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The diamond: a precious and mysterious stone

For centuries, diamonds have fascinated human beings by their beauty and rarity. It is a gemstone that has important symbolic significance, but also considerable economic importance. In this article, we will explore the history of diamonds, their unique characteristics, their uses and their impact on society.

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The History of Diamond

The history of diamonds goes back thousands of years. The first diamonds were discovered in India about 3,000 years ago. They were used for decorative and religious purposes, especially on amulets, as they were considered sacred. Over time, diamonds became a symbol of wealth and prestige. Kings and queens wore diamond jewelry to show their power and social status.

The first known diamonds were found in India, where they were mined from rivers and riverbeds. For centuries, India was the only supplier of diamonds in the world.

In the 18th century, diamonds began to be mined in Brazil and South Africa, which led to an increase in supply on the world market.

The largest diamond ever discovered was the Cullinan, named after the owner of the mine in which it was discovered in 1905. It weighed 3,106 carats, or about 621 grams, making it the most massive diamond ever discovered.

The Cullinan was discovered in the Premier Mine, located near the city of Pretoria, South Africa. The Premier Mine is famous for producing some of the most remarkable diamonds in history, including the Premier Rose, a 353-carat pink diamond.

The Cullinan was purchased by the Transvaal government in 1907 and was presented as a gift to King Edward VII of England for his birthday. The rough diamond was cut into nine separate stones, including two main stones: the Cullinan I, also called the Great Star of Africa, and the Cullinan II, also called the Little Star of Africa.

The Cullinan I is a 530.4-carat colorless, pear-shaped diamond and is considered the largest colorless cut diamond in the world. It is set in the British Royal Sceptre, displayed in the Tower of London.

The Cullinan II is a 317.4 carat colorless diamond, cut in the shape of a rectangle, and is also displayed at the Tower of London, in the British Imperial Crown.

The rest of the Cullinan's cut stones were sold to various buyers, some of which are in museums and others in private collections.

The Cullinan remains one of the greatest treasures in the history of diamonds and its discovery has captured the public's imagination for over a century. The story of the Cullinan is a constant reminder of the rarity and beauty of diamonds and their ability to capture the human imagination.

The characteristics of diamonds

Diamond is formed under extreme geological conditions, at depths of more than 150 kilometers below the Earth's surface. The formation process begins when carbon is subjected to extremely high temperatures and pressures. These conditions occur in the Earth's upper mantle, where carbon is present in large quantities.

Over time, the temperature and pressure conditions change, and the diamonds slowly move toward the Earth's surface. Volcanic eruptions are one of the most common ways that diamonds are brought to the surface. Diamonds are often found in kimberlites, volcanic rocks that have formed from molten magma.

Diamonds are then extracted from mines around the world, including Africa, Russia and Australia. Most mined diamonds are used for industrial tools, but high quality diamonds are used for jewelry.

Diamonds are valued for their unique qualities, including hardness and light refraction. Diamond is the hardest natural substance known to man, which means it can withstand great pressure and abrasion. Light refraction occurs when light enters the diamond and is reflected back into it, creating a characteristic sparkle and shine.

How is the price of a diamond set?

The global diamond market is controlled by a handful of companies, known as the "Big Five. These companies, which account for about 60% of the world's rough diamond supply, are De Beers, Alrosa, Rio Tinto, Dominion Diamond and Petra Diamonds. De Beers, which is the largest company in the industry, is responsible for setting the price of diamonds.

De Beers was founded in 1888 by Cecil Rhodes, who began mining diamonds in South Africa. Over the decades, De Beers consolidated its hold on the global diamond market by purchasing diamond mines around the world and controlling the production of rough diamonds. In the 1930s, De Beers created the slogan "a diamond is forever", which has been one of the most famous advertising slogans of all time.

The price of the diamond is set by De Beers through a process called "reference pricing". This process involves De Beers selling quantities of rough diamonds to a select group of customers, called the "sightholder clientele", at prices set by De Beers. These customers are diamond traders who are long-time partners of De Beers. They buy rough diamonds in bulk from De Beers and then sell them to diamond manufacturers and retailers.

De Beers also uses an index called the "Rapaport Diamond Report", which is a benchmark index used to assess the value of diamonds. This index is widely used in the industry to establish diamond prices.

The diamond jewel, a must-have?

The diamond is a timeless symbol of love and elegance. This brilliant and sparkling gemstone is often used in the creation of luxurious and elegant jewelry that adds a touch of glamour to any outfit. Because of its rarity and beauty, diamonds are also an excellent investment option for those looking to invest in hard assets.

Diamonds are formed deep in the earth at extreme temperatures and pressures, making them incredibly durable and resistant to wear. As such, diamond jewelry is a lifelong piece that can be passed down from generation to generation.

They are also very versatile in terms of style and design. Whether you're looking for a simple, classic solitaire for a proposal or engagement ring, or you prefer more elaborate designs with multiple stones for an anniversary or special occasion, there's a diamond jewelry piece for every style and occasion. In addition, buying diamond jewelry is also a great way to support the jewelry industry and traditional craftsmanship. Many jewelers are talented artisans who have created unique and beautiful pieces by hand.

Finally, diamonds are also a great investment option for those looking to diversify their investment portfolio. While the price of diamonds may fluctuate based on market supply and demand, they remain a durable asset that can maintain its value over the long term.

In summary, diamonds are durable and beautiful gemstones that have a special place in the jewelry industry. By purchasing diamond jewelry, you can add a touch of glamour and luxury to any outfit, support traditional craftsmanship and diversify your investment portfolio. So why not consider buying diamond jewelry for your next special occasion?

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