The Stone of Invincibility
Wealth, Victory, Everlasting Love
A legend claims the God of Mines called his courtiers to bring together all the world’s known gems: Rubies, Sapphires, Emeralds, etc., and he found them to be of all tints and colors and varying harnesses. He took one of each and crushed them; he compounded them together, and declared, “Let this be something that will combine the beauty of all.” He spoke, and lo, the Diamond was born…pure as a dewdrop and invincible in hardness. Yet when its ray is resolved in the spectrum, it displays all the colors of the gems from which it was made. Though it is a gem of winter, the color of ice, Diamond is a crystal of Light; its high frequency energy is dispersed into flashing prisms of brilliant “fire” that typifies the sun. It is a spiritual stone, a symbol of perfection and illumination. In addition to its spiritual power, Diamond has an unconquerable hardness, bringing victory, superior strength, fortitude and courage to its wearer. It is associated with lightning and fearlessness, and for its properties of protection.
THE HISTORY OF DIAMONDS
Culturally, diamonds have had many stories and folklore associated with them due to their beauty and grace. In Sanskrit, diamonds are called “vajra” meaning lightning; in Hindu mythology lightning was used as weapon by Indra, the king of gods. Diamonds have cross-culturally depicted courage, invincibility and strength. Enchantingly, the Greeks interpreted the fire of the diamond as the symbolic flame of eternal love. Composed of pure carbon, the foundational element of life, it is the one and only “10” on the hardness scale, crystallized deep in the earth’s mantle under intense heat and pressure. Its name is derived from the Greek adamas, meaning “indomitable,” “unbreakable,” or “untamable,” and diaphanus, meaning "transparent".
THE COLOR OF THE DIAMOND
Diamonds occur in a variety of colors—steel gray, white, blue, yellow, orange, red, green, pink to purple, brown, and black. A chemically pure and structurally perfect diamond is perfectly transparent with no hue, or color. However, in reality almost no gem-sized natural diamonds are absolutely perfect. Depending on the hue and intensity of a diamond's coloration, a diamond's color can either detract from or enhance its value. For example, most white diamonds are discounted in price when more yellow hue is detectable, while intense pink or blue diamonds can be dramatically more valuable. Out of all colored diamonds, red diamonds are the rarest. Each of the major colors has a different level of rareness (and of course the price level reflects that rarity)
The Hope Diamond is a large, 45.52-carat deep-blue diamond, and now housed in the National Gem and Mineral collection at the National Natural History Museum in Washington, D.C. It is notorious for supposedly being cursed. Is esiamted to worth an amazing $350 Millions
Diamonds signify steadfast, enduring love because of their unmatched strength and beauty. The versatile look of diamonds enables them to be worn with any outfit, from an elegant cocktail dress to blue jeans. It’s no wonder diamond engagement rings are the most popular accompaniment to popping the question.
Although the tradition of giving a ring to the woman who has promised to become your bride goes back centuries, diamond engagement rings are a relatively recent innovation. Diamond engagement rings first became popular in the 1930s. In 1477, Archduke Maximillian of Austria commissioned the very first diamond engagement ring on record for his betrothed, Mary of Burgundy. This sparked a trend for diamond rings among European aristocracy and nobility.
The sentimental Victorians and the Edwardians popularized ornate engagement ring designs that mixed diamonds with other gemstones, precious metals and enamels.
In 1947, De Beers (owner and operator company of the diamond mines in South Africa) launched its now classic slogan, "A Diamond is Forever." A diamond's purity and sparkle have now become symbols of the depth of a man's commitment to the woman he loves in practically all corners of the world.
In 1992, the average cost of a diamond engagement ring was $1,500. Today, the average cost is closer to $5,000.
A diamond cut is a design or style guide that is used when the diamond is being shaped for polishing purposes. This refers to the symmetry, polish and proportioning of the diamond. Over the years, the most popular cut for diamond engagement rings has always been the round brilliant,consisting of 58 facets that divide the stone into a top and bottom half. Runners up include the princess cut, the emerald cut and the oval cut, with the cushion cut quickly gaining popularity as a recent trend. The history of cutting Diamonds dates back to the beginning of the 1400's in Paris.
The following are the different types of cuts of diamonds that produce the various visual effects.
Round (Brilliant) Cut – this is referred to as the archetypical brilliant cut that features a total of 58 facets which is the optimal number that is used to achieve maximum light return. The round cut diamond is the most popular diamond shape, representing approximately 75% of all diamonds sold
Oval Cut – this is a narrower and longer version of the round brilliant cut, however, oval cut diamonds have the added advantage of an elongated shape, which can create the illusion of greater size.
