We've all seen rings with a brilliant diamonds sitting as the center-stone, but it's quite rare to witness an entire ring carved purely out of solid diamond. This one-of-a-kind piece is being created by Jonathan Ive (Design head at Apple) and Marc Newson, for a charity auction on Dec. 5, at Design Miami.

The lack of a metal or gold band makes this ring the complete opposite of traditionally crafted counterparts. It obviously won't be resizable after the final form is cut, as diamond is not malleable like gold.

The actual cutting will be done using very high-pressured jets of water, guided by precise laser systems. The piece is predicted to have somewhere between 2,000 to 3,000 facets according to Sotheby's. This is the most number of facets counted on a single diamond.

When asked for comments on its price, the opinion was that the ring would eventually reach about 150,000 to 250,000 USD.

Be aware however that the raw diamond stone used for this ring was grown artificially in a laboratory belonging to San Francisco-based company; Diamond Foundry. Martin Roscheinsen, its founder, explained that they had to grow a rough piece that was about 45 carats in weight in order to properly create the solid-diamond ring. This was no easy feat, but to-date the largest lab grown diamond ever created was 155 carats, so it was not impossible.

While it's not a natural diamond, the ring does indeed showcase a beautiful appeal, being a product of inventive design and innovation. This collaboration between industry-leading designers will surely be something to remember over the next few decades.
Many instagram jewelry stores are now catching up to the classic brick-and-mortar shops by leveraging the social appeal of owning jewelry. An ability to quickly share your brilliant diamonds and gemstones visually to hundreds of thousands of followers can make for a very good advertising jump.

Instagram's influencer society is now growing rapidly, and online sales through the platform's unique presence has become a way for new jewellers to break into the market. Nicole Wegman started her instagram store Ring Concierge in 2013, and now makes 6 figures in sales, as mentioned recently by an article on Business Insider. Many foreigners and Filipinos are approaching instagram as a solo-method of jewelry sales, as it provides low overhead costs and is backed by tech-giant Facebook.

Instagram allows people to comb through troves of beautiful jewelry posts put up by their favorite stores, all in a matter of minutes and from the comfort of their phone. This ease of shopping (or even window-shopping) saves time and attention. Instagram stores are now growing in number, and are also being accepted by the general public as one of their go-to places for jewelry purchases.

Are these trendy digital stores going to overtake retail establishments though? It's hard to say. Digital venues have been catching up in sales records ever since a decade ago. There was once a time when famed diamond online store 'Blue Nile' was said to be almost equal in sales to diamond giant 'Tiffany & Co.', despite being mainly an online portal. Many people believe that with the advent more enhanced visual sharing, digital stores may overtake physical stores in performance within the next decade, although this is only the speculation of some.

There is also no harm in having both a physical store and a digital outlet for your jewelry products, many large companies are doing this. What most of them fail to realize, is that instagram and facebook stores should not be treated just as another medium for advertisements. These are big marketplaces that older generations of jewellers sometimes overlook.

Younger entrepreneurs, fashion leaders and even jewelry collectors are all recognizing the value of having an instagram store as their main platform for business. This isn't just a trend anymore, a shift in the power of retail is approaching. Which side will you put your time and effort into cultivating?
For her illustrious wedding day headpiece, Princess Eugenie chose to borrow an emerald and diamond tiara from her grandmother; the Queen. Though many speculated that she would opt to wear the 'New York Diamond Tiara', which was initially worn by her mother Sarah Ferguson at her wedding to Prince Andrew, Eugenie's choice was instead, the Greville Emerald Kokoshnik Tiara, commonly referred to as the Boucheron Tiara.

The dazzling jewelry piece was made by the famed French jeweler Boucheron back in 1919. It has belonged to the royal family for over seventy years now.

Its original owner was Margaret Greville, who was a very famous society hostess. Madame Greville passed her jewels to the queen after her death, who eventually also passed it (along with her other jewelry collections) to Queen Elizabeth in the year 2002.


