Without a doubt, the diamond is the precious stone that appeals to the imagination of most. It is incredible how carbon compressed for millennia can eventually produce such a beautiful precious stone. Ever since diamond giant De Beers launched the slogan 'Diamonds are Forever' mid last century, diamonds have become an integral part of engagement rings and many other pieces of jewellery. We present you what a diamond is and how it is constructed.

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What are diamonds and how did they come about?

Most of the diamonds we find in jewellery nowadays were formed in the earth's mantle. They arise out of carbon, one of the most important chemical elements in the world. Volcano eruptions transport the magma and it reappears on the surface as large blocks of rock. Even before these eruptions push the diamonds to the surface, the diamonds are formed in the 'diamond stability zone' in the earth's mantle. This requires a temperature exceeding 1,000 degrees Celsius and extremely high pressure. That is only possible deep under the earth's surface, about 150 kilometers under the earth's crust.

Where and how are diamonds mined?

Before the 20th century, most diamonds were found in alluvial deposits – the loose material carried along by a river. Now, they are mined using open-pit or underground mining. This type of mining started in the 1870s. In 1866, Erasmus Jacobs found the Eureka Diamond near the city of Kimberley in South Africa. Three years later, Cecil Rhodes found the Star of Africa, a diamond weighing 83.50 carats. This was the start of a real diamond fever.
The Udachny mine in Russia where many diamonds are mined. - BAUNAT
Today, diamonds are mined on all continents, but there is a good chance that the diamond in your engagement ring comes from Russia. The most important site is in northern Russia and then mainly in the autonomous republic of Sakha. At least 80% of the global diamond reserves come from mines in the region, such as Udachny which is currently the deepest open pit mine in the world. It reaches 600 meters deep. There are certainly another 150 million carats there, good for 50 years of production.

The most prestigious precious stone in the world

Diamonds are probably the most prestigious precious stones in the world. With a score of 10 on the Mohs scale of mineral hardness, they are not only the hardest stone in the world, they are also the only stones that reflect as much light as they absorb. A perfectly polished diamond can reflect up to 100% of the light.

Three of the most famous diamonds in the world

Some diamonds have become world-famous over the years. One due to its exceptional size, the other through its unique history. We will present three of them.

  1. Koh-i-Noor: The Koh-i-Noor (Mountain of Light) is an Indian diamond weighing 109 carats. Through the centuries, various Indian and Persian generals and kings have owned it. In Hinduism, this stone is thought to have magical powers. Hindus believe that the diamond is a gift from the sun god Surya. Mid-19th century, the diamond fell into British hands and it is now part of the British Crown Jewels.

  2. The Great Star of Africa: This diamond is also called the Cullinan I, named after the diamond from which it came. This was the raw Cullinan diamond and weighing 3,106 it was the largest diamond ever found. The pear-shaped Great Star of Africa weighs 530 carats and was cut by the famous gem cutter Joseph Asscher from Amsterdam.

  3. The Hope Diamond: This precious stone was most probably mined in India and it was sold to Louis XIV. The French king renamed the 45.52 carat blue diamond 'The Blue Diamond of the Crown of France'. The Hope Diamond was subsequently stolen and only resurfaced 20 years later. According to Hindustani belief, the goddess Sita cursed the stone saying it would bring the wearer bad luck.

Other world-famous diamonds include the Sancy diamond, the Centenary Diamond, the Golden Jubilee and the Lesotho Brown.

Read more about the largest, most expensive and most famous diamonds in the world.

The various parts of a diamond

Before talking about the anatomy of a diamond, we will first have a look at the stone itself. The weight of a diamond is expressed in carats. One carat is exactly 0.2 grams. Carat (ct.) is further divided into points, whereby one point is equal to 1/100th of a carat.
Image of the size per carat of a diamond - BAUNAT
The value of a diamond is not only determined by its carat weight but also by the dimensions of the precious stone. That is measured with a diamond measuring tool, an instrument to determine the length, breadth and depth of the precious stone in millimeters (mm).
Image of diamond depth - BAUNAT

