Loose Diamonds > Evaluating Loose Diamonds • Buying Diamonds
They say that diamonds are a girl's best friend! In addition to
being one of the world's most desirable gemstones, diamonds are also
the hardest naturally occurring substance known to man.
These valuable crystalline carbon minerals are formed deep in the earth
under intense pressures and very high temperatures. Diamonds are
mined from volcanic pipe deposits that are found primarily in southern
Africa and Siberia and to some extent Canada, Brazil and Australia.
Diamonds are also used for industrial applications. More than three quarters of loose diamonds are used industrially, mainly as cutting, grinding, and polishing tools. Diamond industrial tools are used on such diverse materials as ferrous and non-ferrous metals, glass, and ceramics as well as natural stone and concrete.
Loose diamonds may be transparent, translucent or opaque. Depending on their characteristics and color, they are designated for use in jewelry or for certain industrial applications. The highest grade diamonds are used in jewelry, such as necklaces, rings, or earrings.
Gemstone diamonds are judged by the four Cs: carat, clarity, color, and cut. Gem diamonds are usually transparent and colorless, or have a yellow hue. The most valuable diamonds are colorless or pale blue, and have few "occlusions," or flaws, marring their clarity. Industrial diamonds, while as hard as gemstone diamonds, are usually gray or brown.
Traditionally, women's engagement rings feature one large diamond and perhaps two or more smaller diamonds. Wedding rings and wedding bands sometimes feature one or more diamonds as well. Diamonds can be cut in several different ways and shapes to refract the light differently. They are then set in a choice of settings, depending upon the wearer's preference.
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