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Interesting Facts
Antique 19thC Hand Faceted White 1/2ct Siberian Diamond Gemstone 5mm Gold Ring - $999.99 #54497


For Customers outside of USA

Antique Hand Faceted Genuine Natural 5mm Faceted White Diamond Round Precious Gemstone. Contemporary High Quality Solid 14kt Yellow Gold Ring (Size 7 – Resizing Available).

CLASSIFICATION: Faceted White Diamond Color Graded "I" [Color].

ORIGIN: Siberia, Russia. 19th Century.

SIZE: Approximate Diameter: 5mm. Approximate Thickness: 3mm.

WEIGHT: Approximately 0.49 carats.

NOTES: Resizing is available. 14kt solid white gold setting is also available.

DETAIL: Though this is not an exceptionally high quality diamond (and Siberia does produce some magnificent diamonds), it is nonetheless gorgeous, sparkling white diamond round which is to to casual examination eye clean. It would be very suitable for a nice ring or pendant. The gemstone was hand crafted and faceted by a 19th century Russian artisan, part of an heritage renown for the production of the elaborate gemstones and jewelry of the Czars of Medieval, Renaissance, and Victorian Russia. The round cut is very similar to the brilliant round faceted finish given to contemporary round diamonds (a "brilliant" cut). In fact the cut could be properly called the "precursor" to the more modern finish. This is nice, white diamond with nice fire and brilliance, and no noticeable dark (carbon) inclusions

Although by contemporary standards this is of very humble grade, but the standards of the 19th century when this particular gemstone was crafted, it was a very expensive and exclusive gemstone (keep in mind this was produced before the discovery of massive high-grade diamond deposits in South Africa). The trained eye will easily discern the tell-tale indicators that this gemstone was hand cut and hand faceted. The coarseness of the 19th century finish is considered appealing to most gemstone collectors, and is not considered a detriment. In fact these characteristics of hand crafted gemstones are considered part and parcel of the magic of such antique gemstones. Unlike today's computer controlled machine processes, the cut and finish of gemstones such as these is the legacy of an artisan who lived two centuries ago. Such antique hand-faceted gemstones possess much greater character and appeal than today's mass-produced machine-faceted gemstones.

This diamond has great luster and very nice sparkle, and to the eye is more or less transparent, but it is not anywhere near flawless. True, the blemishes it possesses are near invisible to the naked eye, and the gemstone could be characterized, to use trade jargon, as "near eye clean". However magnified 400% or 500%, as it is here, you can see minor blemishes (colorless imperfections) within the gemstone and occasional irregularities in the finish. But these characteristics are not only expected of hand-finished gemstones, you must also consider that two centuries ago the mining techniques even possible then, let alone in practice, did not allow the ultra deep mining operations which are so commonplace today.

Two centuries ago mankind was more or less limited to surface deposits or near surface deposits of gemstones. Higher quality gemstones which today are routinely mined from beneath hundreds of meters, even kilometers beneath the earth's surface, were simply inaccessible then. So antique gemstones must be appreciated as antiques first, gemstones second. The relatively superlative quality of contemporary gemstones routinely mined from deep beneath the earth's surface today were simply not accessible two centuries ago, or at least, only rarely so. However for most, the unique nature and character of antique gemstones such as this more than makes up for included imperfections which by and large, are only visible under magnification. The setting is of contemporary origin. It is a high quality setting manufactured by one of the USA’s leading semi-custom mount producers. It is constructed of solid 14kt yellow gold (NOT merely gold plate). We do have the ability to have the ring sent out for resizing if requested. Additionally, if preferred, the mounting is also available in 14kt solid white gold.

HISTORY: In the ancient world there was only one source of diamonds:India. Bombay remains today one of the world's great diamond cutting centers (along with New York, Tel Aviv, and Antwerp). Over 800,000 cutters are employed in the city of Bombay alone; cutting 90% of the world's diamonds. The diamonds we offer here originate from the Majhgawan pipe, near Panna, India, which was discovered in 1827. However India is no longer a big producer of mined diamonds, producing only about 20,000 carats a year. Australia produces 2,000 times more diamonds each year - about 40 million carats a year; followed by 20 million a year for the Congolese Republic, 15 million a year for Botswana, and 10 million a year each for Russia and South Africa. However this region of India did produce some of the world's greatest diamonds, including the Great Mogul (793 carats), the Regent (410 carats), the Nizam (340 carats), the Orloff (194 carats), the Kohinoor (132 carats), and the Hope or Blue Tavernier (112 carats). If you would like to learn more about the Indian diamonds of Panna, please click here.

