Diamond is one of the world's most sought after and adored gemstones, with those born in April lucky enough to call this spectacular gem their birthstone. Traditionally diamonds are seen as a symbol of love, faithfulness and purity so it comes as no surprise it is a common choice for wedding bands and engagement rings.
Historians believe that India was dealing in diamonds as early as the fourth century BC however in the early 1700s when their supplies began to decline, Brazil emerged as an important source when they were discovered in Minas Gerais leading Brazil to dominate the diamond market for over 150 years. The late 1800s marked the beginning of the modern diamond when they were discovered near Kimberley in South Africa and De Beers was established. By 1900 De Beers controlled roughly 90 percent of the worlds production of rough diamonds. Towards the end of the 1970s the largest producers of rough diamonds were South Africa, Zaire (now known as the Democratic Republic of Congo) and the former Soviet Union. By the 1980s Russia and South Africa remained constant whilst Zaire's production of lower quality material doubled with new mines popping up in Botswana and Australia. World diamond mining was further expanded with new deposits in northern Canada in 2000.
Although the 4Cs are considered the global language of diamond quality, there’s so much more to choosing these beautiful stones. With such a vast range of colours and shapes available it‘s simply not enough to rely on these categories alone, size spread, fluorescence, symmetry and polish will all also alter the value and appearance of stones. The best avenue when purchasing a diamond is to see a selection in person, you might be surprised to see the differences!
Photo credit: www.gia.edu/diamond
Diamonds rate as a 10 on the Mohs scale of hardness making them the hardest stone and suitable for everyday wear. Clarity enhancements in diamonds are not uncommon so buying stones from a trusted source is vital to ensure you are purchasing un-treated, natural stones. It is recommended you get a professional clean and check at least annually to assess for any general wear and tear. For general care at home it is recommended to use a soft toothbrush with warm soapy water and like all precious and semi-precious stones it’s important to be careful when storing not to let stones run against each other to avoid scratching. Whether you’re shopping for the April birthstone, or a gemstone to celebrate your 60th (or 75th!) wedding anniversary, be sure to check out our beautiful range of diamonds!