Know your Gemstones: The Diamond

Know your Gemstones: The Diamond

It sparkles, it comes in a variety of shapes and sizes, and it symbolizes love and commitment. It’s also the birthstone of April. Yes, you guessed it; we’re talking about the diamond, and your friends at SIMPLR are here to give you a quick rundown of everything you need to know about this cherished gem.

History
CBS News’ 60 Minutes shared the fascinating history of the diamond back in 2002. According to the show, diamonds were first mined in India and became valued materials in the 4th century BC, before eventually becoming a part of royal regalia throughout Europe in the 13th-16th centuries. Venice pioneered the diamond-cutting industry, and South America later served as the mining hub, before turning the reigns over to South Africa – which along with 24 other nations – continues to be a principle supplier today.

In Advertising and Culture
The New York Times covers the Mad Men-esque roots of diamond’s commercialism, telling the story of female copywriter Frances Gerety, who changed the industry in 1947, when she coined the phrase, “A Diamond Is Forever” – a tagline that has appeared in every De Beers engagement ad since 1948. The NYT notes that in 1999, two weeks before Gerety died at 83, Advertising Age named it the slogan of the century.

Buying Guide
Baily Banks & Biddle offers a helpful online buying guide – including visuals – that covers the famous 4Cs: cut, carat, clarity, and color. And check out some 2015 engagement ring trends, such as unique cuts and colored stones, from NationalJeweler.com.

Care
Diamonds have the highest hardness (resistance to scratching) of any material and have been associated with this characteristic since their origin. This attribute allows diamond to maintain its polish and shine well and withstand daily wear – all features that make it a popular gemstone choice for a ring.

However, diamond’s toughness is only rated “fair to good.” According to Wikipedia, toughness relates to the ability to resist breakage from falls or impacts. A diamond is vulnerable to breakage and will shatter if hit with an everyday hammer. So it’s critical to care for and protect your diamonds properly. Be mindful when wearing your diamond ring while doing things that involve lots of work with your hands – or submerging hands in water (which can make fingers shrink). If you do remove your rings, put them in a secure but memorable hiding spot. And while on vacation, hotel safes are a great option!

Samuels Jewelers notes that diamonds attract grease and can quickly become grimy when they come into contact with dishwater, lotion, and natural skin oils. Because of this susceptibility, experts recommend to always pick up your ring from the band, not the diamond, to avoid contaminating the stone’s setting, which can shake the rock loose over time. If your diamond does get dingy, consider cleaning it on a daily basis; some experts even recommend using vodka to make your diamonds sparkle! But if you’re having trouble scrubbing something off, don’t run the risk of damaging your precious gem; instead, take your jewelry to the store and leave it to the experts. And speaking of experts, EVERYONE – including Martha Stewart Weddings – advises that high-value jewelry be insured and protected.

 

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