This precious stone can be enjoyed by everyone.
Some of you may have heard the saying that ‘diamonds are a girl’s best friend’ or a ‘diamond is forever.’ Yet why are these stones valuable?
Is it because they are believed to be indestructible? Does it have to do with their expensive cost? Or is it due to their ultimate symbolic reference of everlasting love?
In this instance, the latter applies, while the former cannot be ignored.
Diamonds are essentially as old as their earth itself. Therefore, they are forever-lasting in the literal sense.
So, if they are forever, then what better way to symbolise your love for your significant other.
Proposing to your partner with a beautiful diamond ring will certainly help express your love and commitment.
We explore how these precious stones made their way from deep in the earth to become available as their their big day purchase.
How are Diamonds Made?
There were many theories behind diamonds. The Ancient Greeks and Romans believed these precious stones were from falling stars.
The Roman naturalist Pliny said: “Diamond is the most valuable, not only if precious stones but of all things in this world.”
While others believed, diamonds were the tears of the divine or a product of a lightning storm.
The truth behind how these precious stones came to exist is not at all fanciful or spiritual, rather it is related to science.
Diamonds are formed from carbon about 100 miles below the earth’s surface in the upper mantle. This part of the earth’s layer is extremely hot with a lot of pressure.
The combination of the rock’s weight, high pressure and intense temperature creates diamond crystals. The carbon atoms are bonded together to create a very strong bond and grow to form diamond crystals.
Each diamond contains over billions of carbon atoms that lock into place to form this hard material we all know and love.
As a result of diamonds forming in this part of the earth, they are not accessible until they surface the earth.
This happens when the deep-seated magma (hot fluid) feeds a volcanic eruption. These eruptions then carry the formed diamonds to the surface of the earth through kimberlite pipes.
Eventually, after the magma reaches the earth’s surface and becomes lava it is cooled. This cooled lava contains the precious stone.
Once these precious stones have reached the surface, the carbon atoms are locked into place. This prevents them from turning into graphite if the process occurs relatively quickly.
Let’s not forget that diamonds were created thousands of years ago. Yet, they continue to be mined for in places, which have experienced volcanic eruptions.
History of the Diamond
What many do not know is that diamonds were first discovered in India. It was predicted that India was trading in diamonds during the early 4th century BC.
Steadily the Indian diamonds travelled to Europe where it became a statement accessory amongst the upper-class.
Up until the 1700s, India was the only country where these precious stones were found.
The subcontinent rulers of India indulged in diamonds by decorating their outfits and belongings with them.
For example, the Peacock Throne of Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan was encrusted with precious stones, gold and canopied in silk.
It was built in the 17th century when the Mughal Empire was in its Golden Age.
Amongst the extravagant embellishment in the throne was embedded the 186-carat Kohinoor diamond.
Over time, as the Indian supply began to decline, Brazil took hold of the diamond reigns for more than 150 years.
In 1866, the diamond market began in Kimberely, South Africa. With the progression of time Russia, Botswana, Democratic Republic of Congo, Australia and Canada also became top producing countries of diamonds.
These precious stones have gone from being possessions of the royals to being appreciated by everyone.
The preciousness and value of diamonds have been treasured for centuries. It is no wonder that they are chosen by brides for their engagement and wedding rings.
It is important to know that not all diamonds are the same. They are available in various cuts and colours to suit your unique taste.
Hence, it is crucial to know your diamonds before selected as your engagement and wedding ring. There are 4 Cs to consider:
Traditionally a diamond is colourless. Despite some of these precious stones including a slight yellow tint, it is often invisible to the human eye.
However, coloured diamonds are available and are found in pink, yellow, blue, brown, orange, green and red.
Amidst these colours, white, blue, red and green are the rarest types.
The cut of a diamond refers to the shape, symmetry, width, polish and finish of the stone. These elements determine the splendour.
They are crafted into various shapes: round, pear, marquise, heart, oval, cushion, princess and so on.
The clarity of a diamond is dependent upon the quantity of the natural blemishes found within the stone.
One of the most evident factors is the size of the stone. This is measured in carats; one carat is equivalent to 200 milligrams.
Understandably the most expensive diamonds are those that are larger, crafted to perfection with the highest clarity.
Cushion-Cut vs Princess-Cut Diamond
Despite these two types of diamonds being similar in style with a square centre focus, they are uniquely different.
While the cushion-cut promotes a romantic feel, the princess-cut is the epitome of modernity with a geometric look.
Cushion-cut rings have a timeless, shape which has an enduring classiness. The rounded corners mimic the shape of a cushion and create a dreamy and romantic appeal.
Alternatively, the princess-cut appears to look square when viewed from above. When viewed from the side it looks like an inverted pyramid maximising its shine.
David Macdonald, a diamond and gemstone buyer at the award-winning London jewellers, Taylor & Hart shared his thoughts about the princess-cut, saying:
“The cutting of a princess cut diamond produces the least amount of waste during the polishing process.
“This means they provide excellent value. Like the round shape, it is brilliant cut and had the most sparkle amongst the geometric shapes.”
This style was first created in the 1960s and is a sought-after choice by many couples. It continues to grow in popularity.
Actress Priyanka Chopra Jonas stunned her fans with her cushion-cut diamond embedded in a platinum ring worth approximately Rs 2.1 crore (£2.2 million)
Gemmologist and diamond expert Grant Mobley described Priyanka Chopra’s engagement ring from Tiffany & Co, mentioning:
“It is a timeless design and features a cushion-cut diamond in platinum with what looks like small baguette diamonds on the sides.”
