Legend has it that Europeans first discovered African diamonds in a Shaman’s leather pouch. The African Shaman used his diamonds as Shamans of the world use quartz crystals. Anciently, diamonds were worn as unpolished stones. They were treasured for their beauty and powers.
Diamonds are the hardest material on earth: 58 times harder than anything else in nature.
The earliest record of a man giving a large diamond to a woman for her hand in marriage was in 1477. The Archduke of Austria gave it to Mary of Burgundy. We have five hundred years of romance and the tradition of giving a large solitaire diamond, to the woman you wish to betroth, have now passed.
Diamond forms under high temperature and pressure conditions that exist only about 100 miles beneath the earth’s surface. Diamond’s carbon atoms are bonded in essentially the same way in all directions. Another mineral, graphite, also contains only carbon, but its formation process and crystal structure are very different. Graphite is so soft that you can write with it, while diamond is so hard that you can only scratch it with another diamond.
Diamond is the only gem made of a single element: It is typically about 99.95 percent carbon. The other 0.05 percent can include one or more trace elements, which are atoms that aren’t part of the diamond’s essential chemistry. Some trace elements can influence its color or crystal shape.
On almost all modern birthstone lists, diamond is recognized today as the birthstone for April. Diamond is also the gem that marks the 60th and 75th wedding anniversaries.
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Diamonds are available in many different shapes. The shape of a diamond describes its appearance when viewed from above. Diamond shapes fall into two categories: Round and Fancy Shape, which encompasses all non-Round diamonds.
There are a variety of differences between the various shapes, including specific characteristics each shape exhibits as well as differences in how they are cut and evaluated.
The main factor to consider when selecting the shape of your diamond is your personal preference and what you find most attractive.