The word diamond originates from two Greek terms: “adamas”(indomitable) and “diaphanes” (transparent). Its use dates back to 1000 D.C. in India, which was when the stone began to be cut and people started to appreciate its beauty, created by the light reflected by its facets. Over time, a diamond mounted on a ring, due to the inalterability of the stone, assumed the meaning of marriage and the eternity of the bond of love. A diamond is judged by four different characteristics, which can be combined in many ways and thereby determine the value of the gem.
The colour of a diamond is perhaps its most obvious characteristic, distinguishable even with the naked eye. In general, the whiter the diamond, the more light passes through the stone, easily reflecting towards the observer. The colour of a diamond greatly affects the value of every single stone, contributing significantly to its price.
Diamonds classified according to the GIA scale as “colourless” (D-E-F) are exceptionally rare and difficult to distinguish without directly comparing them to those of the following bands (G- H).Clarity
Almost all diamonds contain minute traces of non-crystallized carbon, the element from which they originated. Many of these traces are not discernible to the naked eye and need to be enlarged to become visible. They are called inclusions and are the natural fingerprints which make each diamond unique.
For thousands of years, the ruby (a symbol of passion) has been considered one of the most precious gems, thanks to its splendid colour and excellent hardness. A variation of the corundum, it can take on different shades of red, from very intense to a faded red, depending on the amount of chromium oxide present. The name derives from the Latin “rubeus”, but the most common definition is “pigeon blood”, supposedly originating from the custom of a marajà who used to ask merchants to exhibit their stones on a white tablecloth on which he had dropped a few drops of pigeon blood, thus enabling him to choose the stones with the most similar colour. After the diamond, the ruby, like the sapphire, is the hardest stone, whose frequent inclusions do not diminish its value. On the contrary, they give it a natural paternity.
The emerald is the finest member of the beryl family, to which also sea water belongs. Its name derives from the Greek “smaragdos” and means green stone. The use of emeralds was very common, especially for rulers and religious authorities who saw the symbol of eternity in this stone. The emerald often has inclusions that, if not too large, do not diminish the value of the stone, but rather characterize it in a unique way which guarantees their natural origin. The cutting of these gems always represents a new challenge, even for the most experienced cutters: the high value of the raw crystal and, above all, its frequent inclusions make cutting and embedding difficult.
The sapphire, like the ruby, is a variety of the corundum, and its name comes from the Greek “sappheiros”. In addition to the classic blue tones, there are sapphires of various colours (pink, orange, yellow, green, violet) which are defined as “fancy” colours and which have the same value as the blue ones. Due to its exceptional hardness and stability, the sapphire symbolizes loyalty and trust, while at the same time expressing love and desire. The sapphire’s cut also represents a phase of fundamental importance, as it shows different colours depending on the perspective. For this reason, the cutter must align the orientation of the stone so that they can achieve the best possible colour. As with other gems, the sapphire’s value depends on its size, colour and transparency.
Like the emerald, this beautiful gem belongs to the beryl family. However, compared to the emerald, it has a greater colour uniformity. The aquamarine is usually almost free of inclusions and has a good hardness and breathtaking brilliance. It can take on many colours, ranging from a clear, light blue to the intense blue of the ocean. It evokes feelings of sympathy, trust, harmony and friendship. Its name derives from the Latin word “aqua”, which means water and sea. According to legend, it has its origin in the treasure of the legendary sirens, which is why the stone has been considered the lucky charm of sailors for many years now.
Depending on the area and type of mollusk in which the pearls used for jewellery grow, they are divided into the following types:
- Akoya pearls: Thanks to their perfectly round shape and their shining and luminous luster, Akoya pearls are the ones most commonly used in high-end jewellery.
- Freshwater pearls: These pearls come in a great variety of shapes and colours, as well as low prices. They remain second to Akoya pearls.
- Tahitian pearls: Tahitian pearls are the only naturally dark pearls, a characteristic that makes them particularly sought after and appreciated.
- Australian pearls: They are considered by collectors and jewelers the most beautiful pearls, due to their size, colour and surface characteristics.
The tsavorite is a very intense green stone, brilliant in all shades. Its hardness is comparable to that of the emerald. It owes its name to the Tsavo natural park located between Kenya and Tanzania, where the first deposits were discovered in 1967. Since then, it has been used by the leading jewelers due to its technical and aesthetic characteristics. It is the stone chosen by nature lovers.
The morganite was discovered in Madagascar in 1911 and initially called “Beryl Rose”. It was then renamed “morganite” by the gemologist George Frederick Kunz, who gave it this name in honor of his benefactor, New York banker and philanthropist John Pierpont Morgan. Belonging to the same family as the aquamarine and the emerald, the morganite is a translucent and transparent beryl. Traces of manganese give the stone its delicious pink, magnolia and peach tones. The extraction of the morganite takes place in Afghanistan, Brazil and Madagascar.
The weight of diamonds, like that of other gems, is expressed in carats. The word has its origin in past times, when the seeds of the carob tree were used (with a surprisingly regular result) to weigh gems. In 1914, the system was unified and the carat was standardized as a unit of corresponding weight at 0.20 grams or a fifth of a gram. One carat is divided into one hundred points.
The weight of the mounted stones is indicative and may vary due to the specific characteristics of the object.