Diamond Mining

Diamonds can be incredibly beautiful. Their path from under the ground to a hand near you is an incredibly interesting one.

Diamonds are made up entirely of carbon. Pressure (diamonds can’t form above 100 miles below the earths crust) and temperature (750+ degrees F) are the factors that “change” the diamond from mere carbon into a treasured commodity. After millions of years undergoing this pressure and heat, the rough stones are settled in diamond-bearing rock and from there, wait for a volcanic eruption to bring them to the surface.
Diamond Mining Techniques

Pipe Mining: Primary Source-refers to the process of diamonds emerging to the earth’s surface in host rocks through volcanic pipes, which are pathways between the earth’s mantle and surface.

When an eruption occurs, other materials are carried up along with the magma, or lava. If the eruption originates far enough down in the earths surface, it could contain diamond-bearing rock, usually kimberlite or lamproite.

These eruptions must be extremely forceful and move at high speeds, for if the diamonds remain in the magna for a long period of time, they could burn up if the temperatures or turn to graphite.

From here, they conduct a process called open mining where the surface remnants are inspected for diamonds. Once those are exhausted, large shafts are plunged into the ground next to the volcanic pipes and more diamond-bearing rock is recovered, and taken to a screening plant where the soil is separated from the diamonds.

Diamond Mining
Alluvial Mining: Secondary Source- Refers to the removal of rough diamonds that have been relocated to oceans and riverbeds through erosion.

After an eruption occurs, some of the diamond bearing rock is displaced, often settling in ocean beaches and river beds. To extract this valuable substance, a process of Alluvial Mining is conducted. In order to remove the rock from these areas, the water must be pushed aside to get to the floor of the ocean or river. Usually a wall of mud and stone is constructed. From there, the miners using bulldozers or pumps bring the rock to the surface. It is then taken to a screening plant where the soil and silt can be separated from the rough diamonds.
Rough Diamond Quality

After the rough diamonds are mined, less than 20% are gem-quality, the other 80% have other uses. If not gem–quality, they fall into one of two other categories Near Gem-Quality or Industrial use diamonds.

Gem Quality: Approximately 20% of diamonds mined fall into this category. These are high enough in quality to be used in diamond jewelry. They range in clarity from Flawless to Visible Inclusions.

Near Gem Quality: These fall in a category between gem quality and industrial, so they need to be individually evaluated to determine if they could be used in jewelry in some way or if the quality is just to poor they are used in industrial ways.
They range in clarity from Visible Inclusions to industrial quality.

Industrial Quality: These diamonds are badly included stones and are functional only for industrial use; for example drills and saws or earthmoving equipment. These are categorized as industrial quality clarity.
Mining Facts

* Orapa diamond mine largest diamond mine-located in Bostwana, Africa
* Diamonds are a world wide source, mines are found in 25 countries and on all continents except Antarctica.
* Antarctica is thought to have an abundance of diamonds to be mined, but international accords prohibit mining there
* While America is the largest purchaser of diamonds than any other country, the US has only one diamond mine, located in Arkansas
* At least 200 tons of ore needs to be extracted and processed to product a single one carat gem quality diamond
* Only 20% of diamonds mined are gem quality stones

Sources:
http://www.howstuffworks.com/diamond.html
http://www.costellos.com.au/diamonds/mining.html
http://americanradioworks.publicradio.org/features/diamonds/facts.html

Diamond Jewelry Has Lasted For Ages

The superior elegance of diamond jewelry has lasted through the ages. The satisfaction of humanity enjoying diamonds over the time.

Diamond jewelry is the ultimate fantasy for women and perhaps men too. Kings were known to adorn diamonds in their ornaments, equaling or more than their queens. Diamond jewelry is timeless and can never go out of style.

Diamond is probably one of the most precious stones today and the jewelry made out of this exotic stone is unparalleled. With innovative designs coming into the market, the choice of diamond jewelry is unlimited and caters to all needs. Earlier, it was so expensive that only the aristocrats or the very rich could afford it, but now as with everything else, it is more within reach for the common man too, although it is costlier compared to other gems.

Diamond jewelry comes in all shapes and sizes. There are engagement rings, wedding rings, ear rings, chains, pendants, necklaces, bracelets, diamonds set in various metals like gold, silver, white gold, and platinum, jewelry combined with other precious gems, and a host of other jewelry.

Diamonds are very valuable, especially the ones that are finely cut. Learning about them helps in giving one the ability to choose when it is time to buy this precious stone. Diamond jewelry is considered to be an investment of a lifetime. To help determine the quality of the diamond jewelry you are buying, you need to understand the four C’s.

