Wednesday, May 12, 2010

♥Diamonds are...

(What is the price for these diamonds?)

... like my last blog said, "a girl's best friend". Now, I'm not sure if this little bit of info I am about to share is accurate (I looked online and couldn't find anything to support it) but I think it's blog-worthy. I was told, at one point, that diamonds are a girl's best friend because, back in the old days, when a woman was widowed she would sell her engagement and wedding rings for money to survive off of until she was able to remarry. This is why an an engagement ring should cost about two to three months' salary. <---- This, I know to be true. Anyone know about the other tidbit? Anyway, I have always had an eye for diamonds and items that sparkle, in general. Even as a little girl I'd stare, enchanted, at womens' rings- imagining my own left-hand rock which I would someday own. My very first job was at a jeweler's, cleaning the display cases.

The one thing that has been brought to my attention is the issue of conflict diamonds or blood diamonds. Both are a source of terrorism in Africa and other parts of our world. Apparently, it is easy to mistake a conflict diamond with others, so they can be mixed in with legitimate diamonds. Sadly, they are usually mined at the expense of innocent lives (children are kidnapped and forced into war-like conflict or to mine, all for diamonds). Why? So that someone's ego can be inflated because they own such a valuable piece of stone? If anyone has seen the movie, Blood Diamond, they have an idea of what happened to families and children who fall at the hands of greed. It breaks my heart to know that vanity comes at such a price.

So what is a girl to do when she wants a mack-daddy glint off of her finger? Lab diamonds, I tell ya. It sounds cheesy, cheap even; but I don't think I'll ever own a real one again. My former engagement stone was an asher cut, perfect clarity, one carat stone. Estimated value if it were a mined diamond? $13,000. How much did it actually cost? $400.

Besides the issue of finances, there are a few other reasons to purchase a lab created diamond: 1. No one gets hurt. 2. Insurance is a heckofa lot cheaper. 3. No one can tell the lab created diamond apart from a mined diamond (except for a professional). 3. Most companies offer lifetime guarantees on their lab created diamonds. 4. Even though the diamond was created in a lab, it is still technically real; all of the properties and processes that a mined diamond endures are the same ones that a lab diamond endures. The only difference is the location.

While this information seeps into your brain, read some cool facts about my favorite stone:

To produce a single one-carat diamond, 250 tons of earth will be mined.

Only one diamond in a million weighs one carat or more.

The ancient Greeks believed that diamonds were splinters of stars fallen to the earth.

The largest diamond ever found weighed 3106 carats.

Although the U.S. accounts for less than one-percent of total global gemstone productions, America buys more than half of the world's total gem quality diamonds - accounting for the world's largest diamond market. (<---- pretty sad to think that we could also be the largest contributor to the conflict diamond market :-\)

The Crater of Diamonds State Park in Arkansas is the worlds only diamond mine open to the public - this is a dig-for-fee operation for tourists and rock enthusiasts.

Since as far back as 1906, there have been more than 70,000 diamonds discovered in The Crater of Diamonds State Park in Arkansas - this includes the 40.23 carat "Uncle Sam Diamond" - the largest diamond of its kind ever found in the U.S discovered in 1924 (<--- I know where I'm going on my next vacation!!)

The diamond is rock hard and virtually fireproof. In order for a diamond to burn, it must be heated to one-thousand, two-hundred, and ninety-two degrees Fahrenheit.


Anonymous said...

I totaly agree with you. There is no reason that anyone as to wear diamonds that are mined. Except for the fact they can. Lab diamonds can even fool profesionals at times. and Why should we use all thoughs resource for something that can be made and is perfect.????????

Anonymous said...

What you bought for $400 is not a lab diamond, but rather a diamond simulant. A lab diamond is identical to a mined diamond in every way. They are only made by a couple companies (D.NEA, Apollo, Gemesis, etc.) and are still in the thousands of dollars.

Diamond simulants are CZ, moissanite and others. These may look like a diamond but do not have all the same properties as diamonds. They are pretty in their own right, but are not lab diamonds.

Leslie Todd said...

I've been to the diamond mine in Arkansas. It was fun but not something I'd want to do every day. I went with a large group and none of us found any diamonds. It was hard work too. Take a shovel and digging tools that you can handle.

The quartz crystal mines in Hot Springs, Arkansas are much more fun. It's a lot easier to spot nice crystals.

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