The "Kokoshnik” style was popularized in the Russian Imperial Court back when this piece was originally made. It features brilliant, rose cut diamonds that were set in platinum, housing six emeralds on each side as well. The tiara went well with Eugenie's open-back, long-sleeve Peter Pilotto gown for the event.

Emeralds and diamonds have been a well-established luxury pair for as long as anyone can remember. Being one of the 'Big Three' colored gemstones, the vivid green beryl can come in many qualities, with its most famous locality source being the Muzo region of Colombia.

Large emerald specimens, like the one on Eugenie's Tiara, have become even more exceedingly rare in modern markets. With the popularity of hydrothermal lab-grown emeralds, people have also now grown cautious when selecting extra-fine emeralds that are nearly-free of inclusions.

(Editorial photography credit to the corresponding media representatives of the royal wedding event.)
Here we'll just briefly discuss some of the commonly misunderstood concepts observed in the local trade. Now, certain people may already be aware of these, but it seems that every now and then some people express confusion regarding what many terms mean, and what they don't mean. This short article should give you a bit of insight (and trivia) about gemstones and jewelry.

1. 'Emerald Cut' refers to a specific cutting style and shape, not necessarily or specifically to the emerald gemstone itself. Most diamond collectors may be familiar with the popular term 'emerald cut', but some people are not aware that this term refers to how a gemstone (diamond or any other) is fashioned and polished into a rectangular shape with step-cut (four sided) facets on its body. Emeralds themselves, are very often cut in this rectangular style, because of the way their crystals grow, and the intention of gem cutters to save the most weight. Today, many other gemstones, such as aquamarine, diamond, amethyst and quartz are frequently fashioned as 'emerald cuts'. This specific cutting style is well suited for stones of high clarity, or stones that tend to form elongated or columnar in nature.

2. Rubellite is not ruby. We've come across a few parties that previously believed rubellite to be a form or type of ruby. This is simply not true. Rubellite is a trade named color variety for red to pinkish red tourmaline. Both tourmaline and ruby maintain very differnet gemological properties, and prices. Ruby is traditionally much more expensive than rubellite tourmaline, given a situation where color intensity and clarity levels are generally equal.

3. The term 'synthetic' is different from the term 'imitation' or 'simulant'. A synthetic gem refers to a man-made counterpart of that gem, with the same essential crystal structure and chemistry. A synthetic diamond, is still made of carbon, crystallized in the cubic crystal system for example. This is in stark contrast to an imitation gem (also called a simulant gem). An imitation gem merely looks like the gem it is trying to copy. Moissanite for example, is an imitation of diamond, as it is made of silicon carbide instead of pure carbon. It also grows in a different crystal system.

4. Cultured Pearls, not wild pearls, comprise a majority of all middle to high-end pearl jewelry collections in the country. Some people are not aware that over 99% of all pearls used in the jewelry industry today (especially the mid-to-high ranges) are actually cultured pearls. Cultured south sea pearls for example, are among the most expensive pearl items you can procure, with some necklaces costing hundreds of thousands of dollars. For pearls there are three categories you have to be familiar with. Imitation pearls, cultured pearls and wild-caught pearls. Imitation pearls are simply simulant items usually made of plastic or glass coated with iridescent substances. Cultured pearls and wild-caught pearls both come from actual live animals (mollusks, oysters etc), but a cultured pearl means that man has assisted the developmental stage by putting either a piece of mantle tissue or a shell-bead nucleus inside the mollusk in order for it to coat with nacre over long periods of time- to eventually form a pearl. The nacre layers are still organically produced by the same animal. Wild-caught pearls statistically speaking, are rare coincidences in nature today, and almost never come in large enough symmetrical shapes (round, oval etc.). The vast majority of fine pearl jewelry makes use of cultured pearls. (This statement does not apply for giant clam pearls, which we do not currently test at the laboratory).

