Diamonds can be described using four key characteristics known as the Four C’s: carats, cut, clarity, and color, which are used to determine their value. The famed clarity of diamonds allows them to be cut in such a way as to maximize light refraction, which gives diamonds their signature sparkle. Cutting is the process by which rough diamonds become much sought after gemstones. The birthstone for April is the diamond.
Physical Properties Diamonds are solid formations of pure carbon that come from deep within the earth’s mantle. The rigidity of the stones, and the extreme pressure under which they are formed, leaves little room for impurities which is why diamonds are so renowned for their clarity. Diamonds are also the hardest naturally occurring material on the planet and natural diamonds can range in age from 1 billion to 3.5 billion years.
Healing and Meaning The name “diamond” comes from the Greek “adámas” which means unalterable or unbreakable. Because of this unbreakable quality, we associate diamonds with permanence and fidelity. This meaning has romantic significance, which is likely why diamonds have become the most popular gemstone for engagement rings. Diamonds also have a protective quality, driving away negative thoughts and soothing away fears. The sparkle and shine from a diamond also makes them an uplifting stone which is believed to brighten and clear bad energy.
History of Diamonds
It is believed that diamonds were first discovered in India, where they may have been used as early as 6,000 years ago. While diamonds have been used decoratively for centuries, their notorious hardness also lends them to usage in carving tools and engraving tools. Diamonds are perhaps now best associated with engagement rings but that tradition was actually only popularized in the 1930’s. This is likely because of the romantic, devotional meanings associated with diamonds.
Famous and Infamous Diamonds
A famous tongue in cheek reference to the long-lasting, unalterable quality of diamonds, can be found in a song that actress Marilyn Monroe made famous, “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend”. The joke the song makes is that diamonds, given by a romantic partner, will outlast the relationship itself. Not only is this song featured in the 1953 film Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, it is also sung by Nicole Kidman in Baz Luhrman’s Moulin Rouge.
One of the most famous diamonds is the Hope Diamond, which is an astounding 45.5 carats, and is first recorded as being purchased by the French gemstone merchant Jean-Baptiste Tavernier in 1666. He recut the diamond and sold it to King Louis XIV of France in 1668. After being stolen and yet again recut, the diamond came to be owned by the Hope banking family, hence its name. What makes this diamond so famous are the stories of it being cursed. While there is sadly little historical basis for these stories, they still persist and bring a mystical charm to this blue diamond that is now on display in the Smithsonian Museum.
Styling Tips for Diamonds
While diamonds may be most famously used in engagement rings, they can feature in various settings and many different styles of jewelry. A larger, more substantial diamond can draw the eye, catching and refracting light, sparkling and shimmering.
Smaller diamonds can be used subtly to frame a larger stone or piece, and to add signature shimmer to a necklace, or special detail to a pendant. Given the famed clarity of diamonds, and their ability to reflect a range of colors, they can easily compliment any outfit or complexion.
Care and Cleaning tips for Diamonds
Diamonds are known for their strength and unbreakable quality but they still do need care and cleaning. The simplest way to keep your diamonds clean is to wash them in warm, diluted dishsoap and water. For extra shine, you can use an ammonia based cleaner, like window washing liquid. It should also be noted that because diamonds are so hard, they should not be stored with other jewelry or gemstones as they could scratch other pieces.
There are often unique and beautiful jewelry made with diamonds in my online store, it is a beautiful and classic to create handmade jewelry with. Shop all Diamond pieces in my online store and get your very own Diamond jewelry shipped right to your door.
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