Diamond - April Birthstone


Happy Birthday, Diamond!


Perhaps the most famous and popular gemstone in the world, diamond is the birthstone for April.



woman's hand with red nails holding a round diamond white gold engagement ring


If you are a diamond lover, you probably already know that diamonds are graded based on the 4Cs (clarity, colour, cut and carat weight).


But did you know that although they are the hardest substance on earth, they can still be damaged?

As a certified gemologist, I am excited to share what I know about these magnificent gems!



woman's hand with red nails wearing a selection of diamond stacking rings in white, yellow and rose gold



Lets begin with some fun facts:

  • Diamonds that exist today were delivered to the surface between 2.5 billion and 20 million years ago (Earth is about 4.6 billion years old)

  • They were first discovered in India

  • There was not much scientific knowledge about diamonds until the 20th century



a selection of loose natural diamonds on a polishing cloth next to a jewellers loupe and tweezers


  • In the past 50 years, scientists have learned a lot about how diamonds are formed and transported to the surface, making it easier to predict diamond deposits

  • Scientists have discovered a star that could potentially consist of diamonds. It has been named by astronomers as “Lucy” from the Beatles song, “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds”



Oval diamond split shank white gold engagement ring in a hexagonal pink velvet ring box on a white silk blouse



Where do diamonds come from?


India was the original source of diamonds, followed by Brazil.


Since then, diamonds have been discovered in Africa, South America, Australia, Russia and Canada.

It has been suggested that Canadian diamonds and Russian diamonds actually come from the same deposit that formed billions of years ago, before Pangea slowly separated into different continents. Similarly, sources in Africa and South America were at some point one deposit.




Pangea before and after separation, world map



Ethical Sourcing


Ethically sourced materials are of utmost importance to me and I take pride in working with companies who supply responsibly sourced, conflict-free diamonds that adhere to the Kimberley Process.


Upon request, I also source diamonds of Canadian origin.


Typically, Canadian diamonds are inscribed with a maple leaf logo or other symbols associated with Canada, accompanied with a serial number laser inscribed on the diamond’s girdle.




loose diamond displaying a laser inscription on girdle under magnification



 

To learn more about Canadian diamonds, check out my previous Blog Post here

 



Myth Buster: Diamonds Are Indestructible - FALSE


Although the word diamond comes from the Greek word “adamas,” meaning invincible or indestructible and it is "the hardest substance known to man", diamonds CAN be damaged, especially by other diamonds if they are not stored properly.




a broken loose diamond held in tweezers on a black background



There is a difference between calling something "hard" and "strong."


Although diamonds rank at 10/10 on Mohs hardness scale, all that means is that it will only be scratched by another diamond but it does not mean that diamonds cannot be broken.


For example, if a diamond has a large inclusion like a fracture, it can actually crack even further if you accidentally hit your diamond ring on a table or a door.


This is why I advise not to wear your jewellery to the gym, the beach, or while baking or gardening, even if it is diamond jewellery.


If you want to wear jewellery all the time, diamond stud earrings are your safest option.



Round diamond white gold stud earrings on a white background


 

For more mythbusters, check out my previous posts:

Myth Busters, Vol. 1

Myth Busters, Vol. 2

Myth Busters, Vol. 3

Myth Busters, Vol. 4

 


a solitaire diamond pendant and chain in white gold, on a white silk background next to a dry purple flower


What are the 4 Cs exactly?


The 4Cs are a grading system used to judge the quality of a diamond:


  • clarity

  • colour

  • cut

  • carat weight


Neither one is more important than others, it is the combination of all four that make each stone unique and special in its own way.



woman's hand with red nails wearing an Oval diamond split shank white gold engagement ring



Clarity


Clarity refers to a diamond's freedom from clarity characteristics such as inclusions (inside the diamond) and blemishes (on diamond’s surface).


The factors that affect the clarity grade are: the number, position, colour and nature of the characteristic.


For example, a large fracture within a stone has a larger effect on the clarity grade and value of the diamond than a small white pinpoint or a crystal. All three are often seen in diamonds.


 

To learn more about clarity in gemstones, check out my previous blog post here

 


woman's hand with red nail wearing a five stone diamond anniversary ring



Diamond clarity is graded on the following scale:


Flawless (F)

Internally Flawless (IF)

VVS1 and VVS2 (very very slightly included)

VS1 and VS2 (very slightly included)


SI1 and SI2 (slightly included)

I (Included)


The majority of diamonds in jewellery are SI and I graded diamonds.



oval solitaire white gold diamond engagement ring on a white background

 

Pro Tip: Personally, I recommend selecting a VS or an SI stone.


You will have a larger selection of diamonds to choose from in these two ranges.


These diamonds will be eye-clean (show no visible inclusions) and you won't be paying a premium for a higher clarity.



But remember...



The larger the diamond, the more likely it is to have inclusions and therefore more likely to show them.


Some cuts, like Emerald Cut are also more likely to have visible inclusions as they do not have as many facets as round / oval / cushion cuts do to "hide" them.


When choosing an Emerald Cut, I highly recommend upgrading to VS or higher.

 


emerald cut yellow gold diamond engagement ring in a white velvet ring box



Inclusions are often viewed as a negative when it comes to diamonds and are sometimes referred to as imperfections.


