Fascination diamond – myth, magic and reality. They resemble purity, beauty and wealth. The diamond is one of the most wanted and most famous gemstones. It got its name from the Greek work for strength: “adames”, which means the invincible. For centuries humans have known the value of diamonds. Kings, Barons and Dukes have adorned their crowns, rings and other jewelry with the desirable gemstone. The sparkle of the diamond let’s everyone around know who is in power and lives in abundance and wealth. Many of the most renown diamonds, such as the 110 carat diamond in the crown of the British Queen, have travelled from India via entangled ways to Europe.
In fact, there is nothing stronger or harder than diamonds. That is why they stand for endurance and eternity. The maximum grinding hardness of diamonds (level 10) is 140 times as high as that of ruby or sapphire. Yet, they are the first stones down the line in hardness to a diamond of level 9. However, the hardness of each surface on a cut diamond is different. And therein lies the only way of cutting a diamond – with another diamond, or diamond dust.
The unique sheen and sparkle of the diamond lends itself to the trained eye in distinguishing the original from an imitation.
The famous 4Cs. In order to choose the right diamond one needs to keep in mind the 4Cs: Cut, Color, Clarity and Carat. The cut is the most important criteria of quality, as it is responsible for the brilliance and sparkle of a diamond. The better the cut, the more the diamond sparkles. The colour of a diamond determines how white a diamond is. This is measured on a scale of D to Z.
CIBJO - IDC
Hochfeines Weiß +
Exceptional White (+)
Top Wesselton +
Feines Weiß +
Rare White (+)
I - J
Leicht getöntes Weiß
Slightly tinted White
K - L
M - N
O - P
Q - R
S - Z
D-E: Exceptional White to River stand for a nearly see-through diamond, which is extremely rare and makes for a very high price.
The purity of a diamond relates to the small irregularities, which each natural diamond carries within. They are called ‘very small inclusions’. The more inclusions there are in a diamond, the less pure it is. Inclusions are scaled to 10x their original size, and from the stage ‘Included’ onward one may spot irregularities with the bare eye.
Flawless under the microscope (no irregularities to be seen in 10x enlargement)
Flawless under the microscope (possible traces of the cutting procedure)
Very very Slightly Included 1
Inclusions hardly noticeable (10x enlargement)
Very very Slightly Included 2
Inclusions are very difficult to see (10x enlargement)
Very Slightly Included 1
Inclusions are difficult to see (10x enlargement)
Very Slightly Included 2
Inclusions visible (10x enlargement)
Slightly Included 1
Inclusions easily visible (10x enlargement)
Slightly Included 2
Inclusions clearly visible (10x enlargement)
Included / Piqué 1
Inclusions barely visible with the bare eye
Included / Piqué 2
Inclusions visible with the bare eye
Included / Piqué 3
Inclusions easily visible with the bare eye
The unite of carat (Ct.) only measures the weight of a diamond, and does not, as commonly thought, relate to the size. The word ‘carat’ comes from the French word “le carat”, which in turn has its roots in the medieval “carratus” coming from the Arab “quirat” and the Greek “kerátion” (horn), because the fruit of the carob tree is formed just like a horn. The seed of the fruits were used as measuring units, as they are surprisingly even in weights: ca 0.2 grams. And finally: 1 Ct. = 0.2 g.
The Diavik diamond mine in the centre of Lake de Gras in the Northwestern Territories of Canada.
The largest natural sources of diamonds lie in Russia, Africa (especially South Africa), Namibia, Angola, Botswana and the Democratic Republic of the Congo as well as Sierra Leone, Australia, Canada and Brazil. However, diamonds have been found on all continents at one point.