To decide between these two stunning precious stones, it comes down to personal preference.
Be sure to try both styles on your ring finger to see, which suits you best.
The heart has been a timeless symbol of love, desire and romance. In this instance, if you wish to showcase your love for your partner, heart-shaped diamond rings are perfect.
This style is rare and a special alternative compared to the various cuts. It is also a slightly cheaper alternative to the round-cut.
The heart shape dates back to the 16th century and is popularly known to be given from Mary Queen of Scots to Queen Elizabeth in 1562.
As time has continued, celebrities have been spotted with heart-shaped rings.
Bollywood actress Shilpa Shetty got engaged to businessman Raj Kundra in October 2009. Raj proposed to his ladylove with an immaculate 20-carat heart-shaped solitaire ring.
There is no denying their beauty and uniqueness as the ideal way to profess your love.
The oval diamond cut was first made available in the 1960s and has since been on the rise.
This cut can be the combination of the round-cut and pear-cut. It mimics the length of a pear-cut with no edges like the round-cut.
Similar to the round-cut, the oval-cut has no sharp corners, which reduce the chances of chipping. This modified version is truly a vision of excellence as they ooze class and sophistication.
An oval diamond ring creates an elongated look. This is because it alludes to a slimmer and longer finger.
An advantage of an oval-cut is that there are no set sizes in length and width. As a result, they can be customised to suit your aesthetic style.
They look amazing on all types of hands and with various settings and bands. Testimony to this fact is actress and fashionista, Sonam Kapoor.
Husband Anand Ahuja chose a lavish oval diamond ring featuring a white gold band for his Mrs worth almost Rs 90 lakh (£97,984).
Shortly after the pair got engaged, Sonam was seen flaunting her ring at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival. There is no denying the grandeur of this gorgeous ring.
If you are looking for a sparkling ring, which will visually lengthen the fingers, then the oval shape is perfect.
Remember the size does not have to be as extravagant as Sonam Kapoor’s ring, it can be tailored to meet your desires.
The round-cut or round brilliant cut is arguably the most popular and well-known diamond shape.
It was first crafted by engineer Marcel Tolkowsky in 1919. His mathematical concepts enhanced the diamond’s brilliance and shine.
As a result of his dedication, women all over the world have craved this precious stone as their ‘shaadi’ (wedding) ring.
According to Lumera Diamonds it is estimated that over 75% of all diamonds rings purchased are round. It is no surprise that this classic style is eternal.
It reflects the lightest than the other diamond shapes because of the funnel-like cone, which maximises the light intensity.
The round-cut is adored for its simplicity, quality and sparkle.
As expected the round diamond is the most expensive because of their high demand, which in turn means increased prices.
Another cost contributing factor is the fact that a diamond in its rough form is cubic-shaped.
This results in a lot of rough going to waste when the diamond is being shaped, which translates to higher prices.
If the cost is not an issue for you, then it is certainly worth browsing for round-cut diamonds. There is no doubt all attention will be on your ring.
One thing is for certain, an emerald-cut creates an illusion of a larger diamond. This is because it entails large facets (one side of a many-sided stone) and the pattern.
This style also has a smoother surface area compared to the other cuts. Thus, the precious stone appears clearer accentuating its clarity.
He chose a stunning 53 carat emerald-shaped stone, which allegedly cost Rs 50 lakh (£54,359).
Despite their engagement taking place in 2007, Aishwarya continues to wear her ring with pride. She is often spotted sporting the ginormous rock on her finger.
The beauty of this style is that you can choose how chunky, flamboyant and lavish you want it to be.
If your top priority is the size of your diamond ring, then the emerald-cut is the right option for you. The emerald-cut promotes elegance, which is extremely popular amongst women.
It is important to note that the emerald-cut is vulnerable to bringing the imperfections of the stone to the forefront.
Having said this, it is key to know that when purchasing an emerald-shaped diamond ring the colour and clarity must be high quality. This ultimately means it will be more costly than other cuts.
Created in the 1400s, the pear-cut or teardrop-cut continues to infatuate consumers with its beauty.
Diamond cutter, Lodewyk van Bercken invented the diamond-polishing wheel. He used this to create the idea of symmetry in the placement of facets.
Due to his revolutionary cutting techniques, the pear-cut was born. When selecting a pear shape you must consider the following:
- Is the point in line with the apex of the rounded end?
- Are the wings (narrower curves) and shoulders (wider curves) symmetrical?
When it comes to this style, it may be difficult to decide on the length-to-width ratio. Remember you do not want the pear-shape to appear short and stubby or too narrow.
The best thing is to let your eyes be your guide.
Another aspect to bear in mind is whether you want the point facing up or down. Technically there is a correct way to wear the pear-cut and that is pointing down.
When you are flaunting your ring and people take hold of your hand it is best for the point to face down. It makes the attention fall to your visually slender fingers, along with putting emphasis on the diamond’s gradual curve.
Despite this, if you prefer the look of the point facing up then do whatever feels right.
Diamonds are forever. Adorning a diamond ring will not only look striking, but you will also feel confident and radiant.
Before jumping to conclusions, it is crucial to try various cuts, settings and sizes on your finger.
Remember what looks good on a relative or friend may not necessarily look great on you. There is a diamond out there for everyone you just must find it.
You no longer must feel envious of royalty or celebrities; this precious stone can be enjoyed by everyone.