5. Diamonds are not indestructible. We would not suggest that people perform any possibly-destructive test to find out if their stone is actually a diamond. Stories of sandpaper-scratching or hardness testing using rocks or other materials seem to be very prevalent among Filipinos. While diamond is the hardest mineral to 'scratch', it does maintain multiple planes of atomic weakness (cleavage). When struck in specific directions, a diamond can chip, fracture or even split in two. Thin areas of a diamond, like its girdle or culet, are also very prone to breakage. This can still happen even if it impacts with something with a generally lower hardness, if done in certain ways. Additionally, diamonds can also burn if subjected to high enough fire temperatures and sufficient levels of oxygen (because they're still carbon).

6. Proper heat treatment in rubies and sapphires is okay and an accepted part of the trade. There are those out there who detest the thought of their rubies being treated, but the vast majority (over 95%) of rubies and sapphires today are actually subjected to some form of heat treatment. It's a normal practice in the industry, and can bring out a stone's potential when done in the correct conditions using appropriate methods. While premium prices do exist for unheated stones, it's just as likely that an originally duller stone's value can eventually be heightened by subjecting it to heat treatment and increasing the overall color quality.

7. Glass-filled rubies are not nearly as expensive as natural or heated-only rubies. These items can be filled with glass in up to 50% of their composition. If someone tells you that their value is basically the same as rubies that aren't filled, you should probably do a bit of research first. Most likely you'll find that glass-filled rubies were originally very opaque-looking low-quality stones. Their durability post-treatment is also not that stable, according to many of our visitors and our own observations.

8. DIY Handheld Diamond Thermal Testers cannot differentiate between natural diamonds and lab-grown / man-made diamonds. These instruments make use of a technology that measures thermal conductivity, a property that is essentially the same for both natural and synthetic diamonds. Other testers like duo or multi testers that also check for moissanite, make use of electrical conductivity. These also cannot separate CVD or HPHT lab grown diamonds from natural diamonds. Advanced spectrometric testing is required for this differentiation, which we use here at Gemcamp Laboratories.
In 1868, demantoid garnets were first discovered in Russia, near the village of Elizavetinskoye and the Bobroka river. Being the green variety of the andradite garnet species, demantoid today functions as a popular collector's gem, being prized for its high dispersion rate, which allows it to showcase spectral colors when rocked and tilted. The stone possesses a high refractive index and luster that is significantly sharper than most other colored gemstones.

Demantoid is one of two green garnet varieties that are frequently seen in the modern jewelry trade, the other being tsavorite; the green variety of grossularite garnet. Unlike tsavorite, demantoid can have diagnostic inclusions that notably increase their values due to popular demand. "Horsetail" or "Fireworks" inclusions are radiating thin needles of chrysotile that are frequently seen in certain demantoid specimens.

This variety of garnet gains its green color from the presence of a trace element called chromium. Additionally, the presence of iron also causes a yellowish modifying color in most stones, however pure green colors are more highly sought after, and correspondingly more valuable. Demantoid actually got its name from the french word 'demant' which refers to diamond. This is because it shares many similar properties with the world's most famous colorless gem. Demantoids have strong spectral fire, and incredibly high luster, which caused a lot of people to compare it with diamond during the years after its initial discovery.

(Photography credit: Sotheby's Auction House)

Demantoid garnets' most famous source is Russia, but other localities such as Namibia, Afghanistan and Italy also produce gem-quality specimens of green andradite garnet. Stones are more typically unearthed in small sizes, making a majority of faceted products in very low carat weights. Large demantoid garnets can command high prices due to their rarity.

Cutting style can have a great impact on the beauty and scintillation of any diamond. Today there is a wide array of branded and proprietary cuts to choose from, aside of course from the standard round brilliant pioneered by Marcel Tolkowsky. The number of facets, as well as the arrangements, proportions and angles, contribute to how light reflects and refracts within a stone, eventually traveling to our eyes in the form of sparkle and brilliance.

