Popular Name : Diamond
Other Name : None
Constituent Compound : carbon
Hardness Factor : 10
Colors : white(clear) and all other colors
Cuts : Brilliant; Cushion; Marquise; Mixed
Substitutes : Cubic Zirconia; synthetic YAG; Glass
Diamond - The Birthstone for April.
Diamonds are the most sought after and beautiful gemstones on Earth. They are the hardest mineral and used intensively in industry for cutting. Composed entirely of carbon in a very uniform cubic crystalline structure, they are most often naturally octahedral in form, diamonds can only be cut by other diamonds and usually the less valuable, imperfect stones are kept for this reason. Diamonds offer good opportunities for cutting due to their perfect linear cleavage.
Diamonds are mined mainly in Australia and South Africa where they are extracted from the rock matrix. Diamonds are also mined in lesser quantities in countries such as Ghana, Namibia and Brazil.
Diamond quality is measured by way of the well known acronym the 4 'C's referring to carat, color, clarity and cut. Gems are fashioned into any jewelry you can think of and many custom pieces too. Womens and mens watches, bracelets, earrings, tie clips, cuff-links, pendants, brooches, and of course diamond rings.
Famous diamonds include the huge Cullinan 1 which is mounted within the Royal Sceptre, part of the British Crown Jewels. Another is the The Koh-i-Nur diamond, or Mountain of Light, which has been in the possession of Indian Rajahs and emperor moguls since the early 14th century. It now forms part of the British crown jewels after being given as a gift to Queen Victoria. The crown jewels contain nearly 3000 diamonds all together.
DeBeers (established in 1888) are a major diamond miner, dealer and marketer and handle most of the gems offered for sale around the world. They are based in Amsterdam.
Contrary to popular belief, diamonds can be scratched and damaged and care should be taken in storing and cleaning each piece of gemstone jewelry.