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Diamonds - An Overview

April 19, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 157

There are many gemstones available on the market nowadays but among the most desirable are diamonds. Diamonds are said to be 'a girl's best friend' and that may well be true seeing the fascination it holds for most women. The sparkle this gemstone displays is remarkable in all its fiery glory.

Diamonds are commonly graded by the 4C's which are made up of carat, cut, color and clarity. There are also additional characteristics that affect their value when used in jewellery such as the lack or presence of fluorescence, inclusions as well as the source of their collection.

Engagement rings are the pieces of jewellery that most often have diamonds as their main focal piece. It is widely believed that the popularity of diamonds as jewellery pieces grew as a result of an advertising endeavor back in the mid- 20th century by the well-known De Beers Company.

At present, more than 80% of the world's rough diamonds, approximately 50% of cut diamonds and around 40% of industrial ones are traded in the diamond centre of the world, Antwerp in Belgium. Antwerp was made famous by its cutters and polishers that provided real innovation in the area of polishing.

However, because of the desirability and demand for these gems, ethical concerns have also arisen. These were mainly caused by revolutionary groups who have gained significant control of diamond mines mainly located in unstable countries in Africa. The proceeds from the sales of these gemstones are used to finance these groups and their operations. Diamonds that are sold and the proceeds used in such manner are known as 'blood diamonds' or 'conflict diamonds'. Although processes such as the Kimberly Process and the Canadian body such as the Canadian Diamond Code of Conduct have been set up, conflict diamonds still make their way into the market.

Due to the immense demand for these stones in the rough for both industrial and gemological uses, synthetic diamonds (other names are cultivated or cultured diamonds) have been produced. These synthetic diamonds are produced in a lab whereas real diamonds are created by a process that is geological in nature and then mined. Synthetic diamonds are created by the Chemical Vapor Deposition or CVD method or by the High Pressure High Temperature synthesis or HPHT method. Both inferior and superior versions can be found and these are dependent on the process used during manufacturing. Although these diamonds are widely used in abrasives for cutting and polishing; various electronic applications such as light-emitting diodes and high-power switches at power stations have benefited from the use of these. There are many other applications using them and many more are being constantly developed.

These synthetic versions can also be produced into gems with various colors added to them. When they were first introduced into the mass market they caused concern in the diamond trading circle but specific spectroscopic techniques and devices were produced to differentiate between the natural gems and the synthetic versions.

Diamonds will always have an allure and continue to fascinate people all over the world. The intricate and mastery of skill that goes into cutting, shaping and polishing these amazing gemstones make them a gem to behold. To see them glitter as they catch the light is an amazing sight and one which will leave an indelible impression on anyone's mind.

For those of you that cannot afford the full cost of diamonds but still want something very similar, there are a plethora of products like diamante shoes as well as diamante jewellery sets at a fraction of the price.

Source: EzineArticles
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