World of Diamonds

Diamonds at a Glance:

 Mineral Name:  Carbon
 Colour:  Typically White (or colourless) but diamonds can be Pink, Yellow, Black, Brown, Green, Blue or Red
 Main Factor  Affecting Value:  Cut, Clarity, Colour and Carat weight
 Inclusions:  The Clarity grade determines the extent of inclusions
 Birthstone:  Diamond is the April Birthstone
 Some Diamond Mines:  South Africa, Canada, Australia, Russia

An unusual look at the world of diamonds

The internet is awash with guides upon diamonds, with each covering the same old, albeit diamond encrusted, ground. And whilst these are super useful for those looking for practical purchasing guides, we wanted to add a little sparkle to the occasion.  So here we take a fresh look at the world of diamonds, exploring everything from the most famous rocks in the world, right through to some little known facts about diamonds.  Diamonds are worn daily by millions of gemstone lovers set in various types of Diamond Jewellery such as Diamond earrings, Diamond necklaces, Bracelets and rings. 

Diamonds: A few technical misconceptions

Before we begin our fun filled exploration of the world of diamonds, let us first cover a little technical information, for those of you who may have landed here looking for some starting information for purchasing a diamond.  First and foremost we should set the record straight by debunking a few myths.  To this end, diamonds are not, contrary to popular belief, rare. That said anything onwards from reasonable quality diamonds may be considered as relatively rare.  Two further common misunderstandings are also that diamonds are created from pressurised coal, and, secondly, that the larger the rock, the better the diamond.  We describe the four true characteristics behind judging a diamond’s worth over on our comprehensive Diamond Guide page.

Diamonds – the geology:

The journey of the creation of diamonds in nature is one that spans billions of years!  Diamonds are 99.95% pure crystallised carbon and are normally one to three billion years old! They are the hardest naturally material known and are formed beneath the earth's surface when crystals of diamond form due to immense pressures and temperatures created deep in the earth’s mantle. The conditions which are required for diamonds to form are found about 90 miles below the earth’s surface enabling them to form in that special environment which is unique to a particular zone in the earth’s mantle.  Once formed, diamonds are pushed closer to the earth’s surface through deep volcanic eruptions which push them near the surface where they can be mined.  Due to the rarity of this natural process, diamond mines are found in just a handful of locations around the world.  Once mined, the diamonds are shipped to the world's cutting centres where the rough diamonds are cut, shaped and polished before being set in jewellery. It is the mesmerising brilliance and sparkle that emerges during this process that transforms diamonds into a girl's best friend!

Diamonds – some history:

It is said that the world’s love of diamonds started in India around the 4th century BC.  Diamonds were found and gathered from rivers around the country and enjoyed by the very few who could afford to experience the magic of this dazzling gem.  Gradually through trade routes, Indian diamonds found their way to the West and by the 1400’s diamonds were being worn by the wealthy and fashionable elite on Europe.  Legend dictates that in 1477, a love struck Austrian, Archduke Maximilian, came up with the idea of giving Mary of Burgundy a diamond ring to celebrate their imminent engagement.  He placed it on the third finger of her left hand - the finger believed by ancient Egyptians to have a vein that led straight to the heart!! 

The modern diamond market really began in Africa when diamonds were discovered in Kimberley, South Africa in 1866.  In 1888, 22 years later, entrepreneur Cecil Rhodes established De Beers which by 1900 controlled an estimated 90% of the world’s diamond production!  Diamond mines were established in South Africa, Zaire (Democratic Republic of Congo) and the former Soviet Union for many years.  Later, diamond mining expanded with diamond deposits being discovered and mined in Botswana (1982), Australia (1985) and northern Canada (2000).

The world’s three most famous diamonds

The Kohinoor Diamond (meaning “Mountain of Light”):

The Kohinoor Diamond features 106 carats and since 1526 has passed through the hands of numerous Indian rulers. Today however it adorns the Queen’s crown. Unsurprisingly the Kohinoor Diamond is one of the most valuable diamonds in the world and whilst many consider it to be officially priceless, back in the 1500s it was given the more specific valuation of half of the world’s production costs in one day.

