Gemstones are one of the most beautiful and desirable items in the world. Many of them are very expensive, with reasonable commercial worth that rarely depreciates over time; this makes them one of the forms in which wealth can be stored (i.e. investments). However, they are not just beautiful, desirable and expensive. For several thousands of years, gemstones have played notable roles in the areas of luxury and fashion. This is largely because of their extensive use in the field of jewelry making, and their widespread popularity over millennia. However, diamonds are the most popular gemstones of all.
WHAT ARE DIAMONDS?
Diamonds are gemstones that are formed deep beneath the earth’s surface when pure elemental carbon experiences extreme pressure and heat for a significant amount of time, which may range from months to millions – and even billions – of years. During the process of diamond formation, several things occur which lead to the arrangement of carbon atoms in the form of a rigid crystal lattice, held together by strong covalent bonds. These strong bonds make it almost impossible for any other element or compound to infiltrate the crystal lattice of diamonds after formation (and sometimes, while it is still being formed). However, some elements and compounds still manage to succeed in achieving this herculean task of invading a diamond’s crystal lattice structure, during its process of formation. Some of these elements and compounds end up affecting diamond by contributing to its color or making up part of its flaws, which may have a subsequent effect on the resultant diamond’s worth.
For example, when a diamond is exposed to boron during its formation process, it usually ends up being blue. Exposure to nitrogen on the other hand results in the formation of yellow color, while exposure to the combination of hydrogen and boron often constitute the color purple. There are a wide variety of other colors in which diamonds may occur, including; black, green, red and orange amongst others. While these types of colored diamonds are technically flawed and imperfect, they happen to be very desirable and may even be a lot more expensive than white or colorless diamonds; as a result of their rarity. However, not all colored diamonds are formed as a result of impurities such as boron, hydrogen and oxygen. Green diamonds, for instance, are formed due to exposure to radiation and nobody is quite sure why red diamonds occur.
WHAT ARE THE TYPES OF DIAMONDS?
There are different types of diamonds, which can be grouped into different types of categories that include the following:
- Colored and colorless diamonds
Color is one of the main forms by which diamonds can be grouped. On this basis, diamonds can either be categorized as colorless (or white) or colored diamonds.
Colorless diamonds, which are also known as white diamonds, are the types of diamonds that are formed – and found – in nature without the occurrence of any form of color (and they may also be created artificially in labs, i.e. lab-grown).
White diamonds are the most popular types of diamonds because of the way diamonds are generally formed. When pure elemental carbon is exposed to forces of extreme heat and pressure – and worked on by them – over the course of several months (or years), the carbon atoms begin to arrange themselves into strong and rigid crystal lattices that are very difficult for other elements to breach. However, some elements such as boron, hydrogen, nitrogen and even carbon itself (in the case of black diamonds) sometimes manage to breach the bonds of these crystal lattices, thus resulting in the formation of colored diamonds.
Although, many people around the world may not even be aware that colored diamonds exist, this category of diamonds can occur in a wide variety of colors, in just about every shade (those with deeper and more intense shades are usually more highly priced than those that are of lighter hues). However, they are very rare.
- Conflict and non-conflict diamonds
Diamonds can also be categorized based on where they are found and mined. This is largely because diamonds are often mined illegally, by forces other than legitimately recognized governments, in a lot of countries where they are formed. Based on this, diamonds which are mined by militant forces that oppose legitimate governments of diamond-mining countries – which are traded and sold in order to fund wars – are known as conflict or blood diamonds.
Non-conflict diamonds, on the other hand, are those types of diamonds that are mined legally and whose sales do not contribute directly to the funding of wars, which may lead to casualties (like the popular Sierra Leonean war that took place between 1991 and 2002, upon which the 2006 movie, “Blood Diamond”, was based). This kind of diamonds can be differentiated from blood diamonds by the presence of Kimberly process certifications, which are usually engraved into legit (non-conflict) diamonds by means of laser technology. Due to this procedure, the trade of blood diamonds has been reduced drastically over the course of recent decades.
- Natural and synthetic diamonds
Natural diamonds are those that are found naturally in nature. They are usually formed deep beneath the earth’s crust when atoms of pure carbon are exposed to extreme heat and pressure, which arranges them into rigid crystal lattices, therefore resulting in the formation of the hardest substance known to man; diamonds.
Synthetic diamonds, on the other hand, are usually manufactured or “grown” in labs, using the same substance that makes up natural diamonds (i.e. pure carbon), and technological processes in place of natural forces of extreme heat and pressure.
WHO CAN WEAR REAL DIAMOND?
Off the bat, the logical answer to the question, “who can wear real diamond?” should be this: whoever can afford it. Or whoever wants to wear it…when they can (as long as they have the legal rights to do so). However, in the realm of astrology, this kind of logic does not apply.
Some astrologists believe that only those Virgos and Libras can wear real diamonds, while other signs such as Scorpio, Pisces and Aries should not wear this gemstone (diamond) under any condition, as it can bring disharmony to their lives.