In order to turn diamonds into something so fabulously wonderful, they need to be cut. An uncut diamond is just a small nugget and is called a raw (or rough) diamond. Diamonds are carbon that has crystallised an unimaginably long time ago. Nothing in nature is harder than a diamond. A diamond can only be cut by another diamond.
It is the skill of the diamond cutter that teases out the sparkling beauty within the diamond. Some aspects of the work are done by computer, but most is done by hand. A diamond cutter cannot afford to make a mistake, as the stone will then split. The most highly skilled diamond cutters can be found in Antwerp in Belgium, and 70% of the world’s diamonds pass through Antwerp. Diamonds are also cut in India and Israel.
You can never have too many diamonds, and the desire for larger stones increases over the years. “Lagom” – roughly translated as “just right” – is a good Swedish yardstick, except when it comes to diamonds. It is fine for a diamond to be a bit more than “just right”. No other gemstone can reflect light like a diamond and, if the conditions are right, the fantastic brilliance of a diamond can be almost enchanting.
Looking for the perfect diamond for a piece of jewellery is great fun but time consuming. If you want to be sure of getting the diamond at absolutely the best price, you will need not only time but also a knowledge of diamonds. It is easy to think that your task is done simply by comparing carats, colour and inclusions. It is a good start, but you need to know more about the diamond before you can decide whether it is a good buy.
It can feel a little scary that something as small as a diamond can cost so much. If you would like a round diamond of one carat, it will have a diameter of around 6.5 mm and will weigh 200 milligrams. You will spend a lot of money on something very small.
You also need to consider that the most popular sizes are more expensive. If you choose 0.5 carats (a perfect size for an earring), 1 carat (stunning around your neck) or 2 carats (wonderful on your finger), these will cost more pro rata than if you go for an obscure number, such as 0.46, 0.94 or 1.87.