Diamond Education

Each diamond’s story is literally as old as the Earth. Every diamond began as molten magma 100 miles below the surface of the Earth as the planet itself was still forming. Under the forces of tremendous temperatures, pressure, and time the magma was compressed, crystallized, and forced toward the surface. A few diamonds actually made it to the surface, but most are found in mines hundreds of feet deep. The largest diamond mines are in Botswana, Russia, and Canada; however, diamonds have been found in areas throughout the world, including the United States.

To produce one carat of diamonds, miners sift through approximately 200-250 tons of ore. The average size of the diamond coming out of a mine is .10 carats, and even then, only 20% of mined diamonds are gem quality.

Gem-quality diamonds are sorted based on size, shape, quality, and color. However, like fingerprints, no two diamonds are exactly alike. (For this reason, you should always view a diamond in person, if possible.) The sorted gems are sold at an invitation-only sale held only 10 times each year. From there, diamonds undergo an exhaustive cutting and shaping process before being placed into a setting. And much of this process is still done by hand by a few master gem cutters.

The entire process – not including the time needed to form the diamond – can take months or even years. It’s no wonder diamonds are the most precious of all gemstones!

The 4 C'S

Cut

The cut of a diamond is carefully calculated to maximize its brilliance. A cut and polished diamond's radiance is based on its relationship with light: how light strikes the surface, how much enters the diamond, and how much - and in what form - light returns to your eye. A diamond cut with correct proportions maximizes its interaction with light. The result is spectacular fire and brilliance.

Color

Although they may look colorless, most diamonds actually have a small amount of color.

The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) has created a color scale that extends from D (colorless) to Z (light yellow or brown). Color grades are determined by examining each diamond in a controlled environment. Each letter represents a level of discernable color.

Clarity
The heat and pressure required to form diamonds create imperfections known as inclusions. Inclusions are like a diamond's natural "fingerprint" (truly flawless diamonds are extremely rare) and contribute to the stone's character. A diamond's clarity is a measure of its inclusions. The GIA Clarity Scale includes 11 clarity grades ranging from Flawless to I3.
Carat Weight

Carat weight refers to a diamond's size and weight. One carat equals 200 milligrams in weight. Each carat is divided into 100 points. A 1-carat diamond = 100 points, a .75-carat diamond = 75 points, etc. Remember, diamonds with the same carat weight can vary greatly in value, depending on color, clarity, and cut. Choosing the perfect stone is a matter of deciding what matters most to you - size or quality - then finding the best combination of factors to suit your needs.

Caring for your Diamond

gems

You probably know that diamonds are the hardest substance on Earth. But that doesn’t mean they don’t require a bit of care.

Diamonds can be chipped, so it’s important to have a jeweler inspect them once a year. If possible, avoid wearing your diamond jewelry to the gym or to other locations where they may be subject to harsh physical conditions.

Take special care with your diamond ring around water, as it can become loose and slip off. And try not to wear your ring in chlorinated water, because chlorine can eventually damage the metal in the setting.

Clean your diamond regularly. A simple plan to keep your diamond jewelry looking beautiful is to soak the diamond in an ammonia-based jewelry cleaner overnight, once or twice weekly. In the morning, remove the diamond from the cleaner and brush it with a soft, clean toothbrush to remove any leftover dirt. Take extra care to brush the back of the diamond as this will be the area that has collected the most oil and dirt.

Finally, don’t store your diamond jewelry next to other jewelry pieces because it can scratch them. A fabric-lined jewelry case with separate compartments is ideal, but you can also keep it in a separate pouch or wrap it in soft fabric or tissue paper.


Social Responsibility

Chipper’s Jewelry guarantees that our diamonds are conflict-free. That means no one was compromised or hurt in any way for the diamonds that we sell. We demand ALL of our diamond suppliers to provide diamonds purchased through legitimate, “Conflict Free” sources. A written warranty is required for every individual new diamond shipment. In a global business like jewelry, we feel that our commitment to community extends to the world community.

Want to learn more? Visit the World Diamond Council’s Diamond Facts website. http://diamondfacts.org

 

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