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Diamond History and Education

Diamonds are the most popular gemstone in the world. Scientifically speaking – a diamond is composed of a tightly bonded, uniform arrangement of carbon atoms, which are connected by strong covalent bonds. This makes the diamond the hardest of all minerals. It is the ideal gemstone for daily wear because of it’s resistance to scratching and one of the reasons it is commonly used in handcrafted rings – most notably wedding rings.

For thousands of years, diamonds have been admired for their beauty as well as their industrial uses. In ancient times, they were frequently used in hand engraving tools. Today diamonds are still used in many tools designed for cutting, grinding, polishing and drilling. They are also utilized in many other ways as well – microchips, semiconductors, high quality speakers, and occasionally watch movements are just a few items that harness the power and durability of the diamond.

In early times the diamond - whose name is derived from the ancient Greek adamas, which means “unalterable” or “unbreakable” - were first valued for their beauty. They were also believed to ward off evil and provide protection during battle. Throughout the Dark Ages diamonds were used as a medical aid. It was believed that they could heal wounds and cure illnesses simply by holding them in one hand and making the sign of the cross with the other. The ancient Greeks believed that diamonds were splinters of stars that had fallen to Earth.

During the Middle Ages people valued diamonds because of their worth instead of their mystical properties. Because of this, more and more people started to seek out these radiant gems. Mine owners perpetuated myths that diamonds were poisonous. This was done to prevent mine workers from smuggling them out by swallowing them. Diamonds quickly became popular among the rich and powerful — and were often included in the handcrafted jewelry they would adorn themselves with.

Diamond’s popularity grew during the 19th century with the improvement of cutting and polishing techniques. Then – during the 1940’s and 1950’s – a universal grading system was developed by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA). This system was put in place to determine a diamond’s value. It is recognized the world over and known as the 4Cs – carat, color, cut and clarity.

Carat – Diamonds are weighted in metric carats (one carat = 0.2 grams). Each carat is divided into 100 points; therefore a 75 point diamond weighs 0.75carats. The weight of a diamond is a huge factor in pricing — but not surprising when you consider that out of 250 tons of diamond ore; only a single one carat diamond may be found. While weight does play a big role – two diamonds weighing the same – can carry very different price tags depending on the quality of the other Cs.

Cut - can have a huge impact on the brilliance of the stone. A diamond that is cut too shallow or too deep can have a negative effect on the way light reflects throughout the stone and can produce dark or dull areas.

Color – the absence of color is important in determining a diamond’s quality as well. A slight variation in color can have a tremendous affect on a stone’s value. The GIA’s color grading chart begins with D and continues all the way down to Z.

D, E, F – Colorless

G, H, I, & J – Near Colorless

K, L, & M – Faint Yellow

N-R – Light Yellow

S-Z - Yellow

Diamond color is determined by comparing stones to samples in a master kit. 

Clarity – is determined by the lack of blemishes or inclusions found in a diamond.

Flawless (FL): No inclusions or blemishes are visible under 10X magnification

Internally Flawless (IF): No inclusions but a few blemishes are visible under 10X magnification.

Very, Very Slightly Included (VVS1 and VVS2): Inclusions are difficult to see under 10X magnification

Very Slightly Included (VS1 and VS2): Minor inclusions are visible under 10X magnification.

Slightly Included (SI1 and SI2): Inclusions are visible under 10X magnification but not with the unaided-eye.

Included: (I1, I2, & I3): Inclusions are obvious under 10X magnification and may affect the transparency and brilliance of the stone.

Yoni Veizman incorporates brilliant, white diamonds in his handmade designer jewelry. The radiance of the diamond breathes life into each of his organic and timeless designs. They are the perfect compliment to each of his expertly crafted, hand engraved pieces.