The Cullinan Diamond:

The Cullinan Diamond holds the title of being the largest gem-quality diamond ever unmined and features a breath taking 3106.75 carats (rough weight).  From this stone came the largest polished white diamond named the Cullinan I, or the Great Star of Africa weighing a staggering 530.4 carats!  Discovered in South Africa in 1905 today this diamond can be found, once more, within the collections of English Royalty, most specifically within the Scepter with the Cross.

The Orloff Diamond:

 The Orloff Diamond weighs 189.62 carats and today forms part of the extensive collections of diamonds at the Moscow Kremlin.  With a history that can be dated all the way back to the second century this diamond has more heritage than most and has passed from its original owners in a Sri Ranganathaswamy Hindu temple, through to Iranian millionaire and onto Russian Count Grigory Grigorievich Orlov, who had it styled into the Imperial Scepter it is set in today in 1784.


Diamonds: Three infamous celebrity stories

Kanye West, Madonna and the emergence of diamond grills (jewellery worn over the teeth!):   2014 saw the emergence of diamond grills, and with Madonna and Kanye West opting to make their grills permanent, we not so eagerly await who may next uptake this rather bold oral statement.

Megan Fox and the never found engagement ring:   Megan Fox may hold the record for the fastest lost engagement ring in history. As soon as her now husband Brian Austin Green handed over the diamond ring, Megan dropped it. Trouble was that they were stood on a Hawaii beach at the time. And still to this day it hasn’t been found.

Elizabeth Taylor and the most expensive of celebrity engagement rings:   Elizabeth Taylor was a lady long since known for her glamorous style and love of diamonds, so it should come as no surprise that she was and still is the holder of the title of most expensive engagement ring. Coming in at a cool $8.8 million her 33.19 carat ring was given by her husband (who notably became her husband and ex-husband twice over) Richard Burton.


It’s written in the… Diamonds?

Astrology has a history that is as extensive and runs as far back as records from around the world began. And whilst they’ll be few who aren’t accustomed with the weekly star sign segment within their newspaper or magazine, there may not be so many who realise that diamonds and astrology are intrinsically linked.  This is based upon the basic premise that the diamond represents the planet Venus in Vedic Astrology, which aptly stands for all that is beautiful and feminine. This may go some way to explaining the emergence of the diamond engagement ring as Venus is also associated with splendor, bliss and luxury, which may all pave the way for a positive marriage.


Ten little known and rather interesting facts about diamonds

  1. To produce just a single diamond carat there will be more than 250 tons of earth that is mined.
  2. Diamonds come from the deepest, darkest regions under the earth, and are carried to the surface by volcanic eruptions.
  3. Diamonds are the hardest of all materials found on earth with a staggeringly high melting point of 3547 °C.
  4. Most (80%) of the diamonds mined in the world are specifically for use within industrial settings (such as within precision blades).
  5. In ancient Greece it was a common (mis)understanding that diamonds had fallen down from the sky, and were in fact tiny splinters from the stars above them.
  6. In comparison Romans believed that diamonds had magical powers that could protect them from evil spirits (this understanding was passed on from Indian mythology).
  7. During the 1200s it was declared that only the King could legally wear diamonds.
  8. Diamonds are also found within space, where the largest diamond known to man comes in at a staggering 2.27 thousand trillion tons!
  9. Naturally sourced diamonds can range in age from one through to three billion years old.
  10. The first known gifted diamond ring from a man to a woman was is 1477, when the Archduke of Austria became engaged to Mary of Burgundy.

Diamonds: A few famous quotes

“I never hated a man enough to give him diamonds back”.      
- Sze Sze Gabor, London Observer, Aug. 28, 1957

“I never worry about diets. The only carrots that interest me are the number you get in a diamond.”    
- Mae West

“Big girls need big diamonds”.    
- Elizabeth Taylor, attributed, The Little Black Book of Style

“Diamonds are a girl's best friend”    
- Marilyn Monroe, penned by Carol Channing

Diamond Treats is the online store brought to you by Satyan Jewellers, the home of luxury jewellery from a company with over 30 years within the industry. Based in London, Satyan Jewellers has grown to accommodate clients from around the world and is proud to bring to the market an unparalleled level of customer service, and vast collections of diamonds that stun, sparkle and shine in a wide variety of jewellery forms.