Diamonds have always been a girl’s best friend and have always had a unique place in peoples’ hearts and minds. A diamond represents a significant moment in a person’s life and it is therefore vital to ensure that the integrity of the diamond is as exceptional as the moment, commitment or love that it represents. These feminine and contemporary fine jewels bring the spirit and timeless mystic to create the enchanting treasures that have evoked strong emotions and fascinated mankind throughout the centuries. Their magic and mystery continue to burn our imagination today.
“Nothing says it better than a diamond – nature’s unique gift.”
Every diamond is immensely old, formed billions of years ago, long before dinosaurs roamed the earth. The youngest diamond is estimated to be 900 million years old. There they remained, keeping their precious secrets, until powerful forces carried them upward within volcanic molten lava, only to be concealed again by falling ash and rock.
Over millions of years, the wrath of nature in the form of winds, heat and cold would rework the landscape time and time again. They were crystallized at tremendously high temperatures and pressures, deep beneath the earth's surface. Awaiting discovery — their beauty was concealed by the very processes that made them.
Each is the result of an amazing natural journey which has turned an ancient element into the world's most sought-after jewel.
Diamonds were first recognised and mined in India at least 3000 years ago. The first significant source of diamonds were found in South Africa in 1866.
Southern Africa still produces the majority of the world's diamonds, particularly Botswana. There is also diamond production in Russia, Canada, USA, India, China, South America & Australia.
“Truly, a diamond is a miracle of nature.”
Diamonds which have been prepared as gemstones are sold on diamond exchanges called bourses. There are 26 registered bourses in the world. Bourses are the final tightly controlled step in the diamond supply chain. Wholesalers and even retailers are able to buy small lots of diamonds at bourses, after which they are prepared for final sale to the consumer.
The image of diamonds as a valuable commodity has been preserved through clever marketing campaigns, in particular the De Beers diamond advertising campaign which has been acknowledged as one of the most successful and innovative campaigns in history. It is best captured by the slogan "a diamond is forever".
Another example of successful diamond marketing, after the development of the Argyle diamond mine in Australia in 1986 is the Australian brown or Cognac diamond. Cognac diamonds have now become sought after gems.
Gemmologists and jewellers access the physical attributes of diamonds using the 4 C's classification system — cut, carat, colour and clarity, although a diamonds beauty is based on far more than just these characteristics. While most diamond's qualities are defined by nature, it takes a master craftsman to unlock he diamond's true brilliance, fire and beauty.
Clarity: Clarity refers to the presence of inclusions in a diamond. These are naturally occurring special fingerprints within the stone and are identifying characteristics such as minerals occurring while the diamond was being formed within the earth. The majority of these natural birthmarks are invisible to the naked eye, yet they affect the way the light is reflected and refracted within the stone, even with a loupe. It is only when a diamond clarity is graded "I/P II it is possible to see the birthmarks with the naked eye. There are very few flawless diamonds found in nature, making these diamonds much more valuable.
Colour: Colour refers to the degree to which a diamond is colourless. They are graded on a colour scale which ranges from "D" (colourless) to "Z". Nature has created diamonds in shades of blue, green, pink, yellow, red and orange. These diamonds are called "coloured fancies" and are extremely rare and highly treasured.
Carat: Carat refers to the weight of a diamond and is often mistaken for size. Since large diamonds are found less frequently, a single 1 carat diamond will be more valuable than 2 half carat diamonds assuming, colour, cut and clarity are the same. A diamond's setting should always optimise its beauty.
Cut: Cut refers not only to the angles and proportions of a diamond, but is the only one of the 4 C’s that is influenced by the human hand. Diamond cutting requires great skill and the cutter must polish tiny surfaces known as facets onto the rough diamond. To cut a diamond perfectly, a craftsman will often need to cut away 50% of the rough diamond. Cut also refers to round, square, heart, pear. Regardless of the size, shape or colour of the diamond, once lit, the fire of inspiration burns forever.
No other gem expresses human emotion more powerfully than a diamond.
Rare, precious and indestructible, these essential qualities have made diamonds the perfect symbols for true love and romance.
Perhaps the most publicised romantic diamond gifts in modern times have been the jewels given by Richard Burton to Elizabeth Taylor. These include a 33 carat Krupp diamond worth over US$ 10 million and the pear shaped 69 carat Taylor-Burton diamond.
“Diamonds are an eternal celebration of life’s perfect moments.”
Diamonds are the ultimate accessory, glamorous, elegant and supremely versatile, they are guaranteed to add sophistication and sparkle to any style.
Over time, diamonds became an essential accessory for all illustrious women. From Audrey Hepburn to Halle Berry, Marilyn Monroe to Madonna, all have given diamonds a leading role so that no celebrity event would be complete without their sparkle.
Diamonds continue to capture the imagination of men and women the world over and are desired the prized possessions. Now, more than ever, they are cherished for being both natural and unique -qualities that have become rare in today' society.
“A diamond’s seductive beauty expresses all that is precious.”
A number of large or extraordinary diamonds have gained fame, both as exquisite examples of the beautiful nature of diamonds and because of the famous people who wore, bought and sold them.
Here are a few examples:
Eureka Diamond - the first diamond found in South Africa, a yellow-brown 21.25 carat stone (before cutting) resulting in a finished diamond of 10.73 carats.
Centenary Diamond - 273.85 carats cut weight, Modified heart-shaped brilliant, the world's largest colourless (Grade D), flawless diamond.
Cullinan Diamond - the largest rough gem quality diamond ever found at 3106.75 carats. (approximately the size of an ostrich egg). It was cut into 105 diamonds, some of which now are part of the British Crown jewels.
Darya-ye Noor Diamond - the largest pink diamond in the world, approximately 182 carats, part of the Iranian Crown Jewels.
Koh-i-Noor Diamond -105.6 carat white of Indian origin. After belonging to various Mughal and Persian rulers, it was presented to Queen Victoria during the British Raj, and is now part of the Crown of Queen Elizabeth.
It is recommended to have your diamond cleaned every two years by a jeweller. If doing this by yourself to use soapy water and a soft brush. It is very important that if you ever notice that a diamond is loose or moving in the setting, to take it off immediately and take it to a jeweller.
Click here to view the range of diamond jewellery scheduled to be auctioned at First State Auctions.