History & Gemology of Diamonds

By understanding the origin and structure of diamonds, you may learn about the traits of good diamond quality, how it is made to take on its final shape, and how it reaches your fingers. Allow Kobelli to take you on a tour of the delights of the world of diamonds.

 

History of Diamonds

Diamonds have been sought after and mined like a lost and discovered riches from ancient times to modern games, making them valuable in all ways. One sort of gemstone that has been proven to endure the test of time for centuries is the diamond. This special chunk of stone has a captivating history that spans a lengthy period of time.

The term "indestructible" comes from the Greek word "adamas," which is also used to describe diamonds. Although there are many different theories about its origin, the majority of them point to India in the third and fourth century BC where the Sanskrit manuscripts Arthashastra and Ratnapariksha contain the earliest recorded and written knowledge of diamonds. The first time diamonds were exported from India was when Alexander the Great, the King of Macedon, invaded the country and brought the gems back to Europe.

 

Diamonds in AD

In the 1400s, long after they reached Europe, diamonds rose to prominence as a precious stone among the aristocracy. As demand for this precious stone increased and the mines in India were depleted, diamond reserves found in Brazil in 1725 created a supply for the rest of the globe. The 10th largest diamond in the world called “The Paragon” was mined weighing 137.82 carats and is classified as a D-color with flawless clarity. It was shaped into a necklace, which Naomi Campbell most recently wore in 1999 at a banquet hosted by De Beers and Versace at Syon House. This only shows that diamonds truly stand the test of time.  By the 1800s, diamonds were explored and mined in South Africa which marked the beginning of the diamond market.

To date, diamonds are regarded and highly used for engagement rings and wedding rings due to its durability and longevity. 

 

Gemology of Diamonds

Studying diamonds, a valuable and pricey stone, is essential for separating high quality from the rest. It will be easier to identify the ideal or almost perfect stone if you are aware of the components of the stone from top to bottom.

 

Diamond Anatomy

 

 

Natural, Synthetic and Simulant

When someone uses the word "diamond" or hears it, they frequently refer to the natural diamond stone extracted from the Earth's crust, particularly if they are not experts or are not familiar with the gemology of diamonds. Many are unaware that there are other stones associated with diamonds called “synthetic diamonds” and “diamond simulants”. These days, loose stones can be classified as either Natural Diamonds, Lab-Grown Diamonds, or Moissanite. Let's get to know each type as we learn how these gems affect the diamond industry and consumers' jewelry purchasing choices.

 

Natural Diamonds

It takes the Earth's mantle between 1 and 3 billion years to produce natural diamonds, also known as mined diamonds. It originates from the "kimberlite," which serves as its primary host matrix rock and is generated 100 miles below the earth's surface. High heat and pressure produce crystal-clear carbon, which aids in the transformation of carbon into diamond. Open-pit mining, which is a typical approach, as well as other mining techniques like alluvial mining, pipe mining, underground mining, and marine diamond mining, are used to extract kimberlite. The kimberlite rock is crushed in order to extract the diamond from it.

It might be challenging to distinguish the difference between a natural diamond and a lab-grown diamond when seen by the naked eye. A gemologist or jeweler may need to examine the structures of its inclusions under a microscope to identify how the stone is formed. Natural diamonds appear to be yellowish or with a brown tint. There are also colorless natural stones, albeit rare.

Natural diamonds make an impressive and sophisticated piece of jewelry. A good example is this EGL Certified Rocaille Diamond Halo Engagement Ring. It features entirely natural diamonds with a 4.19-carat genuine cut corner rectangular modified brilliant diamond with 20 round side stones in a prong setting.

 
EGL Certified Cut Corner Rectangular Modified Brilliant Diamond (K/SI1)

 

Natural diamonds are the best option if you want the real thing. It can cost significantly more than lab-grown diamonds and moissanite, but because of its durability, limited supply, and high resale value, it is well worth the price.

 

 

Lab-Grown Diamonds

Lab-grown diamonds are synthetic stones or man-made diamonds that are created in a controlled environment or laboratory by simulating the environmental conditions found in the Earth's crust, such as high heat and high pressure. They are made from a diamond seed, which is a tiny piece of pure carbon from a naturally occurring diamond. The normal production time is weeks to less than a month. In fact, when Meghan Markle made an appearance in the streets of London in 2019, her set of glittering drop earrings were embellished with lab-grown diamonds that only took 5 days to manufacture.

This IGI Certified Margaux Maquise Diamond Halo Engagement Ring is crafted entirely with lab-grown diamonds holding a 3.01-carat marquise cut center stone and 22 round side stones. It has the same beautiful shine and glam as the Rocaille Natural Diamond Engagement Ring but costs only a fraction of the price. 

IGI Certified Marquise Diamond Halo Engagement Ring

 

Even though lab-grown diamonds lose value after purchase, they are still an excellent investment if you consider them a token of love and appreciation rather than an investment to be sold in the future. It has the same "WOW" factor as genuine diamonds but costs 50% to 70% less.

 

 

Moissanite

Discovered in a meteorite crater in Arizona in 1893 by French scientist and winner of Nobel Prize in Chemistry Henri Moissan, moissanite gemstones, also known as diamond simulants, are lab-made imitations of diamonds. Moissanite is made from the rare mineral silicon carbide, unlike lab-grown diamonds, which are made of the same elements as natural diamonds. Although it is a naturally occurring mineral, its rarity prevents large-scale extraction that could yield even one carat. After years of tests, moissanite is successfully synthesized and has become a popular choice amongst other gemstones due to its cheaper price. 

Surprisingly, despite having different origins, moissanite appears strikingly similar to both natural and lab-grown diamonds. The rainbow-like light reflection, yellow and green tinge, and extremely high brilliance of moissanite make it equally stunning as a true diamond.  It has a 9.25-9.5 Mohs scale for hardness making it suitable for daily wear. 

This 3.5-carat vintage-inspired Pear Moissanite Engagement Ring has a massive 12x8mm pear-shaped moissanite gemstone but only costs £2,788.00. It provides a far less expensive choice while strikingly preserving the spirit of excellent jewelry.

 

Vintage-inspired Pear Moissanite Engagement Ring

 

A present, a keepsake, or an heirloom could take any shape. Choosing gemstones for rings, necklaces, and bracelets in jewelry can be difficult. Considerations include quality, authenticity, and cost. Moissanite, lab-grown diamonds, and natural diamonds all offer varying degrees of refinement. Never forget that expressions of love and devotion can be costly or inexpensive. The intention is what counts most.

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“I never worry about diets. The only carrots that interest me are the number you get in a diamond.”

― 

MAE WEST