What is a diamond really, both as a rough stone and as a polished gem?
A diamond is a precious stone comprising of pure carbon molecules arranged in a cubic crystal system. Its physical properties allow it to be used industrially for cutting, grinding and polishing whilst its refractive properties make it ideal a gem stone used in jewellery.

Where do diamonds come from and what is their journey from the mine to the jewellery shop?
They are mined or extracted from the ground, sold as rough unpolished stones to various cutters and polishers, where they are manufactured into spectacular gemstones and subsequently sold to jewellery manufacturers or diamond merchants, who in turn re-sell the gems to jewellery stores throughout the world.

What is the difference between a diamond with a certificate and one without? And what are the differences between various certificates?
Diamonds are graded according to cut, clarity, colour and weight measured in carats. This is normally done through recognised independent laboratories who issue certificates to accompany the individual examined stone or stones. The criteria can vary slightly from lab to lab with regard to colour and clarity. Also nomenclature differs from place to place in describing idential characteristics.

Is it possible, worthwhile and safe to buy a diamond through the internet and receive by mail or post?
A diamond that is authenticated by an accompanying certificate can be safely bought through the internet and can be delivered by post or mail if properly insured to the real value of the stone. There are reputable companies that are experienced in this field and can be relied upon to deliver on time and offer competitive prices.

Are diamonds considered to be a worthwhile and good investment and how can one invest in diamonds?
Diamonds cover a vast range of stones in regard to size, and quality and colour, and each type is subject to availability and demand. Recently over the last five years prices natural fancy coloured diamonds have seen a sharp increase, this has been true for large high quality stones as well. Although there are differences in price increases for different types of diamonds, they have all shown to have held their value and shown growth over the last century.

What does clarity enhanced mean?
Diamond clarity grades the quality of a diamond according to its visual appearance of inclusions. These can be in the form of foreign bodies in the stone or a structural deformation in the crystal. In some of these cases laser drilling can remove the inclusions and correct the colour caused by the presence of such. This process is usually permanent but the GIA will not grade "clarity-enhanced diamonds."

What is the best method to clean and care for a diamond?
As a point all diamond set jewellery should be checked by a professional jeweller annually for ensuring the stones are securely set. Gold is a soft metal and even negligible knocks can loosen gemstones. A clean diamond has more life to it than a stone that has a layer of dirt or grease in tis surface. Warm water used with liquid soap, (taking care of open drains), will remove almost all surface dirt and add lustre to your stone. Leaving a diamond overnight in a glass of whisky will also add a sparkle to a diamond and not because it became drunk! 

What is fluorescence in a diamond?
Many diamonds will display a bluish colour when placed in strong sunlight or ultraviolet lighting. The GIA have statistically shown that about two thirds of natural diamonds have no fluorescence. Of those that do, there is in actuality very little effect in the transparency of the stone and as blue is complementary to yellow, diamonds with a low colour grading can even have a better appearance when they fluoresce. However, high quality diamonds are considered to be better when fluorescence is absent.

When they say a diamond is "eye clean" what is meant?
Diamonds within the industry are traded and examined using a magnifying glass of 10x magnification known affectionately as a "loupe". The scales of colour and clarity are determined by the visibility using this loupe. One of the clarity grades is defined as "not visible to the naked eye" and can only be perceived with the help of a loupe and this is known as "eye clean."

What are conflict free diamonds?
Conflict diamonds are those that have been mined in a war zone with the profits generated from the sale of such used to finance armaments and war efforts. The Kimberley Process was adopted by the World Diamond Council in 2003 and sanctioned by the United Nations to ensure that only stones mined in non-conflict zones would enter the world trade of diamonds.

Can one determine the colour of the diamond once it is set in an article of jewellery?
This depends very much on the type of jewel and the colour of the metal that the diamond is set in. A yellow gold pendant worn on a red blouse in artificial light will influence the colour that is perceived the same stone in a white gold pendant on a white blouse in daylight will cause a different appearance. Diamonds are traded using natural or artificial daylight as loose unset stones on a white paper background.

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