How To Buy A Diamond: What Is A Diamond?

Our fascination with diamonds is not a modern phenomenon. The history of diamonds is significant in the history of the world. Pliny, a Roman naturalist in the first century AD, describes diamonds as “…the most valuable, not only of precious stones, but of all the things in this world.”

Treasures from our Mother Earth, every diamond is unique. Diamonds come in many sizes, shapes, and colors, and with an assortment of internal and surface characteristics.

What makes diamonds so special? Different people may have different responses. The conditions in which diamonds form in the Earth, their rarity, their association with love and beauty, and the list goes on and on.

Diamond is the only gemstone made of a single element: carbon. Diamond is typically about 99.5% carbon. The other 0.05% can include one or more trace elements, which are atoms that aren’t part of a diamond’s essential chemistry. These can play a role in determining color or be considered clarity characteristics that we’ll discuss in a later post.

Diamond forms under high temperature and pressure conditions that exist only within a specific depth range beneath the Earth’s surface. Graphite, like diamond, contains only carbon, but its formation process is very different. The result is that graphite is very soft, so soft you can write with it, while diamond is so hard that you can only scratch it with another diamond.

Joseph Goott & Co. specializes in all diamonds. If you’re interested in speaking further about diamonds, please contact us. We’d love to hear from you.