Source: Central and Southern Africa, Canada, India, Russia, Brazil, and Australia.

Hardness: 10


Diamonds are believed to have been first discovered and mined in India dating at least 3,000 years ago. Significant deposits were found along the rivers Penner, Krishna and Godavari. Although, diamonds have been used in religious icons for many centuries, the popularity of the stones took places around the 19 Century, when the cutting and polishing techniques have improved. Diamonds are celebrated for the purity of their brilliance. Yet, within the structure of diamond, often are found impurities or inclusions, which deflect light, distracting our eye from the radiance so valued. Many of these tiny imperfections are removed when the diamond is shaped.


Diamonds are cut in many different shapes: round, princess, cushion, emerald, radiant, oval, pear, asscher, marque and heart.


Diamonds occur in a variety of colors—steel gray, white, blue, yellow, orange, red, green, pink to purple, brown, and black. Colored diamonds contain interstitial impurities or structural defects that cause the coloration, whilst pure diamonds are perfectly transparent and colorless.


Diamond colors more saturated than this scale are known as "fancy color" diamonds. Any light shade of diamond other than Light Yellow or Light Brown automatically falls out of the scale. For instance, a pale blue diamond will not get a "K", "N", or "S" color grade, it will get a Faint Blue, very Light Blue or Light Blue grade.


Laboratories use a list of 27 color hues that span the full spectrum for colored gems and diamonds (Red, Orangish-Red, Reddish-Orange, Orange, Yellowish-Orange, Yellow-Orange, Orange-Yellow, Orangish-Yellow, Yellow, Greenish-Yellow, Green-Yellow, Yellow-Green, Yellowish-Green, Green, Bluish-Green, Blue-Green, Green-Blue, Greenish-Blue, Blue, Violetish-Blue, Bluish-Violet, Violet, Purple, Reddish-Purple, Red-Purple, Purple-Red, Purplish-Red). A modifying color combination can also be added (e.g., Olive or Brown-Olive) for stones without the purest hues. Additionally, for diamonds the following colors are used: White (which are milky), Black (which are opaque), Gray, Pink, Brown.

The saturation of these hues is then described with one of nine descriptors: Faint, Very Light, Light, Fancy Light, Fancy, Fancy Dark, Fancy Intense, Fancy Deep, Fancy Vivid.


Diamond is the birthstone for April and a talisman for Aries.


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