The depth

Scientists in a gemological lab measure the depth of diamonds using a diamond loupe. That is important because the depth affects the reflectance. If a diamond is cut too deep, light can escape.
The depth is measured from the culet to the table. To calculate the depth percentage, you divide the height of the stone by the width.
Image of the table and culet of a diamond - BAUNAT

The culet and table

The culet is the bottom part of the precious stone where it would rest on if it stood up straight. The word comes from the Latin 'culum', which means bottom.
The table is the top facet of a diamond in the middle of the crown. If the table is too small or too big, it can affect the sparkle and fire.
Image of the crown of a diamond - BAUNAT

The crown and facets

The crown is the facet under the table and above the girdle. The crown consists of the star, bezel and girdle facets. These facets absorb and reflect the light, which makes the diamond sparkle. The polished corners of the crown determine the amount of fire and sparkle the precious stone has.
Facets are the surfaces created when the diamond is cut. These actually act as mirrors and provide optimal refraction and reflection of the light. The number of facets, for instance 57 or 58 (including culet) on a diamond, therefore determine the flexibility of the reflection.
Image of the girdle and pavilion of a diamond - BAUNAT

Pavilion and girdle

The pavilion is the part of the diamond from the girdle to the culet. It is therefore the bottom half of a diamond. If the pavilion is cut too deep or not deep enough, light escapes from the diamond and the fire and sparkle pay the price.
The girdle is the part of the diamond from the crown and the pavilion. This part is usually not graded but described according to its thickness. If there is a laser inscription on a diamond, it indicates where it will be engraved.

The value of a diamond

The value of a diamond depends on various factors, including where you bought the diamond. The 4 Cs,colour, clarity, cut, carat, are the most important elements. It is quite simple to understand the effect of these but how much they affect the price of a diamond also partly depends on the market demands at any given time. So, it's difficult to determine an average price. The Rapaport Price List gives a good overview of the current trends.

In general, coloured diamonds are a lot more expensive than colourless diamonds. This is because they are much rarer. Colourless diamonds are also allocated a colour or gradation because they have nuances. The highest grade of colourlessness starts at D and runs to F. These are colourless diamonds without a yellow tint.
Image of a dish of colourless diamonds - BAUNAT
A lower colour gradation means the diamond has a yellow tint. That is only visible using a microscope or by comparing it to higher graded diamonds. Most colourless diamonds in our earrings, bracelets and engagement rings have a gradation of G or H.
Image of a dish of diamond inclusions - BAUNAT
Furthermore, clarity also plays a role. Diamonds usually have inclusions or 'birth marks' that appear during the formation process. The fewer inclusions a diamond has, the clearer it is and the higher the price of the diamond. The clarity grade goes from FL to P3.
Image of the ideal cut of a diamond - BAUNAT
The gemcutter cannot change the colour or clarity of a diamond, but the cut can be influenced by human hand. That is determined by the dimensions, polish and symmetry. A diamond with an exquisite polish is highly sought-after because the crown lets in a lot of light and it is almost completely reflected.
With every BAUNAT diamond, you receive a certificate of authenticity from a recognized lab, such as GIA, HRD or IGI. It includes all dimensions and other information about the four Cs.

The size of a diamond

The final C stands for carat. The weight and size of a diamond is expressed in carats, where 1 carat equals 0.2 grams. The higher the carat weight, the higher the price will be. The prices increase exponentially. This means a 2 carat diamond will not simply cost twice the price of a 1 carat diamond with all the same characteristics. The price will more likely be triple.

Find out about the largest diamond in the world

Types of diamond cuts

Diamonds and other precious stones can be cut into different shapes. We present the three most popular shapes.

  1. Without doubt, round brilliant cuts are still the most popular diamond shape, certainly for engagement rings. If they are cut perfectly, they are generally worth more than alternative shapes. The cut and the stunning reflection of light mean that brilliant cut diamonds sparkle the most.

  2. The princess shape is catching up on the brilliant cut. These diamonds are square shaped. This shape is gaining in popularity due to its modern look.

  3. The pear shape has also been popular in recent years. It is a mix between a round brilliant cut and the marquise. A pear-shaped diamond is an excellent choice for a pair of diamond earrings or a diamond engagement ring. With its pointed end facing the nail, the shape optically lengthens your finger.

