Diamonds are well known for their prominence in jewellery. They’ve become icons of romance since they became popular, and they’re now intrinsically linked to the idea that love, like diamonds, is forever. So, it is no wonder that they’re a much sought-after gem for engagement rings.
Learn all about the strengths of diamonds and their history as we talk you through what makes diamonds perfect for use in jewellery.
With a hardness of 10 on the Mohs hardness scale, diamond is the hardest known natural material on Earth. This durability is the reasoning behind their symbolic representation of never-ending love.
It takes 1 to 3 billion years for a diamond to form in the upper mantle of the earth and this slow forming process is part of the reason they’re so hard, giving them resistance to scratches, cracks, and breakages from contact with pretty much any other materials (apart from another diamond).
Why is diamond so hard?
- Put simply, it is the molecular makeup of a diamond which causes its hardness.
- The carbon atoms in a diamond are linked closely together with tight covalent bonds. Two atoms share an electron, with a tetrahedral, or a four walled triangular unit, comprising five carbon atoms.
- This molecular makeup is caused by heat and pressure beneath the ground compressing carbon atoms together and creating an extremely concentrated structure.
Diamonds are one of the most beautiful gemstones in most people’s eyes, but their beauty can also be quantified objectively. The value of a diamond, and its attractiveness, can be measured with the 4Cs.
The first of the 4Cs is colour. Although diamonds can come in a range of colours, the most desired appearance is crystal clear.
Clarity is a measure of how many flaws (or inclusions) are in the stone. The fewer flaws, the more beautiful, clear, and bright a diamond is.
Carat refers to the weight of the diamond rather than the size, but it’s not always a case of heavier is better. Finding the right carat stone for your needs is an important part of making impressive diamond jewellery
Cut is arguably the most important element of a diamond, as it’s primarily responsible for the internal refraction of light that causes a diamond to sparkle. An understanding of how different cutting methods affect a diamond’s brilliance and shine is an essential skill for all jewellers to have.
Why do diamonds shine?
- Refraction of light and total internal reflection are the secrets to a diamond’s shine.
- The angles that are created in the walls of the stone by the cutter are instrumental in maximising its brilliance.
- If the diamond is too deep, light will exit through the side walls, too shallow and light will likely ‘leak’ through the bottom.
- Ideal cut diamonds ensure that light is reflected internally and emitted back through the top surface.
Another reason for diamonds’ current popularity in jewellery is its history and reputation in cultures stretching back to India 3000 years ago.
They were supposedly first used in jewellery in 1047 in a Hungarian Queen’s crown and the first diamond engagement ring was given to Mary Burgundy in 1477, 70 years after the first record of professional diamond cutting in 1407.
What really sparked the popularity of diamonds as a jewellery stone, however, was the advertising campaign commissioned by De Beers in 1947, where a copywriter first coined the phrase ‘A diamond is forever’.
With hardness, rarity, beauty, and an inextricable connection to love and romance, diamonds are the perfect choice for jewellery – our most treasured possessions that are present at the most special occasions.
While diamonds are perfect for engagement rings, it’s not always easy to find the perfect ring for you. That’s why we have a custom engagement ring builder that lets you create your ring from the ground up, with a diamond that’s GIA certified, unique, and of the highest quality.