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    Start with a Diamond
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    Oct 11

    untitled-91.jpgIf you are looking to grow a diamond you may have a long wait. A “natural” diamond is centuries in the making, and it is usually good luck alone that allows a diamond hunter to locate the most excellent and beautiful examples. Of course, anyone can forgo a diamond hunt and simply make their way to the nearest jewelry shop or designer’s studio to have an elegant piece made to their specifications or needs. The diamonds that appear in such pieces will have also been a long time in the making – millions, or even billions, of years in fact.

    A simplified story of the natural creation of a diamond begins centuries ago when carbon was compressed in the molten environment deep within the Earth. The intensities of heat and pressure formed the basic material into a diamond, and it would have remained in this hostile world if it weren’t for cracks and fissures in the upper layers of the Earth’s surface. The pressures behind these cracks forced molten lava and many other minerals, stones and materials up to the surface.

    Most of the time the pressure would actually cause a violent eruption that created a crater that had deposits of all the materials, including the diamonds, left behind in its wake. Today scientists, geologists and diamond miners call these craters and the structures below them “kimberlite pipes“. This is because the mineral kimberlite frequently appears wherever diamonds are found.

    Over the following eons and centuries many of the kimberlite pipes would succumb to the pressures of rain, wind and weather and they would begin to erode. Some have left deposits of minerals and diamonds in the hillsides and rivers that formed from the centuries of erosion activity. Other kimberlite pipes maintained their vertical structures and are today’s diamond mines.

    Diamond mines are found throughout the world and on almost every continent. The stones come in a variety of sizes and colors and are put to use as jewelry and for industrial purposes.

    Some natural stones receive coloration due to the elements and minerals that are present when a diamond is being created. While there are “artificial” diamonds with irradiation used to give color, it is the true naturally colored diamonds that are finding such incredible market value, prices and demand. Colored diamonds appear in geographically predominant areas, for example in the United States the “Crater of Diamonds Park” in Arkansas is home to colorless/white, yellow and brown diamonds.

    Diamonds used for industrial purposes actually take up around eighty percent of each year’s inventory of newly found diamonds. Because they are the hardest substance known they are put to use in grinding and cutting equipment, including being used to cut other diamonds, they are used in polishing and machining equipment, ceramics and stone cutting, concrete and even soft metal cutting devices. One of the most common industrial applications for diamonds is saw blades where they are embedded or applied to strong metal blades used to saw through everything from concrete and steel to glass. While these blades can be extremely expensive, their durability and strength make them a commonly purchased item.

    Jewelry grade diamonds have had various requirements throughout the history of man and diamonds. Originally diamonds were used as tools, and because of their strength, given the early name of “adamas” (the unconquerable). Soon they were seen as amulets or symbols to be worn as a sign of strength and royalty. This is where the diamond jewelry industry really began.

    Soon diamonds were given as pledges between royal families, and then by men to women as a pledge of love. Today, there is a huge demand for both new and vintage jewelry, and many people acquire their own diamonds through estate sales and auctions as well as jewelry shops and retailers.

    Interestingly enough an entirely new method of “growing” a diamond has recently made an appearance in many headlines. A Swiss company has taken the technology used to create “man made” diamonds and applied it to the cremated remains of beloved family members. In this way people are able to permanently preserve their loved ones in the form of a diamond. While these are not “true” diamonds, since they were not created under the remarkable chain of events that nature uses to “grow” a diamond, they are finding wide acceptance and popularity as memorials.

    Additionally, any one who is enthusiastic about diamond collecting could go to one of the Earth’s original “farms” – the Crater of Diamonds Park in Arkansas. Where visitors can burrow, sift and dig for diamonds at the very top of an ancient kimberlite pipe.

    Regardless of their creation, or how they are grown, diamonds continue to be an incredibly popular, and financially sound, investment vehicle. Colored diamonds are bringing in some of the world’s largest “per carat” prices in history, and diamond jewelry is becoming more and more popular for jewelry fans of all ages.

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