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Diamonds are valued not only for their sheer beauty but also for the meticulous processes that transform them into breathtakingly glamorous pieces of jewelry. Diamonds are formed in the Earth’s mantle just below the continental plates under extreme heat and pressure. These may also form during a meteorite strike which can inflict considerable friction and pressure on the Earth. During volcanic eruptions, these crystalline allotropes of carbon often enter the earth’s crust and become embedded in igneous rocks like lamproite and kimberlite.
The Earth is made of various elements that may be ingrained in each diamond. These other elements, primarily nitrogen, can affect its appearance and quality. In any case, diamonds emerge as the hardest naturally-occurring mineral on Earth. Only another diamond can scratch a diamond.
The coloration of each diamond depends on the existence of impurities in the mineral. This is then measured from D to Z based on the amount of color a stone possesses. Nitrogen, the most common diamond impurity, can give the diamond a yellowish or brownish hue. A brownish color (deep amber as opposed to a clear canary hue) is attributed to defects in the cubic crystal structure. Exposure to radiation produces green diamonds while the presence of boron results in blue diamonds. These types are extremely rare and therefore quite valuable.
Regardless of color, jewelry stores in Overland Park KS can measure a diamond’s clarity by the presence or absence of “inclusions” and “flaws” on the gem, detected at a 10x magnification. A diamond may be very, very slightly included (VVS), very slightly included (VS), slightly included (SI), or included (I). This measures the clarity of a diamond based on inclusions like cloudy or feathery discolorations, the presence of other crystals or minerals, or cavities and cleavages in the mineral. These inclusions or internal characteristics also consist of those which the gem acquired during the cutting and polishing process.
A diamond may also be flawless (FL) or internally flawless (IF). These flaws may be acquired during cutting and polishing. In the case of older diamonds, these may occur naturally. Diamond flaws or inclusions may be removed by cutting extra facets on a diamond. The same may be done at jewelry stores in Overland Park KS for chipped diamonds.
Grading diamonds depends on all the so-called Four C’s. The carat weight (sometimes just called karat or carat) measures the mass of the diamond. The cut of the diamond can affect its brilliance and clarity. As covered earlier, the color of a diamond determines the presence of minerals in the diamond. Colorless and brown diamonds are quite common, while yellow, blue, and green are considered quite rare indeed by Overland Park jewelers.