Mined Diamonds

When we talk about precious, rare treasures what springs to mind?

Diamonds, of Course!

Diamonds have been around from the beginning of time itself and they still inspire the same enchantment as they did when first found by man. Diamonds are the hardest substance known on Earth making them the most eternal thing we know, they were even named based on this specific trait; the Greek word “adamas”, which means unconquerable. They are the perfect symbol of undying love and romance, diamonds have also featured heavily in innumerable legends and stories.

The word diamond was first used in the first century A.D. by Pliny the Elder. According to Pliny, diamonds were a universal talisman that protected the wearer from illness, evil spirits and even encouraged chastity. As a result, diamonds gradually became the preferred talisman of kings and princes, the jewel most coveted by the rich and powerful.

The tradition of proposing marriage to your loved one goes back to 1477, when Archduke Maximilian of Austria gave Mary of Burgundy a ring adorned with a diamond to seal their marriage vows. In ancient times, the Romans believed that the vein in the third finger on the left hand ran directly to one’s heart. Due to this belief, they called this vein the “vena amoris” or vein of love. Most cultures still follow this tradition today.

So where do diamonds come from and why are they so special?

Diamonds are formed under extremely high pressure and temperature conditions; between 45-60 kbar, 900-1300°C and 150-400 kilometers below the earth’s surface. Diamonds are a mineral to be revered and coveted as they have an average age of 2.3 billion years per stone. They are transported to the surface via the igneous rock of volcanic pipes; kimberlite and lamproite. But the process is only beginning once a diamond has been excavated. Not all mined diamonds are of gem quality and low-grade diamonds are commonly used for industrial purposes. A gem cutter’s job is to evaluate a raw diamond crystal to best determine the shape and size of a diamond to showcase each crystal at its best. Large stones can take several months to cut and polish, this is both a learned skill and true form of art.

Diamonds are made up of pure carbon, 99.95% in fact. Impurities are responsible for the shape and colour of a raw crystal which appears as a cube due to the high cohesion of the carbon atoms. Diamonds come in a range of colours apart from colourless, which are referred to as “fancy” diamonds. Diamonds are special in the case that no other gemstone can match the sparkle and luster produced by diamonds, this “fire” is a result of the uniquely high refractive index of the stone and the quality of the cut and polish which allows the dispersion of light within the crystal.

Diamonds are graded on the 4C’s, this is a universally accepted criterion. It should be noted that a diamond report is not the only thing to be taken into account when selecting a diamond, and diamond reports are considered an art and the opinion of the individual grader. Many reports have a clause included that releases the laboratory from liability for this reason.

The 4C’s

Diamonds are graded on Cut, Carat, Clarity, and Colour. The price of a diamond is a combination of all four of the grades described below.

Cut: The cut of a diamond encompasses the shape of the diamond including the quality of the cut, polish, and symmetry. This is very important as the cut determines how well the light within the diamond is reflected back and forth against the facets within the crystal and will determine the fire and brilliance of the stone. If a diamond is cut too shallow or too deep it can appear dull or lifeless, ideally, a diamond should have a good or better grading of all three aspects of the cut. 

Carat: This is the weight measurement of a diamond. One carat is equal to 0.2 grams, therefore 5 carats is equal to 1 gram. The larger carat weight of a diamond the higher the price, as diamonds get larger it becomes rarer to find high quality, colourless diamonds and the price of larger high-quality diamonds will reflect this.

Clarity: The clarity of a diamond refers to how few or how many blemishes are encompassed within the stone. Impurities commonly appear as feathers, cracks or black spots, gem-quality diamonds typically have blemishes that are naked to the eye and require magnification to be seen. A flawless diamond is very rare and blemishes are often described as the fingerprint of the diamond as each one is completely unique. A diamond with few blemishes are more desirable as a diamond with a high number of inclusions can hinder the refractive power within the diamond and affect the sparkle of the diamond.

 Colour: The colour of a diamond is also a determining factor in diamond value. Determining the colour of a diamond depends on examining how yellow, brown or gray the internal hue of the stone is. Perfectly colorless diamonds are rare and can have a higher value than those with subtle colouration. Diamonds with saturated colour, however, are defined as “fancy” and include many different colours however the most common occurrences are brown, yellow, and black red is among one of the rarest colours to find in a diamond. Fancy diamonds are assessed differently to colourless and their value is determined by the intensity and saturation of colour.

It is important to note that the 4C’s are not mutually exclusive and are not always connected to each criteria specifically. A diamond is as unique as the person buying or wearing it. Remember when you are buying a diamond, you are not just buying the diamond characteristics but rather the enchanting feeling a particular diamond gives you and represents the love of your life.

Diamonds are made up of pure carbon, 99.95% in fact. Impurities are responsible for the shape and colour of a raw crystal which appears as a cube due to the high cohesion of the carbon atoms. Diamonds come in a range of colours apart from colourless, which are referred to as “fancy” diamonds. Diamonds are special in the case that no other gemstone can match the sparkle and luster produced by diamonds, this “fire” is a result of the uniquely high refractive index of the stone and the quality of the cut and polish which allows the dispersion of light within the crystal.

Diamonds are graded on the 4C’s, this is a universally accepted criterion. It should be noted that a diamond report is not the only thing to be taken into account when selecting a diamond, and diamond reports are considered an art and the opinion of the individual grader. Many reports have a clause included that releases the laboratory from liability for this reason.

There is no denying the extensive and fascinating history behind the everlasting mystery of diamonds. Here, at Breslauer & Warren Jewellers, we love educating our customers because we understand that many can be daunted by the process involved in the selection and purchase of diamonds. In Calgary, there are many options available, including online diamond retailers, yet most consumers are not clear on the right questions to ask. For example, an online provider may have high definition photos of their diamond rings available for you to view, but will they also fully explain exactly the elements you need to look for?

Let’s say you purchase online what you think is the perfect diamond engagement ring, but it’s not the ring your fiancée has been dreaming about, occasionally it does happen! Would you take the chance on returning it, just to ‘click’ on a replacement ring while crossing your fingers? Breslauer & Warren firmly believes shopping in-store is the only solution. Our experts are there every step of the way to answer your questions, and we stand behind our diamond jewelry. If you are not satisfied with your purchase, then we can exchange it & help custom design the perfect ring that she deserves!

Store Opening Hours:

Monday – Friday:
9:30AM – 5:00PM

Saturday:
By Appointment Only

Sunday & Holidays:
Closed

Store Location:

BOW VALLEY SQUARE 1
202 6 Ave. SW Calgary AB T2P 2R9

403-252-9048

contact@breslauerwarren.com
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