Saturday, April 30, 2011

Urban Legends About Diamonds

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Diamonds Are Forever
This was a clever advertising campaign pioneered by a well-known diamond marketing company. However, the diamonds are forever campaign seems to have created a popular misconception that diamonds are indestructible. It is true that diamonds are very hard substances and are very durable when compared to other types of gemstones. It is also true that by the time you see diamonds on the surface they will have experienced billions of years of burial and hardship. However, diamonds have never been known as indestructible in the scientific community. They are difficult to scratch but can be chipped and broken with effort and precision. Otherwise, diamond mines would be useless!
Diamonds Are Rare and the Most Expensive Jewel
It should be clarified that diamond ore itself is not exceptionally rare. Statistics say that there are about 100 million carats of ore diamonds and three billion carats of synthetic diamond produced every year for industrial purposes. What is rare is a high quality diamond that is suitable for commercial use. Even commercial diamonds are not much rare as they are expensive. Some figures have estimated that there are enough diamonds in the world to give every man, woman and child a cup of sparkling treasure. It’s usually more of a question of affordability.
How about the popular belief that says clear diamonds are the most expensive stones in the world? This has not always been universally accepted and in recent years trends have been suggesting that the broad statement is not true. Colorless diamonds have been selling for less money than large fancy diamonds overall, while highest quality rubies have been higher priced than even the most luxurious diamond stones.
A Diamond and a Simulated Diamond are Indistinguishable
This myth is also related to the myth that a diamond can look too perfect for its own good and thus reveal itself as a fake. A gemologist can tell the difference between diamonds and synthetic fancy diamonds by analyzing the flaws of both. Even cubic zirconium, one of the more popular diamond enhancements, has a different visual appearance than a diamond. For example, a colorless cubic zirconium gives off a certain rainbow reflection not present in genuine diamonds. Cubic zirconium is also denser than diamond material.
Gemologists know the differences between simulated diamonds and real diamonds thanks to highly specialized analysis tools, such as the DiamondSure and DiamondView devices, both of which are required in major diamond testing laboratories worldwide. Can you tell the difference between real and fake without special tools or training? You could deduce the obvious and come to a realistic conclusion; large fancy diamonds are rare and sell for high prices, therefore cheap deals online or on the street are usually fakes. However, it’s not necessarily true that a fake diamond will look too perfect. For one thing, perfect diamonds, whether simulated or natural, are too rare to compare with standard commercial products today. Most diamonds and simulated diamonds have flaws, whether scratches, chips or mineral inclusions.


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