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Are Diamonds Really Forever?

In the past, the Greeks and the Romans thought that the diamonds were tears of Gods and small pieces of stars. There were also the Hindus, who thought that the diamonds had so much power that they put diamonds in the eyes of some of their statues. Other people believed that an unapproachable valley in Central Asia covered by diamonds existed. One said that this valley was “kept by birds of prey and protected by snakes of mortal stare”.

Besides believing that diamonds could attract luck and success, people also thought that they could defy the astrological events. Many people used them as jewels, supposing they would be increasing their sexual power and capacity to attract. Even Plato wrote about diamonds, describing them as living creatures, impersonating divine spirits.

Until the 15th century, only kings were allowed to use diamonds, having them as a symbol of courage, power and invincibility. But as the centuries passed by, the diamond started to acquire its status of sublime proof of love. Currently, they are related to the love, romance and myth.

We probably will never know when the first diamond was discovered, but we do know that, from the ancient times to the 18th century, all the diamonds of the world came from India. From the period of the Roman Empire to the appearance of the first Europeans to India, in the beginning of the 16th century, the commercial relations between Europe and Eastern Asia bloomed.

One of the main routes of the diamond commerce was in Venice. The city became the most important mercantile republic of the western world. It enjoyed the monopoly of the commerce of the diamond course to the main cities of the south of Germany until its final destiny, Brussels. Since this city became the final phase of the commercial route, it became a promising centre of diamond stature, and the reputation of the city in this sector did not stop increasing. Even though Brussels maintained their predominance until the end of the 14th century, they began to decline in a lapse of fifty years. The diamond trade and numerous other economic activities of Brussels were moved progressively to the city of Ambers, which offered more recent and better facilities for the communications and the commercial exchange. In 1866, the first diamond in South Africa was discovered. Following this was the discovery of the deposits of Kimberley few years later, giving birth to the fabulous era of Kimberley.

The word diamond comes from the Greek word ‘ adamas ‘, meaning invincible, and ‘ diaphanes ‘, that means transparent. In the past centuries, people believed that a diamond could reattach a wrecked marriage. It was used also in battles as a symbol of courage.

Even though the diamond is the hardest rock known by men, it is the only precious gem with only one element: carbon. Nevertheless, it can only be melted when exposed to a temperature of 5500 degrees Celsius! Billions of years before, the basic forces of heat and pressure miraculously transformed the carbon into diamond through volcano lava underneath the earth. In some way, this volcanic mass was expelled out of the earthly crust, cooling soon to be found as diamonds in rudimentary form. No acid can destroy them, and they are capable to cut anything on Earth, therefore, they only can be cut with themselves.

However, are the diamonds really forever? If they appeared miraculously, can they be destroyed? As incredible as it may seem, the small diamond that adorn the ring that you gave your wife will probably last forever – at least while Earth exists. They are the most resistant minerals of the planet, and only can be melted when displayed to a temperature of 5500°C. The problem is that the global atmosphere will never achieve this high temperature, even if it was to be hit by an enormous meteor that would eliminate all forms of life. They only would melt if, one day, the planet literally entered the Sun, which has a temperature of 5800°C. The curious thing is that, according to astronomers, in 7,5 billion years our planet will actually enter the Sun, when the star will be next to death. If you think diamonds will disappear then, you might be wrong. When such episode happens, the temperature of the Sun will lower to about 3000°C. That means that even when Earth reaches an atmosphere as hot and dense as Mercury’s atmosphere, we will still be able to find some small diamonds spread around.

 

What To Look For When It Comes To Diamond Quality !

 

If you want to begin judging diamond quality, you must first learn and understand the 4 C’s, which are four characteristics of diamonds that give the gemstone it’s overall value.  The 4 C’s for judging diamond quality include the diamonds colour, clarity, carats and cut.

 

Judging Col0ur

 

Most diamonds are considered to be ideal if they are transparent, or colourless.  Diamonds that are rated as colourless are the most expensive of diamonds.  The colours of diamonds are rated with an alphabet grading system that starts with “D” and ends with “Z”.  Completely colourless diamonds fall in the “D” and “E” grade, while coloured, fancy diamonds are at the other end of the alphabet, at “Y” and “Z”.

