Diamonds: Diamond and Cubic Zirconium Essay

Diamonds shine and sparkle. Diamonds are very old and are made of a very basic mineral. They are a symbol of portable wealth and thought of when searching for engagement or wedding rings. Money may or may not be an issue, real is better than fakes because value, different colors, and they last for generations. Some people will disagree and think that any gem will do when looking for jewelry. Most people will buy the cheapest stones they can buy. This paper will inform and enlighten any reader to how real diamonds are better than fakes ones.

To understand the difference between real and fake, a person needs to know some background on how diamonds are formed, and the process in which diamonds go from ground to what we see today, and some history about diamonds. To understand why fakes are less superior a little history on how they are created and why to choose such a gem would be a costly mistake. Diamonds are made of carbon and with incredible pressure and heat. The heat is said to be at least 2000 degrees, but not much higher than that because conditions will no longer be suitable for their formation.

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Diamonds come from deep in the earth, around 90 miles or 150km. (Wisegeek. com, 2010). Magma moves diamonds closer to the surface and when the magma cools, it forms a rock called kimberlite. Diamonds may or may not be found in this rock, but it is a likely source. There are several mines throughout the world. South Africa is the largest diamond producing country. Once diamonds are found the stones are then ready for processing. There are four steps to a finished diamond cleaving, cutting, bruiting, and grinding and polishing. The last two are done at the same time. Harlow, G, 1998). When a person goes looking for a diamond most do not know exactly what they are looking for. The amount of money they have to purchase the diamond is usually foremost on the mind. When purchasing a diamond one must consider the Four C’s. The Four C’s are Color, cut, clarity, and carat. Gemological Institute of America (GIA) the world’s foremost authority on diamonds, colored stones, and pearls has created the clarity scale and the D-to-Z color scale for diamonds. Any company that has diamonds uses these scales to evaluate the diamonds they have.

Most diamonds found in jewelry stores run colorless to near colorless, with slight hints of yellow or brown. The color scale starts with the letter D, representing no color or colorless and with more color the higher on up the scale. Diamonds can come in a variety of colors. The most valuable color is red. Red is also the rarest then comes the colors green, orange, blue, and finally pink. Colorless is still the most popular color people tend to choose for wedding rings. (Renken, S, GIA, 2010). The closer a diamond is too colorless, the more valuable and beautiful it is. The diamondbuyingguide. com, 2010) Clarity is seeing if the diamond has any sort of marks either internal or external. A diamond that has no flaws is very rare. A jeweler uses the GIA grading scale that contains 11 grades ranging from (FL) Flawless to Inclusions 3 (I3). Cut is what makes the diamond shine and sparkle. If the cut is wrong, the diamond will not shine as much as it should. The Scale ranges from excellent meaning that the diamond is cut to perfection and will shine to the most of its ability. The major parts of a diamond are the crown, girdle, and the pavilion.

Carat is the last C and is what makes the value of the diamond. If a person were to have two diamonds of the same weight, they can have different values depending on the other members of the Four C’s. (GIA, 2010). A diamond is divided into 100 points, which is equal to 1 carat or 0. 2 grams. The cut of the diamond is so important that the cut is often measured to the hundred thousandths of a carat. Any stone over 1 carat is shown in carats and decimals. For example, if a diamond that measures 2. 08 ct. the decimal shows how many points that stone has. The more points the more expensive the diamond can be.

The largest diamond ever found is called The Cullinan. It was discovered in 1905 in South Africa. Originally, it weighed 3,106 carats, but in 1907, it was cut into nine major stones. One stone that might ring a mental bell is called the Star of Africa. This stone weighs in at 530. 20 carats and is set in the royal scepter and housed in the Tower of London. Another of the most popular large diamonds around is the Hope Diamond. Its original weight was 112 3/16 carats, but now years later it is 45. 52 carats and mounted in a pendant. (Harlow, G, 1998). There are many diamonds that are well known and very large.

Some other names you might recognize are the Tiffany, The Koh-i-Noor “Mountain of Light”, and The Centenary just to name of few. The cutting of a diamond has several steps. The jeweler needs to visualize what the stone will look like as a finished product before the next step of cleaving. Cleaving is the best way of dividing a diamond. Cleaving has become easier when we started using lasers to guide in the cutting process. Cleaving splits the diamond on one of its four planes that is weak. A person who cleaves must be very good at what he or she does.

If the person does not do this process correctly, it will result in a crushed diamond. Marking a diamond will help in making a notch, this notch will make cleaving easier. To notch a diamond a jeweler needs to use another diamond. Only a diamond can cut a diamond. Cutting is next which is removing a large section of diamond that is not being worked on by the jeweler. Bruting, plainly put is using brute force to round edges. Grinding and polishing come next; grinding is done by using a mixture of crushed diamonds and oil to shape the diamond to the finished product. Polishing is just that, making the diamond shine. Harlow, G, 1998). Diamonds are used to fashion a wide variety of other hard substances, one such substance is tungsten carbide. Diamonds are also used as a cutting tool, an abrasive, and either a powder or paste for grinding and polishing. Throughout history, a person can read about kings and queens having such enormous wealth that they wore many diamonds. Diamonds were worn by kings and queen as early as the 1300’s. Diamonds were first worn in crowns, coronets and jeweled garlands (also known as rosary). Over the years, diamonds were added to gowns and collars then to accessories like combs and mirrors.

Diamonds have grown in popularity ever since. If we look into the past, we see kings; queens and other people of station wear something with diamonds. With the rise of the movie industry, jewelers began to place their diamonds in the movies for free if the movie people would list the name of the jewelry company in the credits. Jewelers started to open stores in Hollywood to attract the rich and famous. This is also were diamond sales sky rocketed. Diamonds helped promote the movie industry and the movie industry promoted the diamond industry. We have seen diamonds used for many different purposes.

Diamonds have become the objects of desire in movies as a forbidden treasure or curse, we see people trying to smuggle them in coats, hats, linings and even in human bodies. Movies had people use diamonds as a way of paying for goods or services. An example would be when Linda Fiorentino, in The Moderns (1998), tosses a diamond earring on a cafe table in exchange for a glass of whiskey or Liam Neeson, as Oskar Schindler in Schindler’s List (1993), pours a mountain of diamonds on a SS commandant’s desk in payment for a trainload of doomed Jews.

One of the most popular diamond look alikes is Cubic Zirconium (CZ); this is a laboratory created gem. A gem that is created in a laboratory is considered synthetic because it was not created by natural means. This is a popular stone to get if money is an issue, the next popular is the synthic Maissanite. Cubic Zirconia became popular in the 1970s. Cubic Zirconium rates higher on the color scale and are almost as brilliant as a real diamond. A Cubic Zirconium rates an 8. 5 on the MOH’S scale and a diamond rates a 10. A Cubic Zirconium weighs more than a diamond of the same size; this is due to the Cubic Zirconium being denser. penoir. com, 2009). A real diamond will keep its value through the whole of its life where as the fake Cubic Zirconium will not be worth as much as when you bought it. Some jewelers will offer a lifetime guarantee for the gem, but why would you need it if the gem were not expensive in the first place. Why have a stone that has no history? History is what gives everything value. Do you think that having a gem that might be 3 million years old is better than a laboratory created gem? Do you think that whoever is getting the diamond would like it more if it had the possibility of being a part of one of the largest stones available?


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