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Drenched in Diamond Jewelry

Diamond Jewelry: Millions of years in the making

Miles and miles below the surface of the earth, extreme heat, pressure and carbon material combined to create a rough diamond. This happened 100s of millions of years ago. Also, millions of years ago, the eruption of volcanoes pushed this material towards the earth's surface. As the magma dried and formed kimberlite, which holds the rough diamond material. So, the diamonds of today have been lying in wait for millions of years to become the brilliantly polished gemstones found in diamond jewelry.

Most of the supply comes from Africa, South Africa, Australia and Russia.

Say it with Diamond Jewelry

The diamond is the universal symbol of commitment. A diamond ring is not given lightly which is why it is typically reserved for engagement, wedding and anniversary rings. There is a trend towards using colored stones like sapphires and rubies in wedding pieces, but the diamond will always reign supreme. It is hard yet beautiful and is the perfect symbol of two lives making a commitment to each other. Diamonds really are forever.

It is also the official birthstone for April. Diamond birthstone jewelry is a wonderful way to show her or him just how special they are on their day. It is also the gemstone for the 60th wedding anniversary.

Diamond Jewelry: Choosing the right stone

While quality is surely important for all gemstones, it is especially so in diamond jewelry. The 4 C's are the measurements of quality when shopping for a diamond pendant or other jewelry settings.

1. Color- The GIA has devised a grading scale of D-X with D being colorless. The finest colors are at the beginning of the spectrum. While there are designer diamond colors in blue, yellow and champagne, for a traditional stone, a grade of D, E or F are the most desired. G- I rated stones are considered nearly colorless, but it is virtually undetectable. J-M shows a hint of yellow.
2. Clarity- Again, the GIA has a grading scale for the clarity of a diamond. F refers to a flawless stone. IF is internally flawless. VVS1, VVS2, VS1 and VS2 are excellent quality with only slight inclusions not visible to the naked eye. Extreme magnification is required. S1 and S2 inclusions are visible under 10X magnification. I1 and I2 inclusions are visible to the naked eye. These inclusions are air bubbles, black carbon bits and internal cracks.
3. Cut- The cut of the diamond refers to the number of facets used to create the fire, brightness and scintillation that are the characteristics of a brilliant stone. A traditional round shape has 57 or 58 facets. But, this number varies depending on the shape. The cutter must have a great eye for what cuts will bring out the best in each stone.
4. Carat- Not to be confused with Karat, the weight of gold, Carat refers to the weight of the stone. The higher the number, the bigger the stone. Total carat weight refers to the weight of all the diamonds together in the same piece. One carat total weight for a three stone diamond necklace means that there may be two .25 carat stones and one .50 carat stone.

Diamond Jewelry: Choosing a shape

There are five basic shapes to choose from. The brilliant round is considered the traditional shape, especially for a solitaire ring. But, the marquis, oval, pear and emerald cut stones are also popular. These are considered fancy cuts. Over the years, even more shapes have entered the market. There is the square princess cut and the triangle-shaped trillion cut which may be found in a pair of fashionable diamond earrings. The shard-like baguette shape is a cut that usually acts as an accent to other stones.

Diamond Jewelry: Keeping them brilliant

Taking care of diamonds is simple. These are the hardest and most durable of the gemstones with a ranking of 10 on the Mohs scale of hardness. Soak them in warm soapy water at home and scrub them with a toothbrush to clean the setting and underside of the gem. A diamond bracelet and other settings can also be cleaned in an ultrasonic cleaner or hit with the steam cleaner. Always check the prongs to make sure the stone is secure because of the aggressive nature of the ultrasonic machine.

Just because the diamond is the hardest mineral, don't try to break it or test its ability to cut glass. It is possible to damage these stones especially if there are inclusions that weaken it. Yes, they can be worn every day, but still treat them kindly.

Just because diamonds bring to mind glamour and luxury, they can and should be worn every day. A diamond necklace should not sit in the jewelry box until a special occasion. While they are a fabulous accessory to complete an elegant formal outfit, they look just as wonderful with t-shirt and jeans.