It is however important to remember that diamonds really are a miracle of nature and are bound to show some imperfections. After all, they were formed billions of years ago under incredible circumstances. So you have to be a little forgiving when it comes to inclusions, especially when selecting larger stones.




diamond and rose gold stacking ring



No two diamonds have the same inclusions, each diamond is unique and one-of-a-kind. That's what makes it special and interesting.


In fact, many customers in search for something unique are opting for “salt and pepper diamonds”. These stones are heavily included and show a combination of heavy, visible white and black inclusions.


For all you trendsetters out there, I would be delighted to source a very special

“salt and pepper” diamond for you, like the one below.



a pear shape salt and pepper diamond held in tweezers on a white background

Colour


The colour or the lack of it is what counts when grading diamond colour.


The less the colour a diamond shows, the higher its value and more rare it is.


Diamonds are graded on the D-Z scale as developed by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA).


 

Fun fact: diamond colour is graded with the stones upside down

 


GIA scale of colour grading from D to Z, 4 diamond comparison, on a white background



 

Pro Tip: Personally, I recommend selecting a stone in the D-H colours


D-E-F stones are preferable and will show no yellow tint


G-H colours might show a slight yellow tint but are a "great value" option

 

diamond and rose gold stacking ring


Diamonds are typically colourless (or white) but also occur in gorgeous yellow and pink shades, as well as brown, black, purple, orange, green and blue.


These are known as “fancy-coloured” diamonds and are graded on a different scale.


They significantly range in prices and availability compared to colourless diamonds. When it comes to fancy-coloured diamonds, the stronger the colour, the more valuable the stone is.



a loose pear shape pink diamond, a loose elongated cushion yellow diamond, on a white background


With the recent closure of the main pink diamond source - the Argyle mine in Australia, the already high prices of pink diamonds are only going to go up, so grab them while you can!


Most diamonds on the market range from colourless or nearly colourless to light yellow and brown diamonds (also known as “cognac” or “chocolate” diamonds).



a diamond from rough to cut and polished, comparison, on a white background, diamond cutting process


Cut


The cut of the diamond refers to how well a diamond’s facets interact with light.

It's what gives the diamond its brightness, fire, scintillation and makes it sparkle!

The cut is the most complex and difficult of all the 4Cs to analyse.


The grader has to consider proportions, polish and symmetry and assign a grade ranging from Poor to Excellent.


With modern cutting technologies available, the majority of diamonds range between Good, Very good and Excellent cut.


The shape refers to the outline of the diamond, for example, round, princess, oval, etc.





 

Not sure which shape is right for you?


Check out my previous Blog Post to help you decide: What shape should I go for?

 




Carat weight


Diamonds and gemstones are weighed in carats. The name comes from the carob seeds which were used by early gem traders as counterweights on their balance scales.


1 carat (ct) is 0.2g and should not be confused with karat, which refers to gold purity, e.g. 14K, 18K etc.

Just like a dollar is divided into 100 cents, a carat is divided into 100 points.


For example, a 50-point diamond refers to 0.50 carats or half-a-carat. The majority of diamonds used in fine jewellery weigh 1 carat or less.


There are of course, some gorgeous, larger options available upon request, please do not hesitate to get in touch with me for something truly spectacular!



woman's hand with red nails wearing a round diamond white gold engagement ring



April Birthstone


Diamonds are also known for the following traits:

  • linked to love, eternity and strength

  • opens up doorways to the spiritual realm

  • enhances psychic abilities

  • helps you achieve your dreams and bring desires into reality






What are Synthetic Diamonds?

Synthetic diamonds are also known as Lab-Created and Man-Made diamonds.


They have the same crystal structure and chemical composition as their natural counterparts but are developed by scientists in labs, instead of being mined from the ground.





Natural and synthetic diamonds are essentially the same, however there are slight differences that can only be detected by a trained gemologist (like me), with the use of special equipment.


The main difference being: natural diamonds are grown by nature and are mined out of the ground where as synthetic diamonds are grown in a controlled lab environment.


When it comes to price, lab-created diamonds are less expensive than natural diamonds, but it is important to remember that they are also not as valuable.



a selection of rough diamonds, stacked on top of each other, on a white background



What are diamond alternatives?


Stones that look like diamonds are also called imitations, simulants or diamond alternatives.



oval white sapphire on a woman's hand with light pink nails


Here are some examples:


  • Moissanite (man-made stone)

  • Cubic zirconia (man-made stone)

  • Zircon (natural stone)

  • White sapphire (natural stone, above)



a loose round synthetic moissanite and a loosed round diamond next to each other, comparison on a white background


Moissanite (above, left) can imitate a diamond (above, right) and is often marketed as a diamond alternative. It actually shows more sparkle than a diamond at a fraction of the price. However, I have to mention that the difference in value is also significant.



 

To find out more about diamond alternatives, check out my previous Blog Post:

What looks like a Diamond?

 


Are Diamonds on your wishlist?


I would be delighted to hear about it! To discuss your options, schedule a complementary, 30 minute connection call with me here

Looking for inspiration? Visit our Instagram page for more stunning jewellery ideas