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Despite their humble origins as plain carbon, cousin to soot and graphite, diamonds are the hardest substance known to humankind. This makes them invaluable for a variety of applications, from drilling in rock to providing the best polishing powder possible. It seems sheer luck that diamonds also possess an extraordinary crystalline structure that, when cut and polished, can outshine the beauty of any other gem. Diamonds have been known since ancient times, especially in India, where the first diamond industry flourished; India was the exclusive source of diamonds from about 900 BC to 1725, when they were discovered in Brazil. Initially, diamonds were most prized in their natural eight-sided shapes, due to Indian taboos against cutting them into gem-shapes. But by the 1300s, diamonds were imported into Europe, where the taboos against cutting them quickly went the way of the dodo. Diamonds soon became the gems-of-choice for those who could afford them; the first recorded diamond engagement ring was presented by Archduke Maximillian of Hamburg to Mary of Burgundy in 1477.

18K Yellow Gold Setting with Graduating Pavé-set Side Diamonds

Yellow Gold Setting with Graduating Pavé-set Side Diamonds

White Gold Raised Setting with Princess Diamond Accents

White Gold Raised Setting with Princess Diamond Accents

Yellow Gold Setting with Baguette Side Stones

Yellow Gold Setting with Baguette Side Stones

White Gold Fluted Diamond Engagement Setting

White Gold Pave Diamond Engagement Setting

Platinum Setting With Sidestones

Platinum Setting With Sidestones

Platinum & 18K Yellow Gold Diamond Cathedral Pavé Setting

Platinum Diamond Cathedral Pavé Setting

Platinum Princess-cut Setting

Platinum Princess-cut Setting

White Gold Common-prong Diamond Engagement Setting

White Gold Common-prong Diamond Engagement Setting

Besides their hardness and sparkle, diamonds have long been valued for their rarity. Diamonds are formed hundreds of miles underground in zones of great heat and pressure, and are brought to the surface in volcanic "pipes" made of a rock called kimberlite. Not all kimberlites contain diamonds; however, those in South Africa and Siberia do, and have spawned a thriving diamond industry in both regions. Russian mines in Siberia, which are owned by a company called Alrosa, produce almost $3 billion worth of diamonds a year -- 20 percent of the world's total. Diamonds can also be found in the southeastern United States, Canada, and Brazil, but less often in commercial quantities.

Central and southern Africa share the world's highest concentration of diamonds, and it is those regions that have become the world's diamond-mining centers. The rich volcanic history of that part of the world has resulted in the creation of huge numbers of kimberlite pipes, most of which produce diamonds. Diamonds are often mined from water-deposited sediments, where erosion has placed them, and African sources currently yield the majority of the 30 million carats (13,000 pounds) of gem-quality diamonds produced each year. Another 100 million carats (44,000 pounds) of bort, or industrial-quality diamonds, are produced annually by the entire industry. Most bort is used for drilling, or is ground into powder for polishing. Nearly all gem-quality diamonds are funneled through diamond trading centers such as London, New York, and especially Antwerp, Belgium. Since 1888, over half of the world's diamonds have been controlled by a single company, De Beers, which is based in Johannesburg, South Africa and London.

Synthetic diamonds have been available since the 1950s, but are most often used for polishing, drilling, cutting, and grinding. Currently, about 400 million carats (88 tons) of synthetic diamonds are produced yearly for these purposes. There is some hope that synthetic diamonds may also find use as semiconductors and even computer chips. Until recently, synthetic diamonds were not viable as gemstones; however, recent processes using very high heat and pressures have produced striking colored gemstones, which may soon rival natural diamonds in quality and, especially, price.

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I want to thank you and your staff on the work that you all have done and have the patience to work with us on this most special event that will take place this August....
Charles

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I just like to say that you have provided exceptional customer service and all my expectations have been met. I had my diamond ring appraised in Canada and it was exact to specs even...
Andrew

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Hello, I just wanted to write ya'll to say thank you very much for a smooth and professional transaction. The ring is absolutely stunning. Jen...my fiancée(she said yes) loves it! She also wants to buy...
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I do buy a lot online, but I research and review countless hours. I wanted a jeweler with superior craftsmanship and experience, while also having a selection that was unlike anything I saw locally. I...
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I'd just like to tell you that my fiance purchased my engagement ring from you, and it is absolutely beautiful! He had wonderful things to say about his experience with your company. Thank...
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I just wanted to send you a quick note thanking you for the INCREDIBLE job you did on my fiance's ring. I appreciate all of the work that you did on the ring and for...
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I just got home from my trip to New York. THANKS A LOT!! The rings arrived yesterday. We had been out and when we returned, the FEDEX box was in my room...
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Thank you for taking me through this process. It was easier than I could have imagined. The ring looks spectacular; I know my girlfriend will love it. It was a pleasure doing...
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I received your package this morning. The comunication, service and delivery were outstanding. The diamond looks like a dream. Thank you again for all your help....
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Just a quick Thank You. The ring is perfect and the service was even better! Delivered, as promised and on time. I wish all of my purchasing experiences were as good. Thanks....
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My fiancée and I couldn't be happier with the ring we got from Novori! The staff patiently helped me search for the perfect stone; while still keeping within my budget. The setting was...
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Thanks a lot for your assistance through this process. You've been a huge help, and I will be sure to let others know of my experience with you. I didn't think the timing and everything...
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We received the tension set engagement ring with the white sapphire. True to your word, the stone is beautiful. We are getting married in Mexico at the end of this month. I want to...
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The ring came in and it's absolutely PERFECT and beautiful. I cannot believe how much I like it, and she loves it as well. Thank you very much for all of your help...
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