==== ====To view latest Diamond Testers and other jewelry gadgets available on the market and to see theirreviews and rankings, please visit:http://www.diamondtester.com/==== ====To start our feature on different types of gemstones, we will start with the best and most wellknown gemstone of them all the diamond. The diamond is the ultimate gemstone. It has very fewweaknesses and many strengths. It sparkles with its extraordinary value and sentimental value. Itis used in wedding rings to represent endless love or used as gifts/jewelry to be given to lovedones. But the diamond is so much more than its eternal beauty.The diamond derives its name from the Greek work adamas meaning unbeatable. In hardness,there is no comparison. The diamond rates in the Mohs scale a 10 which is the hardest substanceon Earth. Its cutting resistance is 140 times that of the ruby and sapphire, thegemstones(Corundum) that are next in the Mohs scale in hardness. The diamonds opticalproperties such as luster and rigidness make it unique and easily distinguished from otherimitations. Enjoy!*History of DiamondsThe first recorded diamond dates back around 800 B.C. in India. Some believe it even dated back6,000 years ago. The diamonds were used as decorative purposes and also as talismans to wardoff evil and provide protection in battle. During the Dark Ages, diamonds were even stated to beused as a medical aid. Religious doctors even told patients that if they hold a diamond in a handand make the sign of the cross would, it would cure and illness and heal wounds.Diamonds became more popular during the 19th century due to discovery of diamond deposits inSouth Africa. This discovery leads to increased supply, improved cutting and polishing techniques,and growth in economy. In 1979, geologists found the Argyle pipe in Australia which to this date isthe richest diamond deposit in the world. Argyle, since then, alone is responsible for supplyingover one third of the worlds diamonds every year.*Diamonds: How are they formed?Diamonds consists of an allotrope of carbons that are formed in high-pressure, high-temperatureconditions. Diamonds are produced 90 miles under the Earths surface at temperatures of about2200 degrees Fahrenheit. Diamonds are formed deep within the earth and eventually, overextremely long periods of time, push their way to the earths surface, usually through volcaniceruptions.The age of these diamonds from beneath the surface of the earth are from 1 to 3.3 billion yearsold! When diamonds are formed and begin their ascent to the earths surface, they go throughchannels where the magma from the volcano rises to the surface, picking up diamonds along theway and eventually depositing them on the surface, where they are eventually found and mined.
*The 4 Cs of DiamondsThere are four distinct characteristics that determine the value and quality of a diamond. Theseare the color, cut, clarity and carat. Otherwise known as the 4 Cs of a diamond. In the following,we will talk about these features in detail.*ColorIn the last newsletter, we touch based on the color of gemstones as being the most importantfeature due to the fact that color is the most obvious feature. The perfect diamond should appearclear and colorless but this is not the case for all diamonds. Diamonds can come in any color ofthe rainbow most common color is a shade of yellow or brown. The Geological Institute ofAmerica(GIA) have devised a guideline to grade diamond color. This guideline consists of alettering system that ranges from the alphabet D - Z. Please see below:DEFNo ColorGHIJNearly ColorlessKLMFaintly tinted, cant hardly be seen and usually yellow in colorNOPQRLightly tinted, usually yellow. Can be seen with the naked eyeSTUVWXYZTinted, starts from yellow and progresses to brown*ClarityThe cut a diamond is determined by the diamonds proportion such as its shape, width and depth.The cut determines what is called the diamonds "brilliance". Even if the diamond itself has perfectcolor and clarity, with a poor cut the diamond will have a dull brilliance. This is because the cutdetermines how light travels within the diamond. The Gemological Institute of America has alsodevised a clarity grading system to rank diamond clarity. This grading system includes Flawless(Fl), Internally Flawless (IF), Very Very Slightly Included (VV1 or VV2), Very Slightly Included(VS1or VS2), Slightly Included(SI1 or SI2), and Included(I1, I2, and I3). Although this system had beencontributed to the diamond industry, it is not widely used. This is due to the fact that it took a lot ofpractice and training to integrate it.*CutThe cut a diamond is determined by the diamonds proportion such as its shape, width and depth.The cut determines what is called the diamonds "brilliance". Even if the diamond itself has perfectcolor and clarity, with a poor cut the diamond will have a dull brilliance. This is because the cutdetermines how light travels within the diamond.There are 3 types of cuts that can determine the diamonds brilliance. These are a shallow cut, acut that is too deep and ideal cut. A shallow cut is a cut of a diamond that is too low, that lighttraveling through it is lost on the bottom of the stone and does not come back into sight. This cutmakes a diamond appear lifeless and dull. A cut that is too deep is a cut that is too high, that lighttraveling through it escapes through the sides and darkens the stone. An ideal cut is a perfect cuton a diamond that reflects light to the top of the stone, giving it perfect brilliance.
