Diamonds are carbon in solid form, and its atoms are laid out in a way that gives the diamond its unique crystalline structure. Because of its unique structure, it gives the diamond its property of high light dispersion, which gives it its shiny appearance. These characteristics make diamonds the world’s most in-demand gemstone.
History of Diamond Jewelry
The use of diamonds in jewelry making dates back to India over 3,000 years ago. In the 4th century BCE, Buddhist scriptures referred to diamonds as objects that can ward off evil because of its ability to refract light. Diamonds were often worn as talismans because of those beliefs.
One of the first documented uses of diamonds in jewelry was in 1074 CE, in the form of Hungary, Anastasia of Kiev. After that, diamonds became a staple in crowns and royal jewels. In 1477, it was reported that Archduke Maximilian of Austria gave Mary of Burgundy a diamond engagement ring, the very first one in history. This marked the tradition of giving diamond engagement rings to one’s betrothed.
Value & Characteristics
Jewelry experts have a system in determining a diamond’s value. Rarity is one of the factors that play into a diamond’s value. However, other factors need to be considered, such as the diamond’s carat, clarity, color, and cut known as 4 Cs. This system of grading diamonds was established by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) in 1953.
Carat is the weight unit by which diamonds and other gemstones are measured, where 1ct is equal to 200 milligrams or 0.00643 troy ounces. For a more precise measurement, each carat is divided into 100 points where one point is one-hundredth of a carat. The price per carat, however, does not linearly increase with size.
Clarity describes the measurement of internal defects found in a diamond. These defects are referred to as inclusions. Inclusions can be foreign materials or structural imperfections such as small cracks that affect a diamond’s overall appearance. These inclusions look whitish or cloudy. The size, color, number, location, visibility, and orientation of the inclusions affect the diamond’s overall clarity.
A fully colorless diamond is said to be the finest quality diamond, and it is graded as D diamond. Diamonds with slight traces of color are graded E or F color diamonds. Slightly color diamonds are graded as I, J, or K color diamonds. The colors are identified by graders using magnification. Some colored diamonds are considered rare.
The diamond-cut pertains to the technique of which the diamond is cut, shaped, and polished from its rough form. It also refers to the craftsmanship and the angle to which the diamond is cut.