Many gemstones form within the Earth's crust, but diamonds require far more heat and pressure and are developed deep within the Earth's mantle. They are propelled to the earth's surface through violent volcanic activity. The gemstone can only survive this journey due to the fact that it is the hardest material currently known to man. Its chemical makeup is simple, consisting of only carbon, but its rigid molecular structure creates an impenetrable surface.
A diamond can form as a dodecahedron or as an octahedron crystal. They are most commonly mined in Africa, India, and most recently Canada.
Diamonds weren't always the most valued gemstone because it took time for mineral knowledge and technology to understand what the stone was and how to cut it. We first see diamonds in Medieval jewelry as uncut rough celebrating its geometric architecture, but also during that time, sapphires and rubies were more valued since they could be cut into cabochons for decorative purposes.
With the increased interest in gem cutting as a trade, efforts to render a diamond were employed. First we see the development of rose cut diamonds. Then we start to see the development of gemstone proportion with single cut and Swiss cut diamonds. This leads to the invention of old mine and old European cut during the Victorian era into the 20th century.
We then have the ideal cut and proportions theorized by Marcel Tolkowsky, but technology did not allow for his vision to be realized until the 1950s into the 60s. Mid-century we are introduced to the modern round brilliant with perfect proportions maximizing fire and brilliance. This ushered in the era of the diamond being the most valuable gemstone.
Those with April birthday's are lucky enough to call diamond their birthstone.
DeBeers launched a marketing campaign in 1947 that secured diamonds as the ultimate token of love. "Diamonds are Forever" perpetuated diamond engagement rings as the norm and opened the door to other diamond jewelry staples. One such staple is the three stone ring that symbolizes the past, future, and present of a woman's life.
The diamond is the hardest material on earth and is very durable. This allows it to be worn as everyday jewelry, especially rings. However, hard blows to the stone should be avoided since diamonds are not immune to cleavage.
Diamonds can be cleaned using an ultrasonic cleaner or more carefully with a soft brush and warm soapy water. Diamonds should always be stored wrapped in a soft cloth to prevent them from scratching other jewelry.