The traditional Indian supplies of diamonds which had fed the appetites of the ancient world for thousands of years were almost exhausted when enormous new alluvial deposits of diamonds were discovered in 1725 in Brazil, followed by the staggering discoveries of 1870 in South Africa. Perhaps the earliest symbolic use of diamonds was as the eyes of Hindu devotional statues. The diamonds themselves were thought to be endowments from the gods and were therefore cherished. The point at which diamonds assumed their divine status is not known, but early texts indicate they were recognized in India since at least 400 B.C. The word most generally used for diamond in Sanskrit was vajra, or "thunderbolt," and the possession of diamond was according to ancient Hindu texts thought to bring, "happiness, prosperity, children, riches, grain, cows and meat. (As well) he who wears a diamond will see dangers recede from him whether he (is) threatened by serpents, fire, poison, sickness, thieves, flood or evil spirits."

It is believed that the first Russian diamonds were found by a boy on June 22, 1829, at the Biszer Gold Washings, of the Countess Porlier, about 160 miles to the west of the town of Perm, Russia. Just at that time Humboldt was exploring the Urals, and his companions are said to have found diamonds at the above mentioned locality. The Krestovosdvigensk gold workings acquired some reputation for its Diamonds, and a portion was at one time worked exclusively for these stones. However diamond finds in Russia remained very rare. However at the conclusion of World War Two, for Russia (which had evolved into the Soviet Union), diamonds in the postwar years were a strategic objective of the highest priority, critical for many industrial applications.

When the Cold War began in 1947, the Soviet Union had no secure source of industrial diamonds. It was entirely dependent on the De Beers cartel for the diamond drilling stones it needed in order to explore for oil and gas, the diamond die stones it needed to produce precision parts and draw out fine wire, and the diamond abrasives it needed to grind machine tools and armaments. Without a continuous supply of these industrial diamonds, it would be impossible for it to rebuild its war-wrecked economy-or to effectively rearm its military machine. Stalin, fully realizing that his crucial supply of diamonds could be cut off at any moment by an embargo, demanded that Russian geologists and scientists develop a more dependable source of diamonds.

The best hope to achieve this ambition was a vast program involved the systematic prospecting of the vast unexplored regions of Soviet Siberia, to seek out the type of volcanic vent pipes which had produced the rich supplies of diamonds in South Africa. The search for diamonds focused on the Siberian plateau in Yakutia Province that lay between the Lena and Yenisei rivers, which Russian geologists concluded resembled geologically the "shield" of South Africa. Both formations had remained stable for cons of geological time, and neither had been deformed or "folded" by convolutions of the earth. Since kimberlite pipes had been found on the South African shield, Russian geologists theorized that they might also exist in this Yakutian shield. It took eight years of massive efforts to finally realize this goal, in 1955.

More pipes were later discovered on the very edge of the Arctic Circle. To service these mines in the "pole of cold," as this region is called by the Russians, the Russians erected an entirely new city, Aikhal. In early 1962, the Soviet Union agreed to sell virtually all of its uncut gem-grade diamonds to the De Beers Cartel. Within a few years, diamond production was nearly ten million carats a year, and the Soviet Union exported some two million carats as gems. By 1976 production soared to 16 million carats. Today, most commercially viable diamond deposits in the world are located in Russia (mostly in Sakha Republic, for example Mir pipe and Udachnaya pipe); as well as in Botswana, Australia (Northern and Western Australia) and the Democratic Republic of Congo. In 2005, Russia produced almost one-fifth of the global diamond output.

The ancient Greeks believed diamonds were tears of the gods; and it is from the Greek word adamas, "untameable" or "unconquerable", referring to its hardness, that the word "diamond" is derived. The ancient Romans believed that diamonds were splinters of fallen stars. The presence of diamond in Rome is established by the writings of Pliny the Elder (23-79 A.D.). Unfortunately according to Pliny, "these stones are tested upon the anvil, and will resist the blow to such an extent as to make the iron rebound and the very anvil split asunder." One can only imagine the numbers of genuine diamonds smashed into splinters by this ill-advised test. However even diamond splinters were valued by the Romans who used diamond points set into iron scribes to engrave sapphires, cameos, and intaglios. Even early Chinese references to diamond cite its coming from Rome in iron scribes. Chinese interest in diamond was strictly as an engraving or carving tool, primarily for jade, or as a drill for beads and pearls.

