Widely known as “a girl’s best friend,” the diamond is among the most valuable and classically elegant gemstones on the fine jewelry market. The birthstone for those born in the month of April, the diamond’s unique sparkle can be found gracing everything from engagement rings to fashion jewelry to timeless tennis bracelets. One of the hardest and most durable materials found in nature, the diamond’s permanence makes it a fitting symbol of lifelong loyalty and devotion.
The diamond is deeply rooted in gemstone history, with a long reputation as the ultimate token of love and affection. The first diamond engagement ring was given to Mary of Burgundy by Archduke of Austria, Maximiliam I, in 1477, sparking a tradition that is upheld by most couples to this day. Diamonds are also a favorite for anniversary presents; the gemstone is the traditional symbol of the 10th, 60th, and 75th wedding anniversaries.
Diamonds were first found around 800 B.C. in India, where the gems were used to decorate devotional statues and other religious items. The gems were prized in ancient Greece and were said to embody the fire of constant love. The ability of some diamonds to glow in the dark was considered proof of their magical powers.
Ancient cultures believed that diamonds could heal the mentally ill, ward off evil, bring good luck, and inspire such virtues as courage and generosity in the wearer. Until the 15th century, only kings and rulers wore diamonds as a symbol of strength and bravery in battle. Later stories claimed that Cupid’s arrows were tipped with diamonds, and the gemstone’s link with love and romance was born. Throughout history, diamonds have served a symbol of power, love, and excellence: the French Emperor Napoleon presented his wife with a diamond necklace after the birth of their son.
The quality of a diamond is determined by grading the “four Cs” – clarity, color, cut and carat:
Clarity: The most valuable diamonds are those with perfect clarity, devoid of inclusions and blemishes.
Color: Even the slightest variations in color can account for a significant difference in the quality and value of diamonds.
Cut: Every gemstone’s appearance and brilliance can be improved or impaired based on the virtues of its cut.
Carat: The market value of diamonds is measured in carats based on their weight. One carat is equivalent to 0.2 grams.
In addition to the prized colorless variety, diamonds are also found in a wide spectrum of vibrant colors. Known as “fancy colored diamonds,” these are popular among those who value the strength and durability of a diamond but prefer a more unconventional look.
Diamonds have been mined in India, Brazil, and in South Africa since the end of the 19th century. In the 1950s, a new source of diamonds was found buried in the permafrost of Siberia, and yet another lode has been discovered in Western Canada.
At Brilliance, we offer some of the most premier gem-quality diamonds in the world. Each of our diamonds is carefully appraised and certified by master gemologists to ensure the value and longevity of your investment.