The name diamond is derived from the Greek word Adamas, meaning the unconquerable. Ancient Greeks believed that they were the tears of the gods. Diamonds are the hardest transparent substance in the world and as such it is virtually imperishable.
Diamonds were first discovered by man some 4,000 years ago in India. Most diamonds are over 3 billion years old, forming more than 80 kilometres below the earths surface in a fiery volcanic cauldron.
The composition of a diamond is relatively simple. Made up of common carbon it has been transformed quite miraculously into the beautiful stone it is by the combined forces of heat (1100-1300 degrees Celsius) and pressure. As the volcanic layers are forced through time toward the surface of the earth, the diamond cools within kimberlite or lamproite pipes. This is where the diamonds are found.
Today, mining of diamonds is primarily in Africa and Siberia with South Africa the biggest producers. The mystery of the diamond comes from its rarity and the extraordinary time that it takes to form. A diamond is graded by four distinct factors and can combine in various ways to derive their value. These are commonly referred to as the four Cs.
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4. Carat Weight