 points, one-half carat being 50 points, and so on. Larger diamonds are rarer and in more demand than smaller diamonds of the same quality, so they can be sold for a higher price. A one carat diamond solitaire ring is always more expensive than a diamond ring made up of multiple diamonds that are similar, but smaller, even though they total one carat or more.
10. How is gemstone valuable?
The three qualities that make gemstone valuable are beauty, durability and rarity. The beauty of a gemstone is due to colors, clarity and optical properties. The hardness of a gemstone is due to its durability. Rarity means it is difficult to find the appropriate sizes and shapes. In the gemstone industry, this feature is measured by Moh's hardness scale. With the Moh's scale, the hardness of a gemstone is measured against the scale by finding the hardest material that it can scratch or by finding the softest material that it can scratch. Moh's scale is based on ten minerals. These include Talc, gypsum, calcite, fluorite, apatite, orthoclase, quartz, topaz, corundum and Diamond.
11. Which color is best?
The best color for a diamond is no color. A colorless diamond allows white light to pass through it. Many diamonds may be considered colorless, but they do have very slight traces of yellow and brown tones. Certain rare diamonds may have twelve colors which are called Fancies. They are extremely rare and can be quite expensive. Some diamonds may have shades of yellow to brown so is referred as champagne diamonds. The color grading system is D-E-F IS colorless, G-H-I-J is near colorless, K-L-M is faint yellow, N-O-P-Q-R is considered as very light yellow and S to Z as light yellow.
12. What are birth stones?
Birth stones are associated with the Zodiac signs or months of the year. It is also called as Birthday stone. The list assign birthstones are as follows: January-Garnet, February-Amethyst, March-Aquamarine, April-Diamond, May-Emerald, June-Alexandrite or Moonstone, July-Ruby, August- Peridot, September-Sapphire, October-Opal, November-Topaz, December-Turquoise, Zircon.
13. What's the difference between precious stone and semi-precious stone?
The important precious stones include diamonds, emeralds, rubies and sapphires. The important semi precious stone are amethyst, lapis-lazuli, aquamarine, topaz, moonstone, peridot, opal, tourmaline, zircon, chysoberyl, and alexandrite. Less important stones include Chrysoprase, jade, garnet, agate, azurite, malachite, bloodstone, coral, carnelian and many others. The big five precious stone include Emerald, ruby, sapphire, diamond, and pearl. The beauty of a precious stone consists of color, brilliancy and transparency.