Moh's Hardness: 10
Anniversary: 60th & 75th
One of the best loved minerals in the world, diamond is also the hardest. It's made of a single element, carbon, and is 58 times harder than any other naturally occurring material. A white diamond is valued for its colourless nature, brilliance and purity. Most diamonds are primeval - over a billion years old - and form deep within the earth under extreme pressure and heat. Diamonds are graded according to the 4 C’s - clarity, colour, cut and carat weight.
Historians believe diamonds were first traded by the Indians as early as the 4th century BC and by the 1400s they had become fashionable in Western Europe with royalty and the elite. The modern diamond market grew from large deposits found in South Africa in the 1800s. Since that time, they have been successfully marketed to the world as the most popular choice for engagement rings.
To address concerns about ethics in the diamond industry, in 2002 a coalition of governments, non-governmental organizations and the diamond industry established the Kimberley Process. This international agreement works to control the export and import of rough diamonds in order to eliminate the trade in conflict diamonds. Today 99% of diamonds in the marketplace are considered conflict free and all the diamonds in my pieces were purchased from diamond merchants who are signatories to the Kimberley Process.
We highly recommend diamonds for all types of jewellery but especially for rings as they are the most resistant to wear over time. A diamond is an excellent choice for longevity but be aware that any stone can break if it is hit hard enough, even a diamond. Wear all jewellery with care and avoid exposure to abrasive materials and harsh chemicals.
To clean, soak your diamond jewellery in a dish of warm soapy water and use a soft toothbrush to gently brush away any built up residue. You can also use a jewellery cleaning cloth or professional jewellery cleaning products developed to be safe on diamonds. Professional jewellers use an ultrasonic machine to clean your diamonds; bring them in for an annual clean and check.