Diamonds are precious stones that have intrigued the world for thousands of years. Sought after by royalty, movie stars and everyday hopeful romantics, diamonds are purchased more than any other precious stone for their beauty and brilliance.
When mined from the ground, most diamonds appear rough and unevenly shaped. Many stones are colorless, while others appear in pale shades of yellow, red, orange, green, blue, brown, and even black in their raw form. Raw, uncut stones often appear quite ordinary without the brilliance found in polished gem stones. In the 18th century, many gold miners threw away a fortune in unrecognized diamonds while panning in the mines.
Diamonds are admired for their amazing brilliance, but what actually causes this? The answer is light and reflection. When diamonds are cut and faceted, they become the perfect object to reflect light. Light enters a faceted gemstone from all sides, then it bounces back and forth through the stone before it finds its way back out. As the light changes direction it creates a brilliant reflection of white light and color that gives diamonds their beautiful appearance. Colors like yellow, orange, red, green, blue and violet all bend and reflect inside the stone. If you examine a faceted diamond closely, you’ll see that it soaks up light and breaks it apart like a prism, dispersing the light into a rainbow of colors. Other natural gemstones also reflect light to some degree, but no other stone even comes close to a diamond’s ability to produce a brilliant rainbow of subtle colors and brilliance.
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