 

There are two main ways that jewellers’ use when judging diamond quality based on colour.  They may pull out a set of reference stones, and find the closest match between the diamond and the reference stone to determine its letter grade.  Alternatively, the jeweller may use a colorimeter, which can electronically measure the colour of the stone and determine its grade within 1/3 of a grade.

 

Judging Clarity

 

The clarity of a diamond refers to whether or not the diamond is clear all the way through, or whether it has tiny flaws and cloudy areas within the gemstone.  It’s actually very rare to have a diamond with absolute perfect clarity and no flaws, but most diamond flaws are not visible to the naked eye and can only be seen with a magnifying device.

 

The Gemmological Institute of America (GIA) uses a magnification of about 10x when judging diamond quality based on the clarity.  It is important to do your research before purchasing a diamond to be sure you are not spending more money than you should.

 

Judging Carat Weight

 

Carat is the term we used to describe the weight of a diamond gemstone.  One carat is equivalent to 200 milligrams of weight.  A single diamond with a high amount of carat weight is more expensive than the equivalent amount of carats in multiple stones.  This is because finding the larger diamonds is much more rare of an occurrence.  So if you want a 2-carat diamond ring, for example, you may decide to go with a half-carat diamond surrounded by smaller diamonds that add up to one and a half carats to give you the total of 2 carats!  Judging diamond quality by the amount of carats is difficult, since different shaped gemstones, and stones with different levels of clarity will be priced differently even if they have the same amount of carats.

 

 

 

Judging Cut

 

One of the most important factors in judging diamond quality is judging the cut of a diamond.  It’s important because a quality cut diamond will be more brilliant and reflects light more beautifully, and yet the cut of a diamond has the least impact on the overall price of the diamond.

 

When judging diamond quality on the cut of a diamond, look at the stone in a well lit area.  If the light seems to go into the stone and bounce back, showing a sparkling reflective surface, the diamond has a good cut.  The angles and shapes of a diamond are important to judging diamond quality and the overall appearance of your diamond.

 

There is much to consider when purchasing a diamond – especially diamond engagement rings! The tradition of presenting a woman with a diamond engagement ring when proposing began in 1477 when Archduke Maximilian presented a diamond ring to Mary of Burgundy – and in most cases, the woman you plan to propose to will expect a ring to accompany that proposal!

First, determine how much you can afford for the ring . Most people use the ‘two months salary’ rule. This means that the ring should cost the equivalent of two months of your current salary. Because you have other bills to pay, saving up this amount of money may take quite a bit of time. You should consider financing. Simply go to the jeweller of your choice and tell them that you plan to buy an engagement ring, and that financing will be necessary. Go ahead and get the credit check out of the way, find out what your payments will be, and how much of a down payment is required.

Now, have your mother, sister, or your girlfriends best friend take your girlfriend shopping, and make sure that they gaze at the engagement rings to get an idea of what she might like. Make sure that the jewellery store you buy the ring from will allow you to exchange the ring, if that is required so  your girlfriend can exchange it for another if she isn’t happy with it! Most jewellers will not give a refund but will allow an exchange for a ring of equal or more value !

 

BOOKSHOPS have lots of great love stories on the shelves, but the most romantic tale of all is in the window of one particular store with a special Valentine’s Day card display.

Among a sea of red, heart-shaped cards in the window of Hodges Figgis in Dublin was one larger one, bearing a marriage proposal from Karl Devlin to his girlfriend Louise Fitzpatrick.

And last night, as the rain fell, Karl led her to the bookshop, on the pretext of doing some publicity for the store which explained the waiting photographer.

Innocently Louise examined the messages of love inscribed from customers until her eyes fell on the one intended for her: “To Louise, let’s not wait till 2028, love Karl.”