The four C’s are the cut, clarity, carat weight, and color. These control a diamond’s appearance. The cut of a diamond does not mean the shape. When you hear gemologists say ‘cut’, they are referring to the proportions of the gemstone, like the width, depth and uniformity. These are the characteristics of a diamond that affect the durability and brilliance of a diamond, and this is what people look for when buying diamond jewelry. The clarity of the diamond jewelry means the perfectly clear stones. This flawless stone is very rare to find and when found will be very expensive. But then, when you are buying diamond jewelry, these flaws are not seen with the naked eye unless you use a magnifying glass. Carat weight is the size of the diamond. The diamond jewelry or loose diamonds are priced based on the carat weight. Color of a diamonds are graded from D-Z. The ones from D-F are colorless and from G-J, they are almost colorless. The color is comprehensible to the naked eye only from I or J.

Buying diamond jewelry is one thing and wondering if you bought a good one is another. The above guidelines should help you in deciding whether what you are buying is worth the investment or not.

I know the general notion that diamonds are tough and you can handle your diamond jewelry the way you want. That is not true. You do need to take care of your diamond jewelry for it to last a lifetime. Although diamond is one of the strongest metal on earth, it can still chip with a hard hit. Clean your diamond jewelry with ammonia and water using a very soft brush. Make sure that you don’t discolor the metal. Perspiration, lotions, and other cleaners can dull the stones. Store diamond jewelry in velvet pouches to avoid scratching.

Diamond jewelry is the ultimate in adornments and understanding a little about it makes it easier to buy and enjoy it. Jewelry made with this precious gemstone does not compare with anything else and stands out in a crowd. Show off your diamond jewelry and enjoy the feeling of elation.

Diamond is Forever and Eternity

Diamonds have been around for centuries. The diamond has stood for so much since ancient days and continue to stand for beauty.

Diamond is perceived as the most precious of all precious stones and is peerless. It is a woman’s best friend and a symbol of love. It shines and glitters and symbolizes purity and strength.

In ancient times, a diamond was considered to be a sign of magic, sanctity, healing, energy, happiness, beauty, and longevity when used, but the saying goes that a diamond is poison when consumed. It was known for its goodness and power to remove all evil. In today’s world, a diamond is regarded as a status symbol, an ornament of beauty worn by the rich and depicts a luxurious lifestyle.

A diamond is forever. You would have heard this. The reason for this saying is because it is the hardest natural material and very difficult to break. It is also a good conductor of heat and a nonconductor of electricity. It is another form of dark carbon.

Time was when diamond jewelry was only seen in royal portraits or in the beautifully designed catalogues and books. Today, sales of diamonds have taken a dramatic upward turn with branded diamond jewelry being available to millions of women. This treasured stone of romance and power has become very popular over the centuries.

A diamond is available in all shapes and colors, in fact more so than other gems. The weight measurement of a diamond is the ‘carat’. The larger the diamond, the more the carat. Big sized diamonds are a rarity and the value increases as the size gets bigger.

Diamond jewelry is the most expensive types of jewelry. Diamond pendants and rings are a craze, especially engagement rings. Diamonds are usually set in gold, white gold, silver, or platinum, the latter being more expensive. The combination of pearls and diamonds is a delight to the eyes.

“The rarest things in the world, next to a spirit of discernment, are diamonds and pearls.”
By ~Jean de la Bruyere

There are several innovative ways that diamonds are being used, which includes imbedding them in watches too. These watches though expensive are a great gift for big occasions for loved ones when you are on the lookout for expensive gifts.

Grading of diamonds is something the one needs to know. The colors are graded from D to Z, with the lesser color being higher in value. Color D is the rarest and is colorless with a blue tinge. Since colors filter light, the reflected light is less than a colorless diamond.

For the sake of some light hearted talk on diamonds, lets delve into some superstitions that were prevalent earlier on. Diamonds that have a red or yellow hue were thought to be good for a king, because they were considered auspicious.
The white hued diamond was said to be perfect for anything religious or spiritual. The yellow hued one was said to be the one for prosperity and success. Black hue was thought to be suitable for those that are in smaller jobs. Women who wanted to give birth to sons were asked to wear a white diamond with a small black hue. It was also stressed that one should never wear a blemished diamond as it brings bad luck to the person wearing it. All these may sound like unbelievable superstitions to the nonbeliever, but these were followed quite strictly earlier. But then if you go to see, even in the modern world, in some countries, many people will not wear a diamond unless they get it checked to see if it is the right one for them.

Interesting facts aren’t they. A diamond has an indescribable aura surrounding it, and it is fascinating to learn about it.

Diamond Fashion Rings Are For Both Sexes

Diamond fashion rings have gone past being a fad. The are both stylish and unique and make a individual stand out.

Diamond rings have always fascinated men and women throughout. Such is the beauty of a diamond that makes one feel special just by wearing it. It elevates ones persona and gives the wearer the feeling of being one above everybody else.

