The aphorism is old but true - nothing says “I love you” quite like a diamond.
Diamonds are composed of a single element (carbon) and were formed at high temperature and pressure deep in the earth’s mantle (around 100 km beneath the surface) around 3.5 billion years ago. Their most common naturally occurring shape is the octahedron – like 2 inverted pyramids bound together. This natural shape lends itself to the beautiful faceting that lapidarists (the professionals that cut and polish diamonds) apply to enhance the brilliance of diamonds and their inherent light magnifying qualities. Interesting that gems formed in the deep dark earth have such strong affinity for light.
Diamond is the hardest material in the world – measuring 10 on the Mohs scale. Only diamonds can cut diamonds!
It is not exactly clear when diamonds became a part of our human lives, but where they entered is, and that’s in India. An old Indian book called the Arthasastra, dating back to the 4th century BC, outlines how diamonds were first used. By that time, diamonds were known, traded and even taxed in India. Furthermore, at that time diamond experts existed as did a classification system for diamonds. This suggests an extensive knowledge of the subject, perhaps implying that diamonds were in use for quite some time by then.
The majority of diamonds are colourless/transparent – although in recent decades pink and coloured diamonds have come to prominence. The Argyle Mine in Western Australia recently ceased extracting (2021) their pink diamonds- having supplied around 90% of the world’s reserve up to then.
Nowadays, gemmologists and jewellers can grade your diamonds by the 4C classification: Colour, Carat, Clarity and Cut. No matter what the classification, diamond engagement rings are the most sentimental of jewellery valuables and should be protected by insurance and, in our opinion, worn in a Fonya when not on your finger.
Diamonds are certainly the signature stones for engagement rings and are also the gemstone for April and for Diamond Jubilees (60th anniversaries).
Apart from their use in jewellery – both as precious gems and components in time pieces --they have a range of other uses. Diamond tipped saws and cutters are used in industrial settings. Thin layer diamond windows are used in x-ray machines. Diamond speaker domes enhance the performance of high quality speakers. The special optical properties of diamond, such as a high index of refraction and high dispersion, enable it to be used in specialty lenses where durability and performance are required.
So you now see why diamonds are also a boy’s best friend!