Foxfire Jewelers The Creative Custom Jewelry Studio since 1985

2250 North Coast Highway Newport Oregon 97365

(541) 265-RING    (541) 265-7464


Neither the rarest nor most expensive of gemstones, Diamond is nevertheless the most celebrated.
Why then mankind's long-held fascination with this usually near colorless stone?

Diamond is hard. Ten on the Moh's scale of 1-10, Diamond is approximately 140 times harder than any other mineral. The supreme hardness means that Diamond, while it can be shattered, cannot be scratched by anything other than another diamond. This hardness caused the ancient Greeks to name the stone "Adamas," which means invincible. Later this evolved into the word diamond.

Diamond is distintive in the way it reflects light. It has a unique brilliance and also breaks the light up into spectral colors which dance within the stone as it is moved. Another unusual quality of a Diamond is its purity. A gem quality diamond is among the purest elements found in nature.

So, just what is Diamond? It is the element carbon, crystallized in an inimitable molecular structure that makes it so hard and beautiful. Diamond has a crystal form in the cubic system, and most often occurs as an octahedron shape. An octahedron is like a pair of four sided, pyramids placed together base to base.

Diamonds actually occur in all different colors, true red being most rare, followed by blue. Diamonds formed deep within the earth where the pressure and heat are intense.

Volcanic activity eons ago brought diamond to the surface where it is found today in either the original volcanic rock formations or where it has weathered out and washed away from them. The cores of ancient volcanos that hold diamonds are composed of a mineral called Kimberlite and occur in many areas of the world. Diamond mining is quite a job. For each one carat Diamond, an average of 260 tons of ground must be moved.

The principle producers of Diamonds today are Australia, the Soviet Union, and several different nations in southern Africa. Diamonds, though, are found in small quantities in many places, even the USA.

Because of its unusual qualities Diamond occupies a powerful place in folklore. It was not until the 16th century that Diamond was first able to be cut and polished, thereby yielding it's true beauty. Still, the Ancient Greeks wore Diamonds into battle on their shields believing the stones could lend them their invincibility.

In Medieval times, uncut octahedron Diamond crystals were often set into rings, and their exposed points earned these rings the name "Glass Cutter Rings." Diamond was believed to symbolize purity and innocence, and a joyful life of faith and piety. It also offered the ability to detect poison, as its surface was said to cloud in the toxin's presence.

The Ancients knew Diamond as the king of gems, and credited it with strong powers to ward off evil, protect people from lightning, and give courage to soldiers in battle. They thought that the only way to break the gem was to first steep it in goat's blood.

The tale is told of how early Diamond merchants from Europe sometimes took advantage of the locals' in India, an early source of Diamonds. They would smash the local miner's large Diamond with a hammer thus "proving" it not to be a true Diamond, then return later to collect the remaining pieces from which smaller gems could still be cut.

Today, Diamonds are widely thought of as a symbol of romantic love, prized since the Duke of Burgundy's time as the stone of choice for engagement rings. The Gemstone's durability and resistance to wear has also led to the saying "a Diamond is forever."
Hardness: 10
Toughness: Excellent
Birthstone: April