Debeers case

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Debeers case

No longer were diamonds seen as a gem reserved only for Royalty and the highest of society, they came to represent love, affection and faithfulness. For years the price of diamonds were kept artificially high by carefully controlling the quantity of diamonds that were allowed to reach the market place by one company who had a monopoly over their distribution.

Today this is no longer the case as diamonds are available from various channels around the world where their price is governed by globalized market economies.

There is still a growing demand for diamonds and with their diminishing supply and extremely high costs other less expensive substitutes are used in their place. All of this happened between 1 billion to 3.

The last of these magma volcanic eruptions occurred over 20 million years ago which brought up diamonds close enough to the surface so that they could be mined. Real Diamonds Diamonds are naturally occurring gems that are composed of carbon atoms arranged in a particular structure. They are extremely hard and until recently were regarded as the worlds hardest natural material with a rating of 10 on the Mohs hardness scale.

Most diamonds along with having small amounts of defects or impurities will have a tinge of yellow or brown which is why truly colourless diamonds are so rare. Diamonds have a high refractive index of 2. The different colours that make up a white light slow at different speeds and are split up or separate once they enter the diamond.

Debeers case

This separation of the colour spectrum is called dispersion and as light leaves the diamond material and enters the air the angle of refraction again bends and the dispersion, which is the separation of white light into different colours which the light already contains increases and gives us a colour spectrum.

Diamonds have a specific gravity of between 3. Over the past few years the technology has rapidly advanced and now two companies are able to produce diamonds that are identical in hardness, dispersion, gravity, refraction and chemical composition to the highest quality mined diamonds available.

This will obviously have a huge impact on the diamond industry over the next few years as when comparing a cultured and mined diamond side by side they are virtually undistinguishable, however they can be differentiated by spectroscopy, infrared, ultraviolet, or X-ray wavelengths.

Cultured diamonds can be grown from a single crystal by using a technique called chemical vapor deposition.

The technique works by placing cultured crystal seeds in a chamber where hydrogen and methane gases are passed through. The chamber is subject to high heat and pressure which causes hydrogen and methane deposits to collect on the diamond crystals steadily growing them in the process.

Cubic Zirconia Cubic Zirconia is currently the most popular substitute to a diamond because to the untrained eye they look identical.

Debeers case

Cubic Zirconia or CZ as it is referred to is made from zirconium dioxide a different material than diamonds, which although a different chemical composition comes closer than any other gem to matching the characteristics of a diamond.

CZ on first impression looks just like a diamond but under close inspection there are differences, it has a gravity of between 5. It has a hardness of 8 on the Mohs scale, a refraction index of 2.

Caring for CZ is important because they are more brittle than diamonds and susceptible to wear and tear such as chipping and scratches over time.

Once the patent expires it will likely become more readily available at a cheaper price when competitors can also manufacture the gemstone. Moissanite is slightly lighter than a diamond with a gravity of 3.

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Moissanite does have inclusions like a diamond and it may also have a greenish tinge to its colour. To produce a diamond like effect the crystal glass is precision cut and then polished again by a Swarovski patented process that gives the crystal a high quality finish.

The crystals are often further enhanced by coating the glass with an Aurora Borealis or AB coating that gives the surface a rainbow like appearance to simulate dispersion from a diamond.

The lead content in the crystal increases the refraction index of the glass from 1.Do you have what it takes to join the Anglo American global family?

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