Tue. Jul 5th, 2022

Modern Gemstones, an Introduction to the History of Gems

It’s hard to be a diamond in a rhinestone world. Around 70% of all gemstones are now created synthetically, and most people just don’t know it. The world as we know it is rife with deception, be it from celebrities claiming to wear real diamond jewelry but secretly substituting them for cubic zirconium, or from the diamond industry itself. It’s hard to be a diamond in a rhinestone world…
Modern Gemstones, an Introduction to the History of Gems by Ph.D., Dr. Jeffrey Post is an interesting look into how gemstones have been used throughout human history. In just over two hundred pages, Dr. Post succeeds in condensing the history of gemstones into a clear and concise text that holds the reader’s attention with topics such as inclusions that capture your imagination, along with great storytelling and vivid imagery taken from his travels through diamond mines and gemstone markets around the globe.

it's hard to be a diamond in a rhinestone world
it’s hard to be a diamond in a rhinestone world

Anatomy of a Diamond

A diamond is one of the most unique, valuable, and prized substances in the world. It is also one of the hardest natural minerals known to man, with a hardness score of 10 out of 10 on the Mohs scale. It is perfectly transparent and refracts light just like a prism. The diamond industry has been thriving for more than one thousand years now, due to its many unique properties. It has also been a subject of controversy among traditionalists since its advent in the world. The word “diamond” is derived from the Greek word “adamao”, which means “I tame.” The story of how it got its name contains a controversy surrounding its discovery.

it's hard to be a diamond in a rhinestone world
it’s hard to be a diamond in a rhinestone world

Gemstone Quality and How to Pick the Right One for You

However how do you pick out a diamond that is right for you? The answer to that question is relatively simple. If you want to look at the quality of a diamond, then the best way to do so is by looking through it. The more translucent or “gemmy” a diamond is, the higher its grade will be. On the other hand, if your diamond is not perfectly clear, then that means that the quality is lower. On top of this, the cut of a diamond is also very important, and will determine its overall beauty and sparkle. A diamond with small facets will sparkle more than one with big ones, again unless you are talking about a synthetic stone. For this reason it must be noted that cut is more important than clarity.
If you are looking for a diamond of the highest quality possible to give to your significant other, then you want to find a diamond that exhibits a high level of translucency, an excellent cut and which also is free from inclusions. When diamonds are formed it is possible for flaws to develop in the structure which cause light to bounce off in strange ways. This is why you should always try and check through a diamond before buying it. Sometimes clarity can be masked by a good cut, but with diamonds having fire or sparkle this is rarely the case. You can usually tell the difference between a good diamond and a bad one just by looking at it.

it's hard to be a diamond in a rhinestone world
it’s hard to be a diamond in a rhinestone world

The Rise of Synthetic Diamonds

The creation of synthetic diamonds began long ago, but really took off in the 20th century. By the 1960’s and 70’s nearly 40% of all mined diamonds were actually fake cubic zirconiums or moissanites. On top of this, less than one percent diamond rough was used in cutting centers throughout the world. There was a massive reduction in production, and many countries around the world were soon flooded with fake diamonds.
By the year 2000, synthetic diamonds made up almost 50% of the mined diamond market. This was because it was estimated that “nearly 1.5 tons of synthetic diamonds are made each year and sold to the industry for $250 million”. This massive profit and money from the fake diamonds is what drives scientists’ desire to make real ones.
By 2008 the number of synthetic diamonds mined had risen to about 60%. This shows a major shift and in some ways threatens the natural diamond industry. However, many natural diamond producers are still in business and are working hard to make sure their precious stone is sold as a natural product.

it's hard to be a diamond in a rhinestone world
it’s hard to be a diamond in a rhinestone world

Synthetic Diamonds vs. Natural Diamonds and Why We Need Both Types in the World Today

With so many fakes flooding the world, it’s not too hard to see why there needs to be a real level of transparency in the diamond industry. This is where synthetics come into play. Synthetics have always been a part of the diamond market, but now more than ever their use is becoming obvious and accepted. Synthetic diamond has been in the market for more than two hundred years, and many studies have shown that they last longer and are much more consistent than their natural counterpart. Synthetics also have a number of unique qualities that are not readily seen in natural stones. At the end of the day, diamonds do not last forever, and one must be able to recognize what’s what on the market to avoid getting duped.
What Are Synthetic Diamonds?
Synthetic diamonds are man-made diamonds that are created by people in a lab. These are grown through a scientific process, and are not found in nature. These diamonds have many of the same properties as their natural counterpart, only they do have some different properties as well.
The Different Properties of Synthetic Diamonds
Synthetic diamonds can be made in different ways, but they all work to essentially the same purpose. They are created through a lab so that they can be made to meet the needs of certain people in the market, and they differ in size, color, and clarity. One of the major differences between natural diamonds and synthetic diamonds is their size, with synthetics being much larger than natural stones.

it's hard to be a diamond in a rhinestone world
it’s hard to be a diamond in a rhinestone world