The genuine diamond gemstones have been known to be the hardest and most prized of all the material mother earth has ever created. One fact about them that is true but not widely known is that the price of this gemstone has been kept artificially high by the gem dealers so they can keep their profits high. This is accomplished by limiting the number of diamonds that are available on the market at any given time.
Understanding just what a diamond is and what type you desire is key to obtaining knowledge about it so you can know its worth. Today there are more types of diamonds in the world than at any other point in time. There is the highly sought after gemstone, the manmade gemstone and the industrial gemstone. Each one is made out of carbon that has been condensed by pressure in its formation. The variations in each type are how it was made, its clarity, purity and the end purpose for it.
Industrial diamonds are used mainly for use on drilling rigs. Since diamonds are the hardest known mineral on earth they cut thru rock faster and last longer than other materials. While they are diamonds and are very hard, they would not be attractive if they were placed in jewelry because of clarity and purity issues.
The man made diamonds are also around and today in large quantities. They are generally easy to spot since they are perfect or near perfect in their lattice makeup. Unlike natural diamonds, the man made diamonds are made in laboratory under ideal conditions which permit them to be made without flaws and to the desired size. For this reason if you find a nearly flawless diamond that is relatively inexpensive you can safely assume it is of the man made variety. The actual name you might see for a man made diamond will vary. The first name to be widely used by the private sector in marketing them was Cubic Zirconia. As the market became saturated with this type of diamond, another name was used including Messonite. Other manufactures of manmade diamonds placed a descriptive name before the word diamond. These include lab, fake, stimulant, created and synthetic.
The natural gemstone called diamond is made naturally in the earth. Because it is natural, there are flaws in it along with small amounts of contaminants. These characteristics make each diamond unique and no two are exactly alike. To determine the value and rareness of each diamond, they are judged by what is referred to as the 4 Cs. This includes color, clarity, carat and cut.
The color of a diamond is determined by the type and concentration of the impurities that are trapped in its lattice makeup. White or colorless diamonds have little to no color to them and are the most common in smaller gems. As the diamonds grow in size, the possibility of it containing a contaminant increases. The most common of these contaminants is nitrogen. This changes the hue of the diamond to a slight yellow. The greater the concentration of the nitrogen, the stronger the color is. The scale of grading them begins with the totally colorless diamond at D and a really visible yellow diamond at Z. the farther up the scale towards Z, the greater the amount of contamination and the stronger presence of the color. The greater the defects in the lattice structure of the diamond will then produce a yellow brown hue.
Other colors that show up in diamonds, but are relatively rare include green from radiation exposure along with red, orange, blue, purple and pink. In the case of the Aurora Diamond Collection, they exhibit every color know in the rainbow and is an extremely rare type of diamond.
Clarity of a diamond is the most misunderstood part of knowing how to grade and judge diamonds. This involves the flaws of the gemstone. It is true that most of the flaws of a diamond cannot be seen with the naked eye or even with the assistance of a jeweler’s magnifying loupe it is still part of how a diamond is graded and its value determined. The lower the level of clarity, the less expensive is the value of the gemstone. For most people that just admire diamonds, clarity is no non-item. Only a qualified jeweler can determine clarity.
The carat of a diamond is the actual weight of the stone. This is not to be confused with Karat weight used for gold and other precious metals or the vegetable. A carat is equivalent to 200 mg in weight in the diamond and gemstone industry. The density of the stone will determine the size which is why diamonds of the same carat will vary in sizes. What is ironic is that a Cubic Zirconia gem of the same size as a natural diamond will be heavier and have a larger carat number assigned to it. This is what was advantageous for the selling of these fake gems in the beginning.
The cut of a diamond is done by a specialist to bring out the best light refraction of the stone. The ideal cut would reflect light back at a 180 degree angle from the source when directed on the top of the gem. The most common cut is the round brilliant which has 57 different facets. The exact method and angles that are chosen by a diamond cutter is now determined using X-ray diffraction. This has reduced the amount of waste when cutting a gem from a raw diamond but in most instances 50% of the original stone will be cleaved away.
The cutting of diamonds has evolved with time and better techniques. The first known cut is the point cut or octahedral. It had 8 sides and was introduced to the world in the 1300s. By cutting off the top the table cut was created a couple of centuries later which then eventually lead to the Tolkowsky cut which is also called the round brilliant was developed in 1919.
Other less common cuts include princess, oval, marquise, pear, cushion, emerald, asscher, radiant and heart. While they do not reflect the same amount of light as the Tolkowsky cut, some people prefer them.
Diamonds are the hardest substance known to man and one of the most difficult to judge by the public. Educating yourself about them when you have to deal with one is the best way to protect yourself from a fraud and bad deal.