«Red fox agate» from Patagonia, Argentina
«Red fox agate» from Patagonia, Argentina
Natural etching structure on a crystal face of diamond (trigons), polarised light
Natural etching structure on a crystal face of diamond (trigons), polarised light
Spinel crystal in dolomite marble, Burma
Spinel crystal in dolomite marble, Burma
Fluid inclusions containing mica and quartz, in aquamarine from Pakistan
Fluid inclusions containing mica and quartz, in aquamarine from Pakistan
Inclusions of gilalite aggregates in rock crystal from Brazil
Inclusions of gilalite aggregates in rock crystal from Brazil
Two-phase inclusions in sapphire, Sri Lanka
Two-phase inclusions in sapphire, Sri Lanka
Inclusions of rutile (dark crystal and fine needles) and clusters of zircon grains in umbalite garnet, Tanzania
Inclusions of rutile (dark crystal and fine needles) and clusters of zircon grains in umbalite garnet, Tanzania
Midge included in amber from the Baltic coast, polarised light
Midge included in amber from the Baltic coast, polarised light
 
 

Diamond: A Symbol of Eternal Beauty

Without a doubt, the diamond is the most precious and hardest natural mineral known to man. It is the stone which unites the noblest qualities and which bears the title "king of all precious stones”. It is also the most extraordinary and the most mysterious of the mineral kingdom. It is the only gem that consists of one element: pure, cubic crystallised carbon. Coal and graphite also consist of pure carbon, the diamond however, differs from them by means of the arrangement of its atoms.

Fascinated by it’s extraordinary qualities, the Greeks baptised diamonds "Adamas", the invincible.

Since around 800 BC, the first diamonds were found in India, in alluvial deposits. It was only in the 18th century that deposits were discovered in Brazil, by the gold prospectors, who used them as vulgar tokens, unaware that the diamonds had more value than the gold they had extracted with difficulty from the river.

In 1866 the discovery of a peasant boy, Erasmus Stephanus Jacobs, unleashed the diamond fever in South Africa. This first diamond found in Africa weighed about 21 carats (about 4 grams) and was given the name "Eureka" at the world exhibition in Paris in 1867.

Diamonds

The glory of the diamond is due to its fascinating scintillation.