Why Diamond Rings Remain Popular for Engagement Ring Settings Around the World
Even though South Africa has many diamond mines, that is not the reason for the popularity of diamond rings in the country. Below are a few reasons why diamonds are the preferred stones for engagement rings not only in South Africa, but around the world.
Exceptional Strength and Durability
As the hardest natural substance on earth, the only thing in the world that can scratch a diamond is another diamond. Indeed, diamond is used in the cutters that cut these gemstones. Diamonds were used as engraving tools in ancient India and are still used today for similar purposes.
One-of-a-kind Crystal Structure
Made up of carbon only and formed under tremendous pressure and high temperatures, a unique bonding process takes place, which leads to the specific crystal structure of the gemstone.
Diamonds are not called gemstones for nothing. Diamonds are formed deep under the earth’s crust. Volcanic activity had brought the gemstones closer to the surface and in many instances, you can find diamonds above the surface. Although thousands of diamonds are mined annually, only 20% can be used for jewellery such as engagement rings. To get a single one-carat diamond, it is necessary to move over 240 tonnes of earth. The mining process is therefore very expensive. Only a fifth of diamonds is suited to further cutting and working to eventually get the beautiful gemstones suitable for rings. About 40-55% of the diamond’s weight is lost during the cutting process, so it is not difficult to understand why it is an expensive and appreciated stone for any type of jewellery.
Though a diamond can burn if the temperature is high enough, it will not be affected by natural elements, unless it is exposed to extreme heat from, for instance, a house or building fire. If you are looking for the perfect engagement ring that can eventually become an heirloom item then a diamond ring is the answer. The diamond will keep its beauty and can thus be considered a symbol of commitment that will last a lifetime.
Other Interesting Facts
The Romans believed that diamonds could ward off evil whilst in other cultures diamonds represented strength and invincibility. Indeed, the word diamond comes from a Greek word that means invincible.
Symbol of Romance
The romantic connotation can be traced back to ancient Rome where they also believed that Cupid’s arrows were dipped in diamond tears. The engagement ring, even in South Africa, is still worn on the left hand and on the second finger from left. This tradition has its roots in the belief that the left hand has to do with sinister elements and thus wearing the ring on the left hand is what helps to ward off evil. It also has to do with the belief that the ring finger is connected via a vein to the heart. In the Middle Ages people from European cultures even wore diamond jewellery for healing purposes.
Preferred Stone for Kings and Queens
Though South Africa is perhaps the best known for diamond mining, the stones are also mined in countries such as India, Russia, Botswana, and Angola, to name only a few. The world-famous Cullinan Diamond is South Africa. Known as the “Star of Africa”, it now forms part of the Queen of England’s royal jewellery. In France at once stage only the King was allowed to wear diamond jewellery.
Regardless of all the superstition and myths, diamonds are certainly worthy symbols of endurance, strength, and love. Kings, queens and ordinary people find joy in having diamonds as part of their jewellery.