Branded cuts are simply somebody's own set of proportions, facets (shape, placement and number), angles and other parameters, that they deem to be appealing or beautiful in a different and unique way. Many of these are patented by their creators, whether by an individual or specific company.

The normal grading scale used by laboratories (EX, VG, G, F, P) usually considers the standard modern cuts, like the round brilliant, princess cut or emerald cut, judging their proportions and light return. Some laboratories also assess branded cuts, but the scale to which these are compared or measured is sometimes unclear, as each branded cut shows brilliance in a different way. What then becomes the "ideal" for visual beauty. The lines are often blurred, and grading becomes significantly personal to the taste.

Gemcamp laboratories does not endorse any specific cut or brand. This editorial article is just to provide a quick glimpse into the many different branded cuts that have surfaced out from the evolving diamond markets.

The 62 facet Ashoka-cut was perfected and patented, but not invented, by William Goldberg, an American diamantaire. It's initial imagery relates with what you might think was a cross between an emerald cut and a cushion cut, but this unique cutting style is reportedly a favorite among many high class personalities- including actress Reese Witherspoon.

The Gassan 121 cut, as its name describes, is a proprietary round shaped cut that hosts 121 facets. This is quite the large number of flat surfaces when compared to the original round-brilliant cut (57-58 facets). The distribution features 16 additional facets on the top and 48 additional facets at the bottom, and increases the amount of sharp reflections that burst out from the stone when rocking and tilting.

The Crisscut™ diamond cut was created by Christopher Slowinski, of Christopher Designs. The company holds the design patent and registered trademark for this diamond cut. The branded cutting style has certain facets that are purposely crisscrossed, and can be done in 2 shapes, namely rectangular or octagonal. Triangular shaped facets are polished into the steps of the pavilion. The style hosts 77 facets compared to a normal emerald cut’s 44 facets, which is said to increase a stone's radiance.

There are many other designer-cuts out there, and laboratories are starting to recognize several of them as well, including mentions onto reports (at their own discretion). For us, it's still a very subjective, matter of opinion though, as to whether these cuts make a diamond more beautiful or simply different in appearance. We believe that personal choice plays a large factor in the determination of this, much more than any type of grading standard traditionally used for cut.

Photography and Image Credit: Ashoka Diamonds / William Goldberg, Gassan Diamonds BV, Christopher Slowinski / Christopher Designs
Objectively speaking, lab-grown or man-made diamonds are a neutral product. They're neither good nor bad, and reception of them as a gemstone really depends on a person's own opinion. As we've stated before, these artificially made products, do possess the same essential chemical composition and crystal structure as natural diamond. They are indeed different from 'imitations' or 'simulants' such as cubic zirconia, moissanite and glass. The problem only lies when they are sold as 'natural' diamonds, as this is a different product class with different value points.

Despite this established differentiation, it seems a lot of people still (perhaps by habit) call these items 'fake' diamonds. Here at the laboratory, we try to refrain from using the word 'fake', as it promotes negativity towards any item type. A synthetic or lab-grown stone is just a man-made counterpart of a natural stone.

On the other hand, a simulant or imitation stone, is indeed a lookalike counterpart of a natural stone, that does not share its composition or structure. Please note the difference between usage of the words synthetic and simulant.

The monetary values and prices of lab-grown diamonds are not the same as those of natural diamonds (like the natural specimen pictured above, featured during a Sotheby's auction in Hong Kong). The latter is usually around 30% higher in price at the retail level, and 40-60% higher in price at the wholesale level, based on our own observations speaking to members of the trade from around the world (2018).

