One of the most basic facts about a diamond is that it is a mineral created by Nature. It formed around 100 miles beneath Earth’s surface, under conditions of immense heat and pressure. It was carried to the surface by volcanic eruption of awesome power. All of this occurred millions – and in some cases, billions – of years ago.
Diamond is almost pure carbon, and the arrangement of atoms within a diamond crystal is almost perfectly symmetrical. This combination of chemistry and structure is the inner source of a diamond’s beauty, durability, and other remarkable characteristics.
The exact conditions surrounding diamond’s formation are also critical to the nature of the mineral as we see it. Only about 20% of diamonds are gem quality. The rest are used for industrial or technical purposes – as abrasives, for example. Slight variations in chemistry, structure, or the conditions of formation determine whether a diamond becomes a dazzling gem or a functional drill bit.
Because of these complex variables, every diamond is truly unique. At the same time, all diamonds share certain types of distinguishing features. Four of these are primary factors in determining diamond value. They’re Known as the 4Cs: – Carat Weight – Clarity – Colour – Cut.