Timeless, elegant and classic. We’ve made diamonds our obsession!
Where do diamonds come from?
- Diamonds are formed in the upper mantle of the Earth in an environment of high pressure and high temperature. It is unknown how long they took form, with estimates anywhere from days and weeks to millions of years. Deep volcanic eruptions resulted in molten rock speeding toward the Earth’s surface, forming pipes of mineral rich igneous rock – now known as Kimberlite
- Diamonds are then accessed through digging into the earth (mining) or by filtering alluvial deposits such as riverbeds
Very brief history of diamonds in jewellery
According to the GIA, some historians have estimated that India was trading in diamonds as early as the fourth century BC. In the early 1700 the supply in India began to decline and diamonds began to be discovered in Brazil, which dominated the diamond market for the next 150 years. By the 1800s European and American explorers discovered huge diamond deposits in South Africa, though still rare, these new discoveries meant that diamonds were no longer the exclusive riches of the royal and noble. From 1947 diamonds became synonymous with engagement rings following the most famously successful marketing campaign by DeBeers, coining the phrase ‘Diamonds are forever’. Diamonds have continued to be discovered across the world in countries including Russia, Australia and Canada.
The Ethics of diamonds
- In their history, diamonds have been involved in devastating human rights violations, some of which were infamously depicted in the 2006 film Blood Diamond. Since 2003 conflict free diamonds have been available through the Kimberley Process Certification System and World Diamond Council’s System of Warranties, both of which are explained in more detail here (LINK).
- The future of diamonds is continually evolving with the availability of fully traceable Canadian Diamonds and more recently Everledger’s Blockchain traced diamonds.
Whilst forming in the Earth, the diamond crystal can come into contact with various different elements which is responsible for giving a diamond a specific body colour. For instance, a high presence of Boron in a diamond can produce a blue or blue/grey stone. In the industry coloured diamonds are referred to as fancy coloured diamonds. Anything with this label will automatically incur a high price point due to the rarity of finding these incredible, colourful stones.
The body colour is graded by looking at hue, tone and saturation. Hue is your first impression of the stone. Most coloured diamonds also have secondary hues which make up the overall colour so a ruby might be red with slight blue colour zoning, which makes the stone look slightly purplish overall. Stones with one pure colour are generally more valuable. Tone refers to the lightness and darkness of the stone, very dark stones might be cut quite shallow to give the stone a light ‘window’ to make the colour appear lighter. Saturation is a colours strength or intensity, for example if a blue diamond is low in saturation it might appear to have a very pale greyish colour, whereas if it has high saturation it could have quite a rich blue colour. Generally the more highly saturated, the more vivid the colour and the more valuable the stone.
White diamonds are graded on the D-Z colour scale, anything past this point is graded as fancy. The saturation of the hues is then described with one of nine descriptors: Faint, Very Light, Light, Fancy Light, Fancy, Fancy Dark, Fancy Intense, Fancy Deep, Fancy Vivid.