Cochise College           Student Papers in Geology

Geology Home Page                   physical geology  historical geology  planetary  gems           

Roger Weller, geology instructor

by Kai Vukomanovich
Physical Geology
Fall 2011



            Being a pure substance of carbon, the DIAMOND is one of the hardest gemstones out there, if not the hardest. The Diamond is “unbreakable” as people may say. The diamond is also a well known birthstone for the month of April. Diamonds are used for many things such as, rings, decoration, necklaces, etc... There are many types of Diamonds which will be talked about throughout this paper.

Description: ROUND_JPG.jpg

(A look from above)

            Diamonds are mainly weighed in carats, not karats, where one carat is equal to 200 milligrams. The price will increase due to carat weight. Diamonds also have a certain clarity which is the measure of internal defects. Such as if the diamond has cut or even other parts of different diamonds or materials within its body of mass. About 20% of diamonds mined are considered a gemstone due to the high rate of clarity. Diamonds can also have different colors, but are most commonly found as white diamonds or transparent with a little tint. Diamonds are sometimes colored, due to nitrogen replacing small amounts of carbon within the diamond which will cause the gemstone to have a yellowish or brownish tint, known as brown diamonds and yellow diamonds.



Description: loose-yellow-brown-diamond.jpg
Description: Diamond_color_variety_chart.jpg

(Various colors of diamonds)

            The quality of a Diamond is measured but cut. The cut of a diamond is one main ingredient if you want to call it that. A common round diamond has 57 facets (polished faces) where the top part alone contains 33 facets, known as the crown. A good reason why they cut it like that is so that when light passes through it goes in, and comes back out, but within that it gives it a rainbow like color. Diamonds also have certain shapes. Round is common but you also get shapes or cuts which are known as “fancy cuts” which usually is in a rectangle shape or something quite different.

Description: fancy-cut-diamond-chart.jpg




      The quality of a diamond is determined by color, cut, clarity and carat, which are known as the 4 C’s. The cut is the hardest to judge due to it having to be perfected. Diamonds usually have a long strenuous process until it is completed and considered a final item, aka a Diamond. The process has to be done so correctly and precise one wrong move could potentially destroy it. Other diamonds are used in the process to cut a different diamond due to its hardness level. Other items such as blades would work very poorly.


Description: diamond-cutting-pic02.jpg


Diamonds are a big thing in life for women, especially on a wedding ring or even an engagement ring. There are many types of rings and from all the cutting and shaping and designing of the Diamond gives a ring that special “touch”. It brightens eyes of females not only from high price but the beauty within. Pricing has a big deal in the whole diamond business. One of the most expensive rings was a pink diamond which had 5 carats of diamond and was sold in Hong Kong at an auction for a record price of $10.8 Million. Next in line is the blue diamond ring which was also sold at an auction for $7.9 Million; it contains 6 carats and is set on a platinum ring.


Description: Diamond-Rings-Jewelry2.bmp


            In the year 2009, the United States of America had a consumption of 35% of the total diamonds in the world which was $13.7 Billion, where the total consumption demand was $39 Billion. But, the only places in the United States where diamonds are mined are in Arkansas, other than that there are no diamond mining facilities at all in the United States. Within a year about a few hundred carats are produced from that little area. Africa was the main source to mine and produce diamonds since the 1870’s. In one year Africa had produced over 200,000 carats of diamonds. Here is a diamond production map.


Description: gem-diamond-map.gif

            The diamond was first found in India some 3,000 years ago and was used mostly for decorative purposes. Diamonds were also used as a medical item, in which a patient would hold the diamond in their hand while moving in a cross like pattern. This was supposed to get rid of illnesses and other simple medical symptoms. Diamonds were first sold during the middle ages because people had thought that diamonds were poisonous so people would buy them to give the idea away to keep predators and evil forces away. This is still known as a myth today but could be quite possible. During the mid nineteenth centuries the diamond was also found in Australia. But it wasn’t until 7 years later in the 1970’s that Australia became a validated producer of diamonds. Argyle has become the biggest producer of diamonds over all the years after having the highest finding rate in 1979. Known as the richest diamond deposit in the world.