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Posts Tagged ‘Diamonds’

Where do diamonds come from?

Sunday, July 17th, 2011

Diamonds are made up of pure carbon atoms that exist deep in the ground, exposed to intense heat and pressure over billions of years. Over time, this pressure builds up and forces the diamonds and rocks up toward the surface in a volcanic-like explosion. The explosion creates a very deep, wide hole called a “pipe” into which most of the diamonds settle; these deposits of diamonds are known as primary deposits. Other diamonds are washed away by water or erosion, and often settle into the coastal waters of nearby bodies of water; these are alluvial deposits. These deposits occur in many places around the globe; however, the largest commercial deposits exist in Angola, Australia, Botswana, Namibia, South Africa, Russia and Zaire, which produce 80% of the world’s diamonds.

Walking through the aisle of a jewelry store, you may not think diamonds are especially rare. But consider this: 250 tons (500,000 pounds) of ore must be mined and processed to produce just one carat of rough diamond. Since a rough diamond typically loses 40% to 60% of its weight when cut, that means that all these efforts are necessary to produce just one of the .50 carat polished diamonds you find in the store’s display counters. When you also consider the fact that only about one quarter of all rough diamonds are actually suitable for gem cutting, you can begin to appreciate the rarity and uniqueness of each diamond.

A quick, fun fact: The first diamond deposits were brought to the surface of the earth approximately 2.5 billion years ago. The most recent deposits are roughly 50 million years old. Your diamond is a truly unique piece of history.

A Brief History of Tahitian Pearls

Monday, May 31st, 2010

Tahitian pearls, also known as black pearls, are among the most exotic and sought after gemstones on the market today. Because of their typically dark color these gemstones are also called black pearls even though the color can range from gunmetal grey to silver white and many exotic colors in between including chocolate, baroque green and even peacock. This elusive and unique pearl was first cultivated in 1961 by Jean-Marie Dormand, a Frenchmen responsible for marine resources in French Polynesia.

The first culturing experiments took place in the lagoons of the atoll of Hikueru and Bora Bora islands of French Polynesia. This led to the first harvest in 1965 which resulted in over 1,000 black pearls. The first export of black pearls wasn’t until 1972 but soon the secret was out and by 1996 over $152 million worth of black gems were being shipped out of French Polynesia. Interestingly enough these pearls are not harvested in Tahiti but rather in the rich atolls that make up French Polynesia.

Featuring a rich, brilliant luster and smooth, clean nacre Tahitian pearls are perfect for pendants, necklaces, ear rings and other forms of jewelry. Since being discovered the demand for these rare stones, in particular Tahitian pearls, has increased steadily each year and has forced conservation in the bountiful French Polynesian waters to allow for oyster bed repopulation. When pearls were first discovered by colonists in the 1700’s several prime harvesting sites were quickly dried up due to the dramatic demand for the exotic gems.

Tahitian pearls come from the large black-lip oysters named Pinctada Margaritifera. These oysters are quite small and only a handful will survive the cultivation process and produce a fine gemstone. This makes Tahitian pearls rarer than other highly sought after jewels including Akoya and South Sea varities.

Each black pearl is a one of kinds unique and finding a match for a pair of ear rings can take quite some time. Jewelers and pearl experts often have to sift through hundreds of black pearls to find one that matches another closely enough to be used for ear rings or other fine jewelry.

Because of the rich luster, rarity and storied history Tahitian pearls are one of the most sough after gems on the jewelry market today and you can find terrific pearls on watches, ear rings, necklaces, pendants, cuff links and other decorative trinkets.