In western culture, diamonds are the traditional emblem of fearlessness and virtue. Though most of the world's diamonds are cut in Bombay, over 90% of the world's rough diamonds are traded in Antwrep, Belgium. Between the 13th and 15th centuries the world's diamond center had been Bruges; then Antwerp until the city's capture by the Spanish in 1585 A.D.; then Amsterdam through the early 19th century, then back to Antwrep. The Portuguese colony of Goa was the point of origin for diamonds from India, the trade route developing from Goa to Lisbon to Antwerp and thus cutting out the traditional Arabic middle men. Small numbers of diamonds begin appearing in European regalia and jewelry in the 13th century, set as accent points among pearls in splendidly wrought gold. Louis IX of France (1214-70 A.D.) decreed that diamonds were to be reserved for royalty alone, an indication of the rarity of diamonds and the value conferred on them at that time.

The history of diamond cutting can be traced to the late Middle Ages before which time diamonds were enjoyed in their natural octahedral state. At the time, diamond was valued chiefly for its brilliant lustre and superlative hardness. The most common ("table") cut diamond would appear black to the eye, as they do in paintings of the era. Diamond cutting is believed to have originated in Venice about 1330 A.D. By 1375 A.D. there was a guild of diamond polishers in Nurnberg. About a hundred years later absolute symmetry in the disposition of faceting was introduced and the most common cuts were known as pendeloque or briolette. About the middle of the 16th century, the rose cut was introduced. The first "brilliant cut" was introduced in the middle of the 17th century. By the 16th century as diamonds became larger and more prominent, their popularity had spread from royalty to the noble classes. This was in part a response to the development of diamond faceting, which enhanced their brilliance and fire. By the 17th century diamonds were becoming popular with the wealthy merchant class.

Diamonds occur in a variety of colors - steel, white, blue, yellow, orange, red, green, pink, brown and black. The most common diamonds, and arguably the most sought after (though not the rarest) are pure and colorless. The most common impurity is nitrogen, which if dispersed will give the stone a yellowish tint (but if clustered does not affect the diamond's color). Diamonds without nitrogen impurities are often colored pink, red, or brown - the color arising from molecular structural anomalies. Blue diamonds are colored by boron impurities. A form of carbon, diamonds are not "forever", even the Romans demonstrated that they will burn (or decay with heat). However a diamond is likely the oldest thing you will ever own, probably 3 billion years in age, fully two thirds the age of the Earth. Diamonds are carbon crystals that form deep within the Earth under high temperatures and extreme pressures. For instance when as part of "plate teutonics" an ocean floor slides beneath the earth's crust and into the mantle, entrapped organic carbon may eventually become diamond. They are created at depths generally more than 150 kilometers down into the mantle.

Diamonds are brought back to the surface in a rare form of molten rock, or magma. that originates at great depths, which rises and erupts in small but violent volcanoes. When cooled, just beneath such volcanoes is a carrot-shaped "pipe" filled with volcanic rock, mantle fragments, and embedded diamonds. Diamonds also form as a result of the immense pressures created by meteor impacts. Meteorites also experience impacts themselves and can contain diamonds. And the most ancient meteorite material contains star dust, the remnants of the death of stars. Some of this star dust are very small diamonds and are older than the solar system itself. New studies indicate that they formed more than 5 billion years ago in flashes of radiation from dying red-giant stars into surrounding clouds of methane-rich gas. If you would like to learn more about diamonds, please click here to visit a great web site by the American Museum of Natural History. If you would like to learn how diamonds are graded, please click here.

SHIPPING OPTIONS: All purchases are backed by an unlimited guarantee of satisfaction and authenticity. If for any reason you are not entirely satisfied with your purchase, you may return it for a complete and immediate refund of your entire purchase price. Most of these antique gemstones were originally part of two collections, one originating in India principally composed of gemstones originally mined in India, Burma, Ceylon, and Siam, and then hand faceted in India. The addition of a second accumulation of antique gemstones originally mined in the Urals in the mid to late 19th century (including alexandrite) completed the collection. These gemstones as well were hand finished. The Urals have been one of the world's major sources of precious and semi-precious gemstones for many centuries. As well, additional specimens are occasionally acquired from other institutions and dealers in Eastern Europe and Asia. These antique gemstones are now in the United States and are available for immediate delivery.

We ship inventory from the USA order fulfillment center near Seattle, Washington. Your purchase will ordinarily be shipping within 48 hours of payment. A certificate of authenticity is available upon request. We prefer your personal check or money order over any other form of payment - and we will ship immediately upon receipt of your check (no "holds"). We will accept PayPal payments. Please see our "ADDITIONAL TERMS OF SALE".