Diamonds are the hardest natural material known to man, and as such the word ‘diamond’ comes from the ancient Greek word meaning ‘unbreakable’. Diamonds are valued for their colourless nature and purity.
Diamond is the birthstone for April and the gemstone of the 10th and 60th anniversaries.
Formed one hundred miles beneath the Earth’s surface over a billion years ago, under extreme heat and pressure, diamonds are the hardest gemstone of all and is made of just one element: carbon. The highest gemstone on the Mohs scale of hardness, diamonds are rated as a 10. As 10 is the highest value on the Mohs scale and diamonds are the hardest material made from natural substances, it is the only gemstone at this level.
The history behind the desire for diamonds has certainly not lessened in the centuries since its discovery and are still admired all around the world. Although discovered in the fourth century, it was not until sixteen centuries later that standards and assessments were developed, and diamonds began undergoing evaluations. The Gemmological Institute of America (GIA) formulated the first grading system for diamonds which is now internationally accepted all over the globe. The Four C’s of diamond quality, colour, clarity, cut and carat weight, is now the universally recognised method for assessment of diamond quality.