With the coming into being of the fashion conscious modern woman, there was need for a change in the designs of rings too. With this in mind, jewelers started modifying the traditional designs to gel with the modern concepts of living. Thus was born the diamond fashion ring. The beauty of diamonds beckoned from the most modern precious metal setting and this proved to be a major attraction in the current day.

Diamond fashion rings come in a variety of designs to match every possible modern outfit and every personality that one can think of. Diamond fashion rings are made in all shapes, from geometrical to square, while the round diamond ring still remains a hot favorite amongst many. It is the combination of the old world with the new world that has brought about a revolution in jewelry and gave birth to the diamond fashion ring.

The four-leaf clover theme diamond fashion ring is in vogue and is seen adorning the elegant fingers of many celebrities. The three stone diamond ring is a representation of the past, present and future. The value of this diamond fashion ring is not only the superficial elegant look, but the beautiful thought that goes with it. It is said that just as the man and woman and bound together in marriage, similarly their past, present, and future all come together with the wearing of this ring.

Under the diamond fashion rings category falls the ever-fashionable solitaire ring.
They could very well be the best diamond fashion rings. These rings include basket diamond rings and trellis diamond rings too.

Diamond fashion rings come in a variety of metals, aside from gold and silver. They come in titanium and platinum too. They need less maintenance and are lighter than gold and silver, and they are very popular.

Diamond fashion rings are a great way to celebrate special occasions. There are the engagement rings and the wedding rings, which are the most popular, but even a passing out of college is a great occasion that warrants a diamond fashion ring gift.

The new age fashion trends tend to be different and look for occasions to celebrate. You will find the singles ring also for the single men and women. This ring sends a message of being single and looking. There is the unbelievable chameleon like mood ring, which changes colors with the change in our moods. Imagine being envious of someone and the ring turns green.

The diamond fashion rings have taken a life of their own and have a place in everybody’s jewelry box and hearts. They vary in designs from the very simple to the very large and exotic, to suit all types of people. Gift the diamond fashion rings to the your loved ones who are fashion conscious and would like to be at the helm of things. They will love you for it.

Diamond Bracelet -A Fashion Statement Of Today

Is there a woman on earth that doesn’t want dazzling diamonds framing her slender wrist?

A gift of diamonds is precious and brings a glint to the eyes of the receiver. An exquisite diamond bracelet sparkling on the wrist adds beauty even to the most beautiful woman. Diamond bracelets spell class and there is nothing better than a diamond bracelet to stand out in a crowd.

What makes a diamond bracelet special is the design, style, and the cut of the stone. All these three factors are very important and should be taken into consideration before getting a diamond bracelet.

Diamond bracelets are in vogue today and they come in all shapes and sizes, from the simple to the outrageous. Tennis bracelets, charm bracelets, bangle bracelets, link bracelets, heart bracelet, chain bracelets, rope bracelets, cuff bracelets, mesh bracelets are some of the varieties of diamond bracelets, the most popular being the tennis bracelets and charm bracelets.

Tennis bracelets are nothing but thin line diamond bracelets, which owe their name to Chris Evert, the tennis star. During a US Open match, she was wearing an in-line thin diamond bracelet and it slipped while playing. The game had to be stopped for a while, as she searched for it. Now they are better known as tennis bracelets and are worn by other tennis players too. The charm diamond bracelets are beautiful as they hang gracefully from the wrist and are noticed by everyone around. The metals used are gold, sterling silver, platinum, rhodium, white gold, rose gold, and titanium.

When looking for a diamond bracelet, you should look for a “GIA certified diamond” sign. GIA is Gemological Institute of America and provides you the assurance that you are getting good quality diamonds. The 4C’s of diamonds are the cut, clarity, color, and carat. Carat is the size of the diamonds. If the diamond bracelet is set with bigger diamonds, the price will be higher. Asking the jeweler to provide with the certification detailing the 4C’s of the diamonds in the bracelet is essential.

It is also important to understand diamond grading. They are graded from D to Z, with D being the rarest diamond. A diamond should be colorless. Light should reflect the brilliance of the diamonds in the bracelet. Diamond bracelets that are guaranteed show no visible color and are genuine.

Diamond bracelets are a perfect gift to give someone you love. There is no need of an occasion to gift a diamond. Diamonds may be expensive but if one can afford them, there is nothing that can compare. When diamonds are arranged with other precious stones like emerald, topaz, sapphire, citrine, or ruby, they are even more colorful and beautiful.

The Mystery Of The Opal

The Mystery Of The Opal

There is no other stone that has the mystery of the opal. With its fiery colors and magnificent spectrum of color it draws you in and you are helpless to look away.