How are diamonds used in jewellery?

Diamonds are used in many pieces of jewellery. Engagement rings in particular, are often set with a sparkling diamond. The precious stones are usually for beautiful decorations, such as in a diamond necklace or diamond bracelet, but they can also convey a lovely message.
BAUNAT trilogy ring with a diamond as precious stone
A trilogy ring is set with three diamonds, of which one symbolizes the past, the other stands for the present and the third reflects the future. This design is perfect for an engagement ring due to the underlying message. With a trilogy engagement ring, you say how important your loved one was for you in the past, that you can't be without them now and that you want to build a beautiful future together.

Browse our trilogy rings

BAUNAT Toi & Moi ring with a diamond as precious stone
A Toi & Moi ring is another beautiful design. These types of rings are set with two diamonds opposite each other, as in yin and yang. They form a whole, as it were, and represent you and your partner.

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Besides decoration or to convey a message, diamonds can also be an alternative investment, both as loose diamonds as well as those set in jewellery. The gap between supply and demand continues to grow and considering that the diamond mines are slowly becoming depleted this gap with probably increase in the future. Furthermore, they are highly resistant to the generally instable financial market.
Woman drinking tea and wearing a BAUNAT diamond and sapphire ring

Diamonds and sapphires

Diamonds and sapphires can be used together in jewellery, for example in a Toi & Moi ring or in a halo with a central sapphire encircled by diamonds. The blue colour makes it a highly desirable precious stone, however sapphires generally cost less than diamonds. Sapphire is a variation of the corundum mineral and scores a 9 on the Mohs scale of mineral hardness. That makes it the third hardest stone after diamond and moissanite.

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Most sapphires have a deep blue colour, but yellow and pink sapphires also exist. Blue sapphires look gorgeous with white gold, platinum or red gold.
Woman wearing a ring with ruby and diamond from BAUNAT

Diamonds and ruby

Ruby is another variant of corundum and it is beautiful when set in jewellery with diamonds. Unlike sapphires, a ruby can only be red. The colour of love makes it an ideal precious stone for an engagement ring alongside diamonds.

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In recent years, the ruby has broken several auction records, including for the highest price per carat of all the precious stones. Ruby stones are at their best in combination with white gold or platinum jewellery.
A BAUNAT green emerald and diamond ring

Diamonds and emeralds

The third precious stone beside diamonds we are talking about here is the green emerald. The emerald is a variation of the mineral beryl and it gets its green colour due to the presence of chromium. The stone scores slightly lower than ruby and sapphire on the Mohs scale of mineral hardness. Emeralds are, however, about 20 times rarer than diamonds and the price per carat can be far above that of diamonds. Emeralds work perfectly with red gold or platinum jewellery.

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Why buy diamonds from BAUNAT?

There are an overwhelming number of diamond experts and jewellers. So, why buy diamond jewellery from BAUNAT? Firstly, we only work with the highest-quality materials. For the precious metals, this is 18 carat gold and 950 platinum. The diamonds and other precious stones are of course of the highest possible quality.

We also buy our precious stones directly from the source. By avoiding overhead costs and unnecessary intermediaries, we can offer our jewellery online and 30% to 50% cheaper

We also offer a customised service starting from a budget of €4,000. Working with our experts you can design diamond jewellery entirely how you want it. If you have any questions about our jewellery or about certain styles and trends, our experts are always on hand to provide advice.

If you base your decision on customer reviews, you will almost certainly come to BAUNAT. Thanks to our excellent customer service, we score 9.9 on Trustpilot. That makes us number 1 in the jewellery industry.

It's certainly a very good idea to have diamond jewellery made, not only for the emotional value but also for its potential as an investment. Keeping the four Cs and the different styles in mind, you will be sure to find the perfect jewellery.

Find out more about diamonds and other precious stones

You are now a diamond expert: you know all about the anatomy of diamonds, how they are created, the various cuts and their significance. Would you like to find out even more about coloured and colourless diamonds? Then make sure you read the blogs below.
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