When most people think of diamonds, a brilliant, clear stone comes to mind. Their radiant sparkle has been adored for ages, but their origins are far different from their current use in jewelry. Diamonds have been worn and used for thousands of years. The earliest known diamond discovery was in India, 4th century B.C. At the time, their value was based in their durability and brilliance. They were treasured for their ability to cut and carve metals, and when worn, were believed to provide protection in battle. In early medieval times, diamonds were even thought to cure illnesses, so they were occasionally ingested!
Bright white, brilliant-cut diamonds weren’t popular until recent history, and were far rarer to come across--mainly because the skill of diamond cutting was limited by tools far cruder than those used today. When diamonds were first cut and worn as jewelry, they came in a rainbow of colors (and still do). There is a whole world of diamonds that many people don’t know about!
Less than 25% of all mined diamonds make their way into jewelry--the remainder are used in industrial applications, such as drilling, cutting, and grinding. And of that 25% that are considered good enough for jewelry, there are quite a few that don’t fit a lot of people’s perceptions of what a gem-quality diamond should look like….they might have unusual colors, be translucent rather than transparent, or have readily-distinguishable inclusions. All of these attributes are natural in origin--so don’t be fooled, these “flawed” diamonds are spectacular when they’re cut, or even set in their rough state!
An important thing to note is that with diamonds, pricing is related primarily to rarity, but cannot directly relate to beauty, since that is in the eye of the beholder. Many diamonds that look like these are met with disdain by jewelers. But, their beauty is being embraced widely by the jewelry-buying public. Could you imagine if the more elitist jewelers were in charge? They would want to use the diamonds in these rings for drilling, instead of wearing?!
Almost all diamonds have inclusions, some have more than others. This is due to the extreme heat and pressure diamonds are subjected to when they form. Rather than calling them “flaws,” we like to call them “birthmarks,” since no two are truly alike.