Filipinos that visit the facility as we've noticed, tend to feel scared when the issue of lab-grown diamonds comes up. The fact that all synthetic diamonds cannot be checked or separated by thermal diamond testers, adds to that growing fear. Spectrometric / luminescence-spectrometry testing is now needed to confirm an informed opinion as to whether or not a diamond is indeed natural. Lab-grown stones can also possess inclusions, so do not depend on the absence of inclusions as a solo test for checking them. Some older HPHT synthetics though may show characteristic metallic flux inclusions that would help in their identification, but these should be judged by a gemologist who is already familiar with their appearances.

Relatively recent news of diamonds with false laser inscriptions and switched reports caused worry amidst even the local trade. These occurrences may be uncommon, but the fact that they happen (for both enhanced / treated and lab-grown diamonds), calls for an air of caution when purchasing expensive stones. You can find one of our articles on the matter here. The Diamond Loupe also writes about a similar instance, which you can read through this link too.

Do note that lab-grown diamonds are beautiful products in their own right, as long as they are sold with the proper transparency and ethical disclosure required of them. People should know that what they are buying is not a natural gemstone mined out of the earth, but rather is a well-made crystal grown from machines using a repeatable process. Marketing adjective-terms like 'cultured' are sometimes used by sellers at their own discretion, probably trying to relate their products more to the cultured pearl industry. Here at the lab though we only choose to use the terms "synthetic, man-made or lab-grown" for this type of product.

It is up to the buyer to do his or her due diligence regarding the complexities of the man-made diamond trend, and decide whether or not the purchase of one would be applicable for his or her purpose.

There are some buyers out there though, who do prefer lab-grown diamonds due to the absence of the possibility of them being involved with the funding of wars in diamond-mining countries. This basically rules out the fear of 'conflict diamonds'.

Feel free to ask about lab-grown gemstones during your appointment visits with our G.G. / gemologist here at the lab as well.

*Gemcamp Laboratories does not buy, sell or recommend specific traders for both natural and lab-grown diamonds (and gemstones). We do this in order to maintain no vested interest in the items that we examine and share our opinions on.
Fancy-colored pink diamonds are among the most coveted colored gems in the world. To this day, many of the largest and most beautiful pink diamonds have been sold to connoisseur-collectors through esteemed auction houses around the world.

(Photography and Image Credits to Christie's Auction House) 

Today, let's take a quick look at some of the most prominent pink diamonds ever to have been offered at Christie's- one of the top auctioneers in the jewelry industry.

Throughout the years, several large specimens of gem-quality pink diamonds have passed through their doors, but here are 10 of the most ground-breaking items, listed by value from least to greatest.

The 12.04ct 'Martian Pink' (pictured above), is a brilliant cut, Fancy Intense Pink diamond, which sold for $7,395,728 in 2012

Harry Winston, one of the most well known jewellers in all of history, mounted this large diamond on an 18k gold ring. His son later named it the Martian Pink, not for any alien appearance, but from a satellite launch in 1976, bound for a photography journey towards Mars- the red planet.

A 5.18ct Fancy Vivid Pink rectangular cut diamond, was sold for $10,709,443 in 2015.

This very curiously designed ring allowed the main stone to be surrounded by colorless diamonds in an oval-array. The piece was undoubtedly the main attraction at Christie's Magnificent Jewels event back in May of 2015 (Geneva).

The 5.00ct 'Vivid Pink', which was named simply after its grade of Fancy Vivid Pink, was sold for $10,776,660 in 2009.

Paired with two shield-cut diamonds, the consciously named 'Vivid Pink', rests on a platinum and rose gold ring that was designed by the famed Jeweller Lawrence Graff. Eventually it sold for a record-breaking price at the time- after being auctioned in Hong Kong.

The 19.07ct 'Grand Mazarin' (pictured above), is a Light-Pink brilliant cut diamond, that was sold for $14,461,250 in 2017.

Square cuts are quite popular for colored diamonds today, but this particular jewel spent 225 years as part of France's crown jewels, coming into the possession of several royal leaders including four kings, four queens and two empresses.

The 9.00ct 'Clark Pink', a Fancy Vivid cushion shaped purplish pink diamond, was sold for $15,762,500 in 2012.

