The word diamond comes from the Greek adamas, which contains the idea of indestructibility.
The history of diamonds began in India some 2800 years. Until the fifteenth century, the diamond was exclusively the attribute of kings, symbol of strength and courage. It was also used for etching glass. It is from the fifteenth century that we begin to cut diamonds; and this is much later (1793) that Lavoisier discovered the secrets of the composition of the ore coveted. In the middle of the twentieth century, chemists were able to make it.
Today, over 60% of world diamond production comes from only Afriquemais 20% of mined diamonds are for jewelery.
Rough diamond in the gemstone
Diamond is composed of pure carbon crystallized; making it the gemstone easiest and the hardest too.
The natural diamond production began there several million years in the heart of the earth, where the carbon crystallized under very high temperature effect and land pressures. The ore is then increased slowly through the volcanic phenomena.
Diamond mining is done in different ways depending on the region where diamond is used.
In general, three steps are necessary to obtain rough diamonds disposal of materials called "sterile" (earth and stone), the actual extraction and washing.
For so-called primary deposits (Blue Earth), operation is done either via an open pit mine or via an underground mine with two mining techniques; by landslides (explosion in horizontal galleries) or underground mining in tiers.
pit diamond mine (India - XVIII)
For secondary deposits (alluvial or eluvial yellow earth in rivers), there are many different operating modes and extraction, from the artisan to more industrial.
In nearshore marine deposits, the explosion is a widely used technique since it is necessary to extract large quantities of sand to reach the diamond that is deep.
On average, it is necessary to extract 250 tons of ore to get a cut diamond that will give a stone of one carat. The vast majority of diamonds mined are used in industry. Diamond is used in very different fields for its exceptional qualities of hardness stone, chemical industry, aviation, etc.
Only 20% of rough diamonds mined will be for jewelery due to the quality requirement.
A rough diamond
The size of the stone has a very important influence on the brightness and thus the value of the diamond. This is a delicate operation. Learn more about the shapes of diamond cutting.
In view of its hardness, diamond is cut with another diamond. There are different ways to cut a diamond: it is firstly to examine the shape of the rough diamond to determine what form of size reveal best radiance.
The most common size for a diamond is the size "brilliant". Learn more about the diamond "Brilliant."
The diamond cutting operation is now mainly in Antwerp, Belgium, in Tel Aviv, Israel and Gujarat in India.
Different diamond cutting forms
Once cut, the diamond is given to a jeweler manufacturer which is responsible for creating the frame for it.
Diamond throughout history
From Antiquity to the Renaissance are unpolished diamonds were worn as jewelry in their natural form. Essentially attribute of kings until the fifteenth century it was a symbol of power.
Royal Crown Diamond
It was not until the fifteenth century that we begin to cut and polish diamonds; thereby revealing the brilliance of the stone.
In 1793, Antoine Lavoisier discovered the composition of pure carbon.
The diamond production history
Until the late nineteenth century, India was the only country in the world producer of diamonds.
Diamond Mine in the nineteenth century
Since 1896, the diamonds come mostly from Africa (more than 60% of world diamond production in 1999), Australia (largest producer) and Russia.
In 2003, five countries are responsible for 95.5% of the diamonds produced in the world: Australia (33.5%), Russia (20.8%), Congo (16.5%), Botswana (12, 9), South Africa (11.8).
In the middle of the twentieth century, chemists were able to manufacture; diamond then became an industrial material with an average annual production now reaches over 400 million carats, or 80 tonnes of diamond.
The advantage of the industrial production of diamonds is that one can choose the characteristics of a diamond according to its subsequent use.
The history of carat
The term "carat" which today sets the weight of a diamond comes from the first unit of weight measurement of a diamond that was used: the carob seed (karat).
Also called carob, this brown seed is produced by the carob tree, a tree cultivated since ancient times and this mainly in the Mediterranean today.
The peculiarity of this seed is to have a constant weight of 0.20 g, equivalent carat as we know it. It has long been used to measure the weight of various precious stones such as diamonds.