Rough Diamonds - What are they:
These are diamonds that are still in their natural state, meaning they haven’t been cut or polished and look much like ice cubes before they are cut into the shapes used in jewelry! Only 20% of all rough diamonds are suitable for gem cutting, the remaining are used for industrial tools, for drilling, cutting, grinding and polishing. Once cut, they take on the familiar shapes we recognize in jewelry, containing unique visual properties like an extremely high index of refraction, high dispersion and stunning white color, which gives the unique “fire” and “sparkle” we associate with diamonds.
Natural Diamonds - How are they made:
Diamonds need immense pressure, combined with temperatures in excess of 2000 degrees in order to be formed and are created around 90 miles beneath the surface, in the Earth’s Mantle. They consist of pure carbon and every carbon atom of a diamond is bounded by another four carbon atoms: making it one of the most durable and hardest substances known to man.
Lab-Grown Diamonds - How are they made:
Over the past 50 years, a method has been created to grow diamonds in a lab under the same conditions that they are formed naturally. They began making them for commercial tools, but over time, the size and quality have reached a level where they can be used for jewelry. Lab-grown diamonds are indistinguishable from natural diamonds and can only be identified in laboratory tests.
The 4 C’s:
The quality of a diamond is measured by the 4C's, Carat weight, Clarity, Color and the Cut Grade.
- Color varies from clear (commonly referred to as white) to yellow to brown. Colorless diamonds receive higher grades and are generally the highest value.
- Carat weight is the weight of the diamond and it gives you a rough idea of the size of that diamond. Generally speaking, the higher the carat weight, the rarer the diamond!
- Clarity refers to the number, size and location of all inclusions and blemishes: these are the small imperfections a diamond may have. The higher the clarity grade, the fewer imperfections there are on a diamond.
- Cut refers to the quality and precision of the cuts used to create a diamond’s facets, it measures how well a diamond reflects light and generates sparkles.
These contain impurities within the chemical composition and different impurities will cause different colors to form within the structure of the diamond. The more impurities, more intense the color.
Nitrogen is the most common impurity and causes the yellow color in a diamond. Boron, a rare element in the earth’s crust will create a blue diamond. Other colors like green, purple and orange occur from natural radiation.
Also, it’s possible to artificially enhance the color of a diamond by irradiating or heat-treating a diamond.