Since the 1940's, this beautiful stone was kept away in the vaults of a bank. It formerly belonged to Huguette M. Clark who was an American mining heiress during her time. At one point, this pink diamond was the most expensive to ever be exhibited at auction within the U.S.

A 9.14ct Fancy Vivid Pink pear-shaped diamond, that sold for $18,174,632 in 2016.

This prime example of pink color in a diamond, is mounted between baguette cut diamonds on a ring crafted from platinum. It's said that only one in 10 million pink diamonds suitable for polishing, will go on to possess a color saturated enough to be graded at the ‘Fancy Vivid’ level.

The 14.23ct 'Perfect Pink' (pictured above), is a Fancy Intense rectangular pink diamond, which was sold for $23,165,968 back in 2010.

When this particular stone was sold in 2010, only 18 pink diamonds over the weight of 10cts were documented to have ever been exhibited at auction. This stone further differentiated itself from others by being the only one to be graded at the fancy intense pink level (during the time).

The 16.08ct 'Sweet Josephine', a cushion-shaped Fancy Vivid Pink diamond, which sold for $28,523,925 in 2015.

Another record-breaker of its time, the 'Sweet Josephine' was documented to be the largest cushion shaped fancy vivid pink diamond to be exhibited at auction (2015). It rests surrounded by double strands of smaller colorless melee diamonds that accent its bold, yet elegant appearance.

The 14.93ct 'Pink Promise' (pictured above), is an oval-shaped Fancy Vivid Pink diamond, that was sold for $32,480,500 in 2017.

Originally, this stone was graded at the fancy intense level, but then jeweller Stephen Silver re-cut it from 16.21ct to 14.93ct (2013). This allowed the stone's color to be portrayed better face-up, eventually garnering a new grade of fancy vivid pink.

The 34.65ct 'Princie', a cushion shaped Fancy Intense Pink diamond, which sold for $39,323,750 in 2013.

The famous Princie diamond was actually discovered 300 years ago in the country of India, and it was initially owned by the Nizams of Hyderabad. It was also first  purchased for £46,000 by design house Van Cleef & Arpels (1960) at auction.

Christie's lauched way back in 1766, and was founded by James Christie. The British auction company holds its main offices in London, as well as New York City. Aside from spectacular jewelry, they also engage in very influential luxury fields- such as fine art, antiques, wines and horologie. At the current time, Christie's is owned by a company called Groupe Artemis.
If you've been keeping up-to-date with the trend of gemstone treatment, you'll most likely be familiar with the treatment of fracture-filling. This is usually performed to enhance a stone's apparent clarity by concealing its fractures with a filling material with visual properties closer to that of the host gemstone's.

For many lower-quality, nearly opaque rubies, treaters have discovered a technique that basically pushes melted glass deep into the stone's heavily included interior, sometimes creating ratios up to 50:50 in terms of ruby versus glass material. The resulting gemstone is much more clearer and more marketable, so some people end up buying these stones overestimating their actual value.

Glass-filled or glass-composite stones do not look like synthetic stones to most people, at least through viewing by the naked eye. Their many cracks and crevices lend to the feeling of authenticity. Customers are more weary of stones that are perfectly clear and transparent. Many are less suspecting of these types of materials.

There is much debate on the nomenclature used for these types of products. On the one hand, the base material is indeed natural corundum, but the starting material is also so poor in quality that it would never have made it into the jewelry industry on its own merits. Some stones are filled with so much glass that people wonder if they should be called "composite-rubies" or "composite-gemstones" which is what some laboratories label them as.

While one might refer to them as 'real' due to the fact that the main stone is still natural corundum, the question you should be asking, is how should you see the value of such a product. The price for a majority glass-filled rubies is comparable to that of a flame fusion synthetic stone, sometimes higher or lower depending on the quality. The price for a high quality, untreated or heated-only natural ruby on the other hand, can be many times more expensive, reaching tens of thousands of dollars in range.