Every opal is different. There are no two stones the same. And every stone reflects the light differently depending on its depth and personal characteristics. This stone eludes a mystical aura without even trying.

Opals are extremely popular for jewelry and it’s not hard to figure out why with that beautiful array of color. Soft and feminine yet fierce and bold.

Opal has the honors of being October’s birthstone. Back to ancient times it has been associated with magical qualities. It was believed to bring both good and bad luck. Some cultures used opals in white magic and believed they brought good fortune. Other cultures considered them a third eye that would allow you to tell the future.

Opals are a semi precious stone but a black opal can cost as much as a diamond. The amount of fire in the opal and where it comes from will determine the price. Pale opals can be purchased quite cheaply but the more fiery or red the more expensive the opal becomes.

Opal jewelry comes in a variety of style and is set in both gold and sterling silver. Sometimes you’ll see triplet or stacked opals, other times they are set solitaire. They also come in a variety of different cuts.

There are several types of opals:

The fire opal is probably the most popular. It is translucent with fiery orange and red flecks. The colors are vivid and intoxicating. This opal is sometimes called the Mexican opal or the Cherry opal.

The white opal is an opaque milky white with light flashes of rainbow colors.

The boulder opal is a natural solid opal with a fine layer of opal deposited on an iron base.

The water or jelly opal is colorless and transparent and has no color play.

The crystal opal is also transparent, but displays a rainbow of color. It is so transparent you can see through it on a light surface.

The Mosaic opal is just what it says. Small irregular pieces of opal tightly fit together. It’s a great way to use chips and is very affordable.

The opal doublet is made of sliced layers of natural opal that is too thin to be used in a single set. It is bonded and set on black glass or ironstone which enhances its color. The doublet opal is much cheaper because you are buying less true opal.

Synthetic opals are created in a lab and although they basically have the same properties as a natural opal by law the jeweler must tell you if it is a synthetic stone.

Contrary to what you hear opals are no more difficult to take care of then other stones. You should not knock or bang them and you should keep them out of direct sunlight or heat.

One thing you need to know is that opals cannot be cleaned in commercial jewelry cleaner or any other harsh chemical solution. Rather use a soft brush and water with a dab of vinegar, then rinse thoroughly.

Water will not hurt your opal unless it is a doublet or triplet then you should not immerse in water. Solid stones are fine. See that’s not so difficult.

So the next time an opal draws you in and wants to go home with you why not add this beautiful mysterious stone to your jewelry collection. Only then will you experience the mystery of the opal.

All About Cameos

There is something about a cameo that it truly captivating. Be it the attention to fine detail, the elegance of the portraits, there is simply nothing quite as beautiful as a cameo, and they never go out of style. Cameos can be made from variety of materials, such as abalone, wood, bone, coral, ivory, agate, glass, plastic, various shell types, and layered hard stone which comes in a variety of colors.

Molded cameos are usually made of glass. They usually consist of either one or two colors. Often the colors are swirled together. Glass cameos are usually quite shiny. Molded cameos are also molded from plastic. The wedgwood style cameos were made from plastic. Plastic makes a terrific imitation shell cameo. Older cameos were often made with celluloid using two colors. Occasionally, but not very often, natural materials are molded. One way to tell if a cameo is molded is to look for a roundness in the detail and a lack of sharp and precise lines. To identify glass cameos look for the presence of mold marks and ridges or dimples on the back.

Shell cameos are carved from a single piece of shell. Shell is soft, so it is very easy to carve. Shell cameos are usually two colors. Shell cameos have a thin concave back, with the exception of abalone and mother of pearl which are usually flat on the back and somewhat thicker. Coral Cameos are usually a single color, and also have a flat back.

Agate cameos are carved with the same technique that shell cameos are carved. Agate has one main advantage, because the carver is able to see the layers of color from the side and knows that these layers will basically be flat. Stone is much harder to carve. A good hard stone cameo is often under carved at the junction where the portrait meets the flat plaque. At a quick glance stone often looks like an applied cameo, however upon closer examination one can determine it to be stone.

Amber Cameos are rather new to the market place. Amber cameos are carved from natural amber with the reverse intaglios being hand carved.
Practice will make it easier to tell molded cameos from carved cameos: Usually natural materials are carved, while glass and plastic materials are normally molded but could be carved though not very likely. Molded cameos can be two colors by the simple device of pouring one color into the mold in a thin layer and then following with a thicker layer of another color.

If you are buying for value distinguishing the type of cameo could be very important. However, if you are buying because you simply “love” the piece, then determining the type of cameo and the value are not nearly as important. We suggest if you are purchasing a cameo because you want to add it to your jewelry wardrobe then choose what your heart falls for, just be certain you are not overpaying for what you are getting.

Cameos make a wonderful fashion statement! And they never go out of style.