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Diamonds are Forever


Diamonds composition is Carbon, C

Diamonds are formed deep in the earth’s mantle under high pressure and high temperature in a carbon rich environment under cratons at depths of 200km’s below the earth’s surface. Diamonds then undergo a brutal journey to the earth’s crust from the earth’s mantle. They travel from 100-600 km’s from the mantle to the earth’s crust in volcanic vent eruptions called pipes. They need to reach the surface quickly so they don’t disintegrate in the intense heat before they reach the surface.

Diamonds are 4 billion years old, oldest known mineral is zircon (4.4 billion years old) and are often found as inclusions in diamonds.

Colour:   Diamonds are found in all colours, i.e. colourless, yellow, brown, green, blue, violet, pink, red, black, etc. The most common colours are yellow (in varying degrees of intensity), brown, grey and green (also in varying degrees of intensity). If a diamond has strong noticeable colour it is termed “fancy”. The most popular fancy gem colours are emerald-green, red, sapphire-blue, pink, orange, violet-blue, canary (strong pure yellow).


Mohs Hardness:  10
Diamonds are the hardest natural material on this planet. 140 times harder than rubies.

Birthstone:  April

Wedding Anniversary:  10th, 30th 60th 75th, 80th  year.

18ct Gold and Diamond Brooch by Felicity Peters Argyle Diamond Ring by Felicity Peters Corrugated 18ct Gold & Diamond Earrings


The word “diamond” comes from the ancient Greek word “adamas,” meaning indestructible, unbreakable, unchangeable or invincible. Beyond their modern representations as the stone of marriage and commitment, diamonds have also represented faithfulness, purity and innocence. Heralded as the stone of purity and constancy, it is thought to be the gemstone of the intellect, preventing misunderstandings (romantic and otherwise). Diamond is also believed to provide clarity of thought, encouraging the resolution of problems which comes with clear understanding.

Treatment: Diamonds are often heated treated or irradiated to improve colour and clarity

Occurrence: South Africa, Botswana, Canada, Russia, Australia, India, Brazil

Inclusions: Zircons, peridot, garnets, rutile, ruby

The 4c’s

Cut It’s the cut that makes the difference! Cut is the most important of the 4C’s. The proportion, finish and symmetry if the external facets of a diamond are what creates the fire and brilliance. A diamond may be colourless and flawless but if it not cut well it can appear dull and lifeless. The optimum cut is the round brilliant cut, to show the maximum fire (white light split into spectral colours) facets brilliant cut into 58 facets.

Carat 5 carats = 1gram (carrot seeds)

¼ carat 25 points/4.1mm
½ carat 50 points/5.2mm
1 carat 100 points/6.5mm


free from inclusions usually viewed and assessed at 10x magnification

FL/IF flawless, internally flawless
VVS1-VVS2 very,very slight inclusions
VS1-VS2 very slight inclusions
SI1-SI2 slight inclusions
I1-I2-I3 inclusions visible to the naked eye


Diamonds are graded for their lack of colour, unless you are grading “fancy” coloured diamonds which include pink green yellow blue

















































Near colourless

Faint yellow

Very light yellow

Light yellow


Cubic zirconia'sWatch out for Imitations and Synthetics:

  • Glass
  • Moissanite synthetic
  • CZ, (Cubic Zirconia) artificial, lab grown material not to be consumed with a natural zircon
  • CVD and HPHT synthetic lab grown diamonds.
  • Synthetic spinel.
  • Herkimer Diamonds (quartz)
Cubic Zirconia Ring by Felicity Peters New York Herkimer Diamond Earrings by Lush Baubles

18ct Shell Pendant with Pearl and Moissanite Diamond by John Allchin

Interesting Facts:

Diamonds are Hydrophobic:

A similar property also possessed by fats, oils, greases and waxes – all organic compounds, where droplets of water “bead up” on the surface of a diamond because diamond has no affinity for water and the surface of a diamond cannot be “wet” by water.

Western Australia Argyle Mine

Argyle was the world’s top producer of pink diamonds until its closure. RioTinto’s Argyle Diamond Mine, in Western Australia, ceased production in 2020 after nearly 40 years of operation.

RioTinto anticipate that it will take five years to decommission and dismantle the mine and undertake rehabilitation, followed by a further period of time for monitoring. Following closure, the land will be returned to the Traditional Owners as the custodians of Country

The demand for pink diamonds continues to soar, a better investment than the Australian stock market.

Diamond History and Symbolism

There is evidence of diamond drills being used to drill beads in Western India from more than 2000 BC, and in antiquity they were also used as the eyes in devotional statues of the Hindu Gods, as well as for adornment. As knowledge of the Diamond’s superior hardness and attractive fire and/or fluorescing qualities spread, so the stones became more popular, were traded to west and east. Before diamonds were discovered in Brazil in the 1725, India was the only place where diamonds were mined. Unfortunately the famed Golconda Diamond Mines in India are now largely exhausted, but some consider the very white old Indian stones to be the very best, this is where the 109 carat Koh-I-Noor Diamond originally came from, it is now set into the British Crown Jewels, housed in the Tower of London.

The name Diamond comes from the Greek, adamas, meaning indestructible, unbreakable, unchangeable or invincible. The ancient Sanskrit language has many different words for diamonds, many of them relating to weapons or fire. Folk lore gives various attributes to diamonds, including these supernatural powers:

  • A diamond gives victory to he or she who carries it bound on his left arm, no matter the number of enemies.
  • Panics, pestilences, enchantments, all fly before it; hence, it is good for sleepwalkers and the insane.
  • It deprives lodestone and magnets of their virtue (i.e., ability to attract iron).
  • Arabic diamonds are said to attract iron greater than a magnet.

Whilst some European Royal Houses used Diamonds as gifts upon engagement to betrothal, the stones were mainly prized for their protective properties. Coloured stones such as Emeralds, Rubies and Sapphires were more popular. After Diamonds were discovered and mines developed in South Africa, in the early twentieth century, the De Beers Company conceived an advertising campaign to make the Brilliant Cut Diamond Solitaire the most sought after engagement ring, as a way of increasing demand for the huge numbers of good quality stones flooding the market. These rings still set the standard for Engagement rings today, with some adaptations, such as the addition of a diamond encrusted band.

Remember, Diamonds Are A Girl’s Best friend, and Diamonds Are forever…


GAA Course Notes
Bolton Gems
Fire Mountain Gems

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