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Probably a dumb question about diamond origin

innerkitten

Ideal_Rock
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Aug 1, 2003
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Can an expert tell where a diamond originated from? Would a diamond from say Canada have different properties than one from South Africa, Angola, Russia, the US and so on. if so would they be obvious? I'm just curious because with colored stones there really does seem to be a difference. So I was wondering if it was the same with diamonds.
Thanks.
 

oldminer

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After a rough diamond has been fashioned into a cut diamond, there is no evidence left about location of its origin. There is evidence of origin in cut diamonds sufficient to note man-made from natural stones and treated diamonds from natural diamonds, but the location of a mine is not part of the retained evidence in the diamond. Maybe there is a mine that has a certain characteristic which is more common than other mines, such as fluorescence, body color or inclusion type, but it would not be sufficient to say for sure.

Basically a diamond is a pure element, not a mineral or a rock which is composed of many elements. Yes, there are slight impurities in diamonds, but most would not give a clue as to origin of the mined rough stone.
 

denverappraiser

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It's all about the paper trail, rather like the knowing the pedigree of your dog. Some mines and dealers are careful to keep records that flow through to the end customer and some aren't but there's no way to go backwards by looking at the stone. By all means if it's important to you, patronize those suppliers who make the information available.
 

innerkitten

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Oldminer|1303398439|2901860 said:
After a rough diamond has been fashioned into a cut diamond, there is no evidence left about location of its origin. There is evidence of origin in cut diamonds sufficient to note man-made from natural stones and treated diamonds from natural diamonds, but the location of a mine is not part of the retained evidence in the diamond. Maybe there is a mine that has a certain characteristic which is more common than other mines, such as fluorescence, body color or inclusion type, but it would not be sufficient to say for sure.

Basically a diamond is a pure element, not a mineral or a rock which is composed of many elements. Yes, there are slight impurities in diamonds, but most would not give a clue as to origin of the mined rough stone.
I didn't realize diamonds were elements and not minerals. Because it's just made from one thing, carbon. Intresting. You learn something new everyday!
Thanks.
 

innerkitten

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denverappraiser|1303402952|2901900 said:
It's all about the paper trail, rather like the knowing the pedigree of your dog. Some mines and dealers are careful to keep records that flow through to the end customer and some aren't but there's no way to go backwards by looking at the stone. By all means if it's important to you, patronize those suppliers who make the information available.
No I'm not looking right now. Just a little curious. Thanks!

P.S. Although having bought both my diamonds ( which I have in rings ) second hand I really have no idea where they came from. One's an old cut that came in it's original setting from the 20s. The other one I have no idea where she purchased it. Some local jeweler.
Something to think about.
 

Sky56

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Feb 27, 2010
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^ Me too. I buy just about all my jewelry from coin, pawn and antique shops. So, none of my pieces are pedigreed.
I agree if you buy new from vendors then papers from a reputable lab are important to have.
I use my eyes and my education (most of it learned here and elsewhere on-line) to determine pleasing stones to my eye.
I guess at color and clarity, and I often have jewelers later look at my pieces and they usually agree with my guesses.
I don't intend to re-sell, just wear and enjoy my jewelry, so I am OK with this though many would not go this route.
Most of my diamonds are old - cut many decades ago.
 

innerkitten

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Hi Sky! I am okay with 2nd hand diamonds too. I bought one on Craigslist at a great discount. I had it appraised to make sure I'd gotten a good deal ( it turned out to be a very nice diamond ). I paid a third of the price that I would have paid on Blue Nile or a similar site. If I was looking for a diamond I would consider going "used" again.
 

Sky56

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Feb 27, 2010
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Good to hear, innerkitten! =)
I love the thrill of the hunt with second-hand shopping and the possibilities of good bargains.
It takes a lot of patience because finding a nice, well-cut diamond if often a challenge when shopping the second-hand places.
I think it's because most people buy diamonds which aren't great quality to begin with.
I'm very happy with buying second-hand. I've never bought jewelry off of ebay or craigslist; I only buy out of shops. (I like to 'travel with loupe' and be viewing before I buy). I do a lot of trading, too; I've upgraded my collection this way often when I've gotten tired of some of my pieces. I've made quite a few mistakes but learned from them.
But I've known people who do very well buying off of those sites.
 

Wink

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I want to get back to the original topic for a moment. I was speaking with Paul Slegers on the phone and I asked him about this. He basically confirmed what David and Neil said, that you can not tell the origin of a polished diamond by looking at the diamond.

However, when buying parcels of rough the composition of the parcel is often a good indicator of the mining origin for buyers with enough experience. He is confident that his experience in this part of the diamond buying pipeline allows him to avoid diamonds from areas like Zimbabwe for instance.

Some of the labs and researches are now saying that they are in the process of developing a system that will allow the “DNA” of a diamond to be analyzed to the point that the origin can be determined. Paul has not yet seen this in practice however and he has some reservations about this, particularly with alluvial diamonds which may well have been transported by nature over the borders of one or more countries.

Wink
 
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