Note also that while the glass does improve the ruby's appearance drastically, it is much softer than the host gem, and because of its unique composition, poses a durability issue with regards to most cleaning methods used today. Many types of jewelry cleaners that are routinely used in the re-setting or repair of jewelry can eat away at the glass, causing it to degrade even after a few minutes.

The glass material is usually soft, as many treaters use a type of lead-glass, in order to match the refractive index of ruby (to better conceal the fractures). A material like this, can be easily abraded, and hurt by high temperatures like those caused by steam cleaners. Some reports have even noted that ultrasonic cleaning can also damage the glass filling of these stones, so beware of the implications that come with buying them. They are very affordable if bought with proper disclosure, but affordability comes with complications. Always ask your jeweller if your ruby has been treated in any way.

If they say that a ruby has been heat treated, make sure that heat is the only enhancement done, as this is quite normal and acceptable in the trade. Heating with fracture-filling or chemical diffusion can drastically lower the stone's value, so it's good to be aware of what type of gem you're actually buying.
Not everyone recognizes the gemological properties of diamond, for what they actually are. Due to an incredible marketing campaign spanning several decades, diamonds have sometimes been touted to be the everlasting, near-indestructible gemstone of the ages. Is this accurate though? What makes a diamond strong, and do they have any weaknesses? Today we'll discuss and debunk some physical traits of the world's most famous gemstone species.

Diamonds are hard, not tough. When someone says a diamond is the hardest natural mineral on the planet, they would be correct. Despite this, there is indeed a difference between a mineral being "hard" and being "tough". Hardness, measured on what we call the Moh's scale, represents a material's resistance to being scratched or scathed. If you rub two parallel surfaces together and one is harder than the other, the softer one gets scratched. Toughness on the other hand, refers to a material's resistance to splitting and breaking.

What most people don't know or remember- is that diamond is not the king of toughness. It actually has 4 directions of perfect cleavage. This means that the species possesses four directional planes of atomic weakness, that would make it prone to splitting into smaller pieces. In the early days of diamond cutting, manufacturers would make use of this property in order to quickly saw or half diamond rough, especially octahedral shaped specimens.

Gemstones like jadeite and corundum are actually tougher than diamond, and while the latter may be able to scratch them, both these gem species are more resistant in terms of avoiding breakage.

Hitting or strongly knocking a diamond at certain specific angles can cause it to chip, cleave or break. Take note also that many faceted or fully-cut diamonds have a very thin girdle area. This makes them susceptible to potential damage upon impact.

Another interesting fact to consider, when talking about diamond's durability- is its carbon composition. Sure, compared to its "cousin" graphite, diamond appears to be leaps and bounds ahead in terms of resistance to damage, but consider that carbon can burn up due to the presence of extreme heat.

Diamonds caught in very high temperature fires can become cloudy or damaged (be burned). There have been instances of some stones becoming partially vaporized by great amounts of heat. For this to occur though, the diamonds also have to be in contact with air, or more specifically oxygen. Most jewellers however should be quite familiar with the limits, and can remove a diamond from the path of a specifically over-heating flame tool.

Rubies and sapphires on the other hand, can actually withstand more heat than diamond (at our normal pressure levels). They often undergo heat-exposure treatments to improve their vibrant colors.

Diamonds that form in the earth's depths do undergo exposure to crazy levels of heat, however the reason they form or exist under these temperatures is because a very high environmental pressure is present. Without this pressure, the diamonds would not survive or even form properly.

Despite diamond's innate resistance to scratching and abrasion, we would still discourage certain tests, like purposely attempting to scratch a stone against abrasive material or against other stones. Remember that even if diamond is hard, thin parts like facet junctions are relatively still in danger of chipping against directional impact. Always take care of your stones. Just because they're the hardest natural mineral on the planet, doesn't meant that they can't be damaged.