Some say they are forever, others a girl’s best friend, but there’s certainly no denying the brilliance of a diamond. Royalty has coveted this rare and precious stone for centuries. What has remained today is the desire to treat our loved ones like the Kings and Queens that they are; giving diamonds as a symbol of love. Diamonds are an unmistakable treasure given in celebration or promise, to live on as a commemoration of a special moment in time.
The world’s love of diamonds began in India many centuries ago, where diamonds were gathered from the country’s rivers and streams. Gradually, Indian diamonds gave way to diamonds mined in Brazil, South Africa, and to our own homegrown Canadian diamonds. Luckily for diamond consumers today, the diamond market changed dramatically in the 1700s (think French Revolution) when old ruling classes began to lose their grip on the world’s wealth. This allowed for a wider distribution of diamonds – and a higher demand for the gem – and paved the way for the multi-million dollar industry we know today.
Originating from the Greek word adámas, or “unbreakable”, diamonds are the hardest known natural material, resisting scratching and maintaining their polish extremely well. Formed deep in the earth’s core under extreme heat and pressure, only to be violently ejected at or near the earth’s surface, each diamond must be cleaved, cut, and polished to begin resembling the sparkling diamonds you see in stores.
Diamonds 101 – How can you be sure your diamond is a true prize of the Earth? The Gemological Insitute of America (GIA) developed methods of grading diamonds based on the characteristics most important to their value as a gem. These four characteristics, or the four Cs, are now used as the basic descriptors of diamonds: Colour, Clarity, Cut, and Carat. With grade scales that identify diamonds as colourless to coloured, flawless to “included”, along with indicators of brightness and weight, using the four Cs to determine the quality of your diamond will help you select the perfect stone.