Tuesday, January 10, 2012

All About Mining Diamonds Part 2

Argye mine located in the Kimberley region  in the far north east of Western Australia.  Owned by Rio Tinto, this mine is the world’s  largest single producer of volume of  diamonds.  However, due to low proportion  of gem quality diamonds it is not the value  leader.  It does produce 90-95% of the  world’s supply of pink diamonds. 

Diavik is also owned by Rio Tinto, located in  Canada it is a very large mine.   It is located  north of Yellowknife and south of the Artic  Circle on an island.  The island is connected  by an ice road.  It is also an important part of  the regions economy employing more than  700 people and producing more than 8 million carats annually.  

Ekati diamond mine is owned by BHP  Billiton and located south of the artic circle  in the Northwest Territories of Canada. The Ekati is Canada’s first operational  diamond mine.     Diamonds mined here  are sold under the Aurias trade name    Authenticity is verified through Canada Mark service.  CanadaMark service is also  owned by BHP Billiton Diamonds, Inc. 

 Baken diamond mine is located along the  lower Orange River in South Africa.  It is  owned and operated by Trans Hex.  The  average size stone for 2004 was 1.29  carats.   In 2004, this mine produced a  78.9 carat D color flawless diamond that  sold for more than 1.8 million dollars (US),  as well as a 27.67 pink diamond that was  sold for over 1 million US dollars.

Merlin is the second of only two diamond  mines in Australia.  No longer operating it  was owned by Rio Tinto and sold to Striker  Resources, who has explored the  possibilities of reopening the mine.    
Orapa is the world’s largest diamond mine.   It us located 240 Km west of  Francistown.  The mine is owned by  “Debswana” which is a partnership  between DeBeers and the government of  Botswana. This mine operates 7 days a  week.  It maintains pre primary and  primary schools for its employee’s children.   There is also a 100 bed hospital and game  park.  This mine began production in 1971  and is the oldest mine owned by the  Debswana Company.  

The Premier mine located in Cullinan, South  Africa produced the largest gem diamond  ever in 1905.  The Cullinan Diamond  weighed 3,106.75 carats.  This mine also  produced the Golden Jubilee diamond  which weighed 545.67 carats.  This mine is  owned by the De Beers Company and was  renamed The Cullinan Diamond Mine in  2003 in celebration of its centennial.

Monday, January 9, 2012

All About Dirty Diamonds

A dirty diamond is one of two things: a rough  diamond, or a diamond that hasn’t been  cleaned in a while. Rough diamonds are  uncut and unpolished – hence, they are dirty.  But that type of dirty diamond will soon be cut and polished and sitting in a beautiful  jewel box in a display case. Then someone  will purchase it, and before long, it will  become a dirty diamond once again.

Diamonds become dirty. When you wash  your hands with a diamond ring on, soap  scum clings to it. When you put on hand  lotion, it gets grease on it. Shower with your  diamond earrings or necklace, and again,  you get soap scum. In one short day, your  brand new diamond could be dirty!

Purchase an ultrasonic jewelry cleaner the  same day that you purchase your diamond  jewelry, and use it every single day, without  fail. The clarity of the diamond changes  when the diamond is dirty – it loses its  sparkle. By taking one minute each day to  clean your diamond jewelry, you can avoid  this, and your diamonds will never be dirty!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

All About Synthetic Diamonds

The first synthetic diamonds were produced  by General Electric in 1954. A synthetic  diamond is basically a rock that has the  durability, refractive index and hardness of  a natural diamond – but it is made by man.  A synthetic diamond should not be  confused with stimulant diamonds, such as  glass, cubic zirconia, or moissanite.

Although the technology for synthetic  diamonds came into play in 1954, no  synthetic diamonds were ever seen on the  market until the 1990’s. This was due to the  fact that it took many years for General  Electric to produce a synthetic diamond that  could compare with the quality of a natural  diamond – and when they figured out how to  do it, they found that it cost more to produce  a synthetic diamond than it did to mine and  cut natural diamonds.

Finally, a small company by the name of  Gemesis Corporation figured out a way to  produce synthetic diamonds that were of the  same quality as natural diamonds, at a  cheaper price. Today, Gemesis produces  synthetic white diamonds, and colored  diamonds as well. These diamonds sell for  about 1/3 of the cost of a natural diamond,  but there is a shortage of them, and they are  hard to find. In fact, it seems that synthetic  diamonds are rarer than natural diamonds!

Monday, January 2, 2012

All About Diamonds Selection

Diamonds are graded for certification by  laboratories using grading criteria. Four of  these criteria are critical to understand when  making a diamond purchase or investment.  Known as the “Four C’s” these criteria are: color, cut, clarity and carat.

Color is the result of the composition of a  diamond and it does not change. When a jeweler is describing the color of a diamond  they are referring to the presence or absence  of color in white diamonds. Because a diamond with no color allows maximum light  to pass through, colorless diamonds are  preferred for their sparkle. 

Cut refers to a diamonds reflective quality. Most diamonds are cut with 58 facets. The  brilliance of diamonds is heavily dependent  on the cut. The different angles and the finish  of a diamond determine its ability to reflect  light and cause its brilliance and fire.  Remember that the cut of a diamond can  have an impact on its durability as well as its  beauty. Some cutting faults can make a  diamond prone to breakage. A diamond  that is cut too thin can also cause light to  leak out of the back and the diamond will  lose some of the sparkle and appear not  to shine. So, as you can see the Cut is  probably the most important of the Four C’s.

During the formation process, inner flaws, or  inclusions occur in most diamonds. The  number and size of these inclusions  determine what is referred to as the clarity  of a diamond. Diamonds that are clear  create more brilliance and therefore are rarer  and highly priced. To be considered “flawless”, a diamond must have no surface  or internal imperfections visible upon being  viewed by a skilled diamond grader using  10 power magnifications. 

Carat is the unit of weight by which diamonds  are measured. One carat is equal to 200  milligrams. A carat is divided into 100  segments called points. 150 points would  equal one and a half carats.

When you go to the store to make that all  important diamond purchase, do not be shy!   Ask questions, get the answers needed to  make an informed purchase. Shopping for  certified diamonds enables you to make an  informed selection. Knowing the “four C’s”  allows you to comparison shop and purchase  the best diamond at a fair price.  But, before  making a purchase, shop around and decide  what shapes and styles really appeal to you.  Enjoy your diamond for years to come