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Diamonds are one of the most valued gems found on earth. A diamond is a crystal made up of 99.95 percent pure carbon atoms arranged in an isometric, or cubic, crystal layout. It is this unique arrangement of the carbon atoms that makes diamonds look and behave differently from other pure carbon minerals such as graphite (the soft black material used to make pencils). Diamonds are carried to the surface by kimberlite, pipes which form in certain types of volcanoes. The Greek word for diamond means "unconquerable." This is because diamonds are the hardest substance on earth. But because they have grain, they can be chipped into smaller sizes and into the desired cut, if struck properly. However, only a diamond can cut another diamond. Eighty percent of the world's diamonds are not suitable for jewelry. A good cut gives a diamond its brilliance. The angles and finish of any diamond are what determine its ability to handle light. The ideal cut for a particular diamond is one that maximizes its brilliance. The biggest loose rough diamond ever discovered is the Cullinan Diamond found in South Africa. It is 3,106 carats. The usual round diamond possesses 58 facets--33 on the top (crown) and 25 on the bottom (pavilion). A facet is the smooth, flat face on the diamond's surface. This allows light to enter a diamond and reflect off its surface at different angles, creating the wonderful play of color and light for which diamonds are famous. The shape, quantity, and arrangement of these facets will differ slightly among other fancy shapes which include round, princess, emerald, asscher, marquise, oval, radiant, heart, pear and cushion. For the person who finds joy in possessing one of the greatest luxuries that money can buy, highquality diamonds are ideal for the utmost satisfaction.

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An Introduction To Loose Diamonds