With a shocked scream, she turned to her partner, eyes already brimming with tears. The reference to 2028 was their private joke – the reply Karl would always make when other couples teased them about when they would tie the knot.

Louise’s delighted face was enough answer for any man to one of the most important questions he will ever ask.

So Karl, a landscape gardener from Newtownmountkennedy in Co Wicklow, was spared going down on bended knee in the puddles.

He had already taken the traditional step of asking Louise’s father for his daughter’s hand in marriage.

Louise, who is from Bray, and Karl are expecting their first baby together in May and plan to spend the next few months planning the perfect wedding.

But Louise’s first call last night was to be to her mum.

Karl’s brother Stephen is the window dresser and event organiser in Hodges Figgis. His idea for a window of St Valentine’s Day messages was a big success, attracting over 160, from the truly romantic to the witty.

JOHN SPAIN AND GRAINNE CUNNINGHAM  Inish Independent– 13 FEBRUARY 2013

1) You’ve Got it Goin’ On !!!

It takes two people to make a relationship. This means you enjoy a full life with friends, family, a career and social life that fulfill you. You’re confident, and you don’t expect marriage to instantly fix your problems.

2) You Enjoy the Mundane Moments

Marriage is not one long date. Being ready to get engaged means that you truly enjoy each other’s company. You’re okay with just being together sometimes, even while running errands or doing chores.

3) You’re Ready to Burn your Little Black Book

Marriage means being exclusive with one person for the rest of your life. In many cases, it also means forsaking contact with exes and anyone else who may threaten your union. If the idea of monogamy makes you feel secure and confident in your relationship, then engagement will be a comfortable next step for you.

4) You Bring out the Best in each Other

Cheesy, we know. But ask yourself if this person makes you a better person. Are you kinder, more patient and more pleasant to be around when your snookums is near?

5) You’re a Team Player

Compromise isn’t always 50/50. Sometimes it’s 100/0. If you want to vacation at Disney World but your mate would rather go to the Bahamas, then a 50/50 compromise leaves you both adrift in the Atlantic Ocean. You’re ready to get engaged if you can handle not getting your way sometimes. It’s not about winners and losers. It’s not about being a doormat. It’s about using “we” statements and serving someone besides yourself.

6) You Cheerlead for Each Other

Before you swap rings you should already be each other’s biggest fans. When your sweetie masters a level of Guitar Hero, you’re there with a high five. When you complete that 5K run for charity, your honey surprises you at the finish line with a gift certificate for a massage.

7) You’re an Open Book

There are no off-limits topics with your main squeeze. You can get real about your worries, dreams, frustrations and mess-ups without fear of being judged. You can cry when you feel like crying. In marriage, living as a 24/7 partnership, there’s no way you can keep your guard up all the time. If you and your significant other enjoy a “you can tell me anything” relationship, then that’s a great start.

8) You Fight Fair

Every couple has conflicts. It’s how you handle them that makes the difference. If you can disagree respectfully, then your relationship is headed in the right direction.

9) You have Similar Values

You both want kids. Or you both don’t want kids. You’re both savers. Or you’re both spenders. You two don’t have to share a brain – after all, part of the beauty of marriage is that you’ll complement each other’s strengths and weaknesses – but it helps to be headed in the same direction. If you already agree on the big stuff, then smaller issues, like who does the laundry, will be easier to tackle.

10) Your Friends and Family Accept your Choice

Your main squeeze shares car care tips with your dad and sends birthday cards to your grandma. If the people who know you best give your sweetheart two thumbs up, then that’s a green flag to pop the question.

11) You’re Thinking Long Term

You start brown bagging your lunch and put the savings into a “rainy day” bank account. When picking out new furniture, you opt for the king-size bed so there’s room for two. You make long-term plans together, like booking a ski trip for next Valentine’s Day, because you assume you’ll still be a couple.

12) You’d Elope

Do you want a wedding or do you want to be married? The event is fun, but it lasts only one day. Would you still want to spend the rest of your life together even if there were no dress, cake and Cha Cha Slide? If so, then your desire to get hitched is probably coming from a pure place.

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