A diamond ring is the ultimate symbol of love and commitment. It’s the first step toward marriage and a new life with your loved one.
Diamonds are nature’s hardest substance, formed deep within the earth from carbon that has been subjected to millions or billions of years of heat and pressure. After the rough diamond is retrieved from the ground, it undergoes a lengthy process of refining and polishing.
The History of Diamonds
The History of Diamonds is a fascinating, well-written and highly informative book. It traces the origins of diamonds and how they became such an important part of jewelry.
Early civilizations in Egypt, Babylon, Mesopotamia and India used diamonds 鑽石 as talismans and charms. They were also used to cut jade and drill pearls.
However, it wasn’t until the 1800s that diamonds were widely available and began to play a significant role in jewelry. Until then, diamonds were only found in India.
As a result, people began to search the world for other sources of diamonds. In the 1700s, major diamond deposits were discovered in Brazil and South Africa.
With the discovery of these new sources, diamond mining became a booming industry. By 1889, a company called De Beers Consolidated Mines (founded by Cecil Rhodes) had monopolized the diamond industry.
The Symbolism of Diamonds
As one of the most precious gems in the world, diamonds have long been a symbol of wealth, power and love. The carbon substance that makes up a diamond is the hardest substance on earth, meaning it can withstand a lot of pressure and heat.
When a diamond is reflected, it produces a brilliant luster and sparkle. This shine comes from a combination of reflection, dispersion and refraction.
Many cultures have different lore regarding the diamond, but all of them share this one common theme: that diamonds symbolize the forces necessary to live a healthy life. They also bring its wearer great strength and protection.
From the ancient Greeks, to Roman poets and medieval knights, to modern kings and queens, people have been using diamonds as symbols of success, wealth and invincibility. As a result, they were often referred to as the tears of gods that brought good fortune to those who held them close.
The Brilliance of Diamonds
Brilliance is a diamond’s optical quality that results from the internal and external reflection of white light off its facets. It creates bright white flashes that give diamonds their signature sparkle.
To be brilliant, a diamond must be cut and polished in a way that directs light to the eye efficiently. It also must have enough structural contrast to produce on/off blinking of its facets in motion, referred to as scintillation.
It’s a tricky balance between structure and movement, so it’s important to see it in action before you make a purchase. To do this, try moving around the diamond to see its scintillation and other optical effects.
Another component of brilliance is fire, which refers to the colorful light dispersed by a diamond. A diamond with great fire can turn red, orange, yellow, green, blue and violet when reflected by the light.
The Setting of Diamonds
Whether you’re buying an engagement ring or designing your own jewelry, the setting is an important part of creating a beautiful piece. It not only holds the diamond in place, but it also affects how light interacts with the gemstone.
There are several different types of settings, based on the type of jewelry you’re making and your personal preferences. The most popular are prong and bezel settings, but there’s more than one way to make your diamond stand out.
A classic prong setting wraps two or more prongs around the crown of a stone to secure it in place. This minimizes the amount of metal used, allowing more light to pass through the gemstone, which gives it extra sparkle.
A bezel setting holds the rim of a diamond only partially. It’s less secure than a prong setting, but it can also give your diamond a more delicate look. It’s best for round, princess and emerald cut stones, as it can enhance their shape.