Diamonds 101

All colors.Diamonds most commonly occur in shades of yellow and brown. The rarer stones are colorless and the rarest are reds, blues, pinks, greens in intense saturation.

Diamonds are the hardest of all gemstones. That refers to their ability to scratch. But they can be broken along their four planes of inherent cleavage.

Diamond deposits are found world wide. The most noteable being Africa, Australia, India and most recently Canada.

C (Carbon)

Diamonds have long been valued for their hardness and incredible brilliance.

Chemically a diamond is pure carbon, just like the graphite used in pencils. Diamonds' hardness is the result of extremely strong chemical bonds between the carbon atoms. Although most people think of diamonds as colorless, they actually occur in almost every color. Diamonds were viewed as talisman by the ancient Hindus in India, which is where diamonds were first discovered. The most powerful stones were thought to be naturally occurring octahedrons of exceptional clarity that exhibited fire. These stones would bring the owner power, wealth, everlasting youth and good fortune. It was believed that flawed or inclusive stones could have quite the opposite effect. During the first century AD prominent Romans wore uncut diamonds set in rings also as talismans. For hundreds of years it was believed that diamonds had gender. As late as 1566, Francois Ruet described two diamonds as having offspring. The first diamond engagement ring was given to Mary of Burgundy by Maximillian in 1477.

© 2017 Barbra Voltaire, FGG, GG ,NAJA,  JAW, AIJV



Accredited Senior Gemologist, Geologist and Member of the National Association of Jewelry Appraisers, with over 35 years of professional experience in every aspect of the jewelry industry. My goal is to provide careful, fair and consistent grading, appraisals and valuations in a timely fashion.

  • Bachelor's Degree in Geology,

  • Graduate Gemologist, DGemG

  • Graduate Gemologist, GIA

  • Accredited Senior Gemologist

  • National Association of Jewelry Appraisers

  • Association of Independent Jewellery Valuers

  • Jewellery Appraisers of the World

Offering independent and unbiased appraisals and gemological/jewelry services in the San Francisco Bay Area. The focus of our business is on the appraisal of fine jewelry for the jewelry trade, buying public, financial institutions, probate attorneys and the insurance industry.