All About Diamonds
The Hard Facts About Diamonds
Diamonds aren’t just the hardest substance on Earth, they’re one of the oldest. The story of every diamond began billions of years ago, when it was molten magma 100 miles below the surface of the Earth. Under the forces of tremendous temperatures, pressure, and time the magma was compressed, crystallized, and forced toward the surface. A few diamonds actually made it to the surface, but most are found in mines hundreds of feet deep. The largest diamonds mines are in Botswana, Russia, and Canada; however, diamonds have been found in areas throughout the world, including the United States.
To produce one carat of diamonds, miners sift through approximately 200-250 tons of ore. The average size of the diamond coming out of a mine is .10 carats, and even then, only 20% of mined diamonds are gem quality.
Gem-quality diamonds are sorted based on size, shape, quality, and color. However, like fingerprints, no two diamonds are exactly alike. (For this reason, you should always view a diamond in person, if possible.) The sorted gems are sold at an invitation-only sale held only 10 times each year. From there, diamonds undergo an exhaustive cutting and shaping process before being placed into a setting. And much of this process is still done by hand by a few master gem cutters.
The entire process – not including the millions of years needed to form the diamond – can take months or even years. It’s no wonder diamonds are the most precious of all gemstones!