Marquise Cut – is a football-shaped, modified brilliant-cut it is similar to an oval shape. It can be described as an elongated version of the round option but features more pointed ends. The marquise diamond has one of the largest surface areas of any diamond shape, making it a good choice when trying to maximize perceived size.
Pearl Cut – this also has 58 facets but usually has varying proportions, it comes with a soft and round edge. Ideally, a pear shaped diamond should possess excellent or very good symmetry.
Heart Cut – this is one of the most romantic types of diamond cuts in the market. Forming the shape perfectly is normally a difficult task as all the lobes have to be totally symmetrical to achieve diamond brilliance.
Trillion Cut – this is a triangular shaped diamond that is normally used to enhance larger stone centers working as side stones.
Emerald Cut – the unique look of the emerald cut diamond is due to the step cuts of its pavilion and its large, open table. This is a rectangular shaped stone and offers additional clarity.
Asscher Cut – this is an octagonal shape that was first produced in 1902 by the Asscher Brothers of Holland, and is a forerunner to the emerald cut. The asscher cut diamond is similar to the emerald cut, but in a square shape with larger step facets, a higher crown, and a smaller table. This combination often produces more brilliance than the emerald cut.
Baguette Cut – this is used on a stone whose main purpose is to accentuate a larger piece of center stone.Princess Cut – this is a rectangular or square shape that most diamond cutters love because it utilizes the rough diamond which translates to cheaper price and less wastage. It was first created in 1980
Radiant Cut – this is officially known as the “cut cornered rectangular modified brilliant”. The radiant can either be rectangular or square. It is a chic combination of the elegance portrayed by the emerald cut and the brilliance oozed by the round cut.
Cushion Cut - it combines a square cut with rounded corners, much like a pillow (hence the name). This classic cut has been around for almost 200 years, and for the first century of its existence was the most popular diamond shape (similar to round cut today).
“Carat” is the term used to refer to the weight of a diamond (not to be confused with the term “karat” referring the purity of gold). One carat is defined as one fifth of a gram or 200 milligrams, approximately the weight of a paperclip. A carat can further be divided into “points,” where one point is equal to 0.01 carat (just as a dollar is divided into 100 pennies).
History and background
The term carat originates from the Greek and Arabic names for the carob tree - Keration in Greek and Qirrat in Arabic. The dried seeds of the Carob tree were once widely used by trading merchants as counterweights for weighing gold, diamonds, gemstones and pearls due to their relatively consistent weight and size.
The Byzantine era used glass pebbles, based on carob seeds, for weighing coins, which weighed in at 196 mg, consistent with the average weight of an individual carob seed. However their use eventually diminished as it was discovered that despite their visual uniformity, the seeds were not actually consistent in weight. Many attempts were made to standardise the measurement of gemstone weight and it was only in 1907, at the Fourth General Conference on Weights and Measures that the “carat” was adopted as the official metric measurement for gemstone weights.
Two diamonds of equal weight can have very different values depending on the other members of the Four C’s: clarity, color and cut (carat being the fouths C). The majority of diamonds used in fine jewelry weigh one carat or less.
The Great Star of Africa - 530.20 Carats - the Cullinan I or Star Africa diamond is the largest cut diamond in the world. Pear shaped, with 74 facets, it is set in the Royal Scepter (kept with the other Crown Jewels in the Tower of London). It was cut from the 3,106-carat Cullian, the largest diamond crystal ever found. The Cullian was discovered in Transvaal, South Africa in l095 on an inspection tour of the Premier Mine. The Cullian was cut by Joseph Asscher and Company of Amsterdam, who examined the enormous crystal for around six months before determining how to divide it. It eventually yeilded nine major, and 96 smaller brilliant cut stones. When the Cullian was first discovered, certain signs suggested that it may have been part of a much larger crystal. But no discovery of the "missing half" has ever been authenticated.
Daria-i-Noor - The largest pink diamond in the world, approximately 182 carats (36.4 g), originally from India but now part of Iranian Crown Jewels. Its exact weight is not known; 182 carats (36.4 g) is an estimate.
The Pink Star - The 59.60 carat flawless diamond is oval in shape and mounted on a ring. Measuring 2.69 cm by 2.06 cm, the diamond was auctioned by Sotheby for a massive $83 million in Geneva, Switzerland, in November 2013.