Tuesday, June 2, 2009

DIAMONDS ARE A GIRL'S BEST FRIEND...




''The French are glad to die for love.
 
They delight in fighting duels.

But I prefer a man who lives and gives expensive jewels.

A kiss on the hand may be quite continental,

But diamonds are a girl's best friend.''

These are the lyrics of the famous song in which Marilyn Monroe sang flaunting her sensuality in a pink robe wearing dazzling diamonds sparkling in her neck and wrists. Diamond is a nature made splendor exuding its luminous timeless energy. There is some aura attached to it that makes every women drop her jaw by looking at it...

There is a simple formula, that is JD ∝ DS {jaw dropping is equally proportional to the diamond size}

I am completely fascinated by this stone. I visited the diamond museum in Antwerp, Belgium and was in awe of the timeless pieces showcased there. There were diamonds as old as 18th century and it was marvelous to see them retain their capacity to capture light and reflect it with the same brilliance. We were not allowed to take our cameras inside so all I could capture was in my mind.

The word 'diamond' comes from the root word adamas in Greek which means unconquerable. India was the prime location for gemstone quality diamonds stones from 9th century to early 19th century. It was the first place where diamonds were found and mined. (We all know how we were looted of the all the wealth)Currently India has the foremost diamond polishing industry. (Just polish and return!!)

In the museum there was a display of the replicas of world famous diamonds. There were Culinan 1,Kohi-I-Noor,Centenary,Blue hope, The regent, Golden jubille........Though they were unreal, just to imagine something like them exists in the world which is of nature produce is quite thrilling. The museum gave a lot of information beginning from how diamonds are formed, mined, cut and polished.

Diamonds are nothing but carbon which is highly organized unlike the common lead that we see in our pencils. The recipe by how diamonds can be made is simple in 3 steps

• First bury carbon dioxide about 160 kilometers in to the earth.

• Then heat it well up to 1200 degree Celsius and squeeze under the pressure of 400 kilograms per square inch.

• Quickly cool by rushing it out to the earth's surface......Viola!! You have a diamond.
Hmm the recipe sounds simple but making is difficult ;)...Nowadays diamonds are synthesized artificially in the synthetic diamond manufacturer which can be flawless. Only a specialist can detect the difference between a natural and a synthetic diamond.

Heera hai sada ke liye'.....'Diamonds are forever'....This the punch line for DeBeers the world's largest supplier and marketer of diamonds in the world. It seems that before the world war took place diamond was considered just another precious stone, more value was given to rubies, sapphire, amethyst and other colored stones. DeBeers, late after the world war introduced their marketing strategies which slowly increased the demand for more diamonds and decreased its production to increase its rarity and value. By late 19th century every woman's desire was a diamond, thanks to the marketing skills of DeBeers. They made sure that if every man loved a woman he would have to spend a large chunk of his income in buying a diamond for her. They also introduced the trilogy ring which has 3 diamonds depicting the past, present and the future. They changed the image of diamond in the world.

Returning back to where I was initially, I finished seeing the museum and ventured into the many diamond shops lined together in Antwerp main city square. They have glass windows which exhibit various diamonds set in different jewelry items. Tourists and locals flock near the shops admiring the beauty of the stones embedded in gold and silver metals twisted into rings and other jewelry pieces seldom displaying their price.

When you go inside the shop, the shopkeepers start judging you with your attire. The prices can vary a lot. Sometimes the tag displays over 1 lakh rupees for a diamond ring but with bargain they can come down to 5o thousand rupees and even lesser. The price tags are in euros which I have roughly calculated. There are shops which can con a person with no knowledge of diamonds. Moreover for a customer it is hard to tell which stone is really worth the amount he is paying.

The minimal knowledge that is a must for anybody purchasing a diamond is 4C's.
1. Cut -It depends on the shape of the diamond, the common being the round cut. There are also pear, emerald, oval and heart shaped cut. The brilliance of the diamond depends upon the cut.

2. Color-The more colorless it is, the more is its value. They are generally rated from D to Z. The clearest being D which is rare to find, the color changes to yellow slowly down the scale to Z. There are red, blue, green color diamonds which are very rare and expensive.

3. Clarity-The gemological institute of America scale has 11 grades to rate the clarity. The more blemishes and inclusions a diamond has the lesser is its value.

4. Carat- This determines the weight of the diamond, the more is the carat value the larger and expensive is the diamond.
For me more than anything it is the dazzle that mesmerizes most. The beauty of it is more attributed to its cutter and polisher who can transform a plain rock into a splendid stone. I returned home more interested and tired at the same time with a small ring for my great mother.

Diamonds are indeed girl's best friend who asks a heavy price in return of their company! If you have a man who loves you dearly, he will find it for you.  But don’t measure your love with it.

Till next time....dazzle your 32 diamonds! ;)

Fizz