*CaratAs stated on the last newsletter, a single carat(ct) weighs about 200 milligrams or.2 grams. Forsmaller carat diamonds that weigh less than a carat, it is expressed as points (pt). Points are1/100 of a carat. Carat weight of a diamond is important due to the fact that larger diamonds arerarer than smaller ones, so basically the larger the diamond the more expensive it is. There is nostandard grading system or diagram that can show different carat weight. This is because thereare so many variations of diamonds in shape and cut, which makes stones of similar weight, lookdifferent.*Imitation DiamondsSince diamonds are the most valuable and rarest of all the gemstones, efforts have been made toduplicate or even enhance diamonds using less expensive alternatives. A lot of times, honestmistakes have been made and these alternatives or other gemstones such as spinel weresometimes confused with real diamonds. In some cases, some dishonest people try to sell thesealternatives to misfortunate buyers in order to profit. Below we will discuss about these alternativesand ways to identify them.*Synthetic DiamondsSynthetic diamonds are diamonds that are grown manufactured in a laboratory. The first knowncases of diamond synthesis were claimed to be documented between 1879 - 1928, but this wasnever confirmed. It wasnt until the 1940s where research began in the United States, Sweden,Soviet Union started researching. Synthetic diamonds are otherwise known as High Pressure HighTemperature (HPHT) diamonds or Chemical Vapor Deposit (CVD) diamonds. The name of boththese synthetic diamonds derives from the processes used to create them. Some of thesesynthetic diamonds could either have greater, lesser or similar characteristics than that of adiamond. Therefore, these synthetic diamonds are used for abrasives, cutting and polishing tools,and switches in power stations.*SimulantsSimulants are non-diamond substances that are used to replicate the appearance and even theshape of a diamond. The most basic and well known simulant is cubic zirconia (CZ). CZ at plainsight can sparkle more than a diamond and also it is less dense, meaning that a 1 carat CZ will bemuch larger than a 1 carat diamond. Nowadays, a more popular simulant is moissanite, which hasall the same characteristics of a diamond. These characteristics include hardness (Moissanite-9.25 and diamond-10 in Mohs scale), refractive index(Moissanite -2.65 and diamond -2.42) anddispersion (Moissanite-.104 and diamond-.044). This makes it hard to differentiate the two at plainsight and would often require testers to tell the difference. In the next section we will discuss howto identify moissanites and other imitations.*Real or Fake?An old method of identifying diamonds is to do a scratch test. This requires scratching a diamondwith another diamond which is destructive and is rarely used nowadays. The best and mostreliable way to test for diamonds is to use testers that use thermal conductivity. These testersconsist of battery powered thermistors mounted with a retractable copper tip. This tester works byinjecting the heat onto the tested stone and then the device measures the amount of heat that itconducts. However thermal conductivity testers works best to distinguish diamonds and its othersimulants, it will not help distinguish lab created or synthetic stones. To be able to identify these,certain optical techniques are needed. Laboratories use techniques such as spectroscopy,
microscopy and luminescence in order to determine a certain stones origin. The average personcan use loupes and microscopes to distinguish synthetic stones. Natural diamonds usually haveminor imperfections and flaws such as inclusions or some type of foreign material, which will notbe found in synthetics.Article Source:http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Allan_Vinluan==== ====To view latest Diamond Testers and other jewelry gadgets available on the market and to see theirreviews and rankings, please visit:http://www.diamondtester.com/==== ====