At Precious Metals Refinery, we pay for all cuts, clarities, colors, and carats of diamonds. Unsure how much your diamonds are worth? Bring your diamonds into PMR for a free appraisal and walk out the door with cash in your hand.
Diamonds Purchased by PMR:
- Those mounted in rings, bracelets, earrings, necklaces, and watches
- Those with little or multiple inclusions (imperfections)
- White diamonds from grade D (colorless) to Z (light color, usually with a brown or yellow tint)
- All natural colors (yellow, brown, blue, orange, green, red, and pink)
- Color-treated diamonds
- Diamonds with clarity of internally flawless (IF) through Grade (I3)
- Certified by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA)
- Certified by the International Gemological Laboratory (IGL)
- Certified by the European Gemological Laboratory (EGL)
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History of Diamonds
Diamonds are the crystalline form of carbon. The structure and purity of which determine the clarity and color of every individual diamond. A pure white diamond, for example, will be 100% carbon. Other prized colors result from trace amounts of different elements, higher pressure during formation, or radiation exposure. For example, the infamous Hope Diamond gets its blue hue from the element boron.
Like many other precious gemstones and metals, diamonds have a long and storied history. From antiquity until the 18th century, India was the primary source of diamonds. Here diamonds held religious significance alongside being prized for their beauty. Over time, diamonds began to make their way around the world, increasing in popularity. In addition to their usefulness for crafting, diamonds also held different meanings in different cultures. For example, one of the most enduring ideas is that diamonds can ward off evil spirits or bad health.
Brazil discovered a new source of diamonds in the early 18th century, and South Africa in the mid-19th century. This second source came to be controlled by the DeBeers company, which oversaw the expansion of the diamond market as demand for the sparkly rocks increased, and even helped to create their popularity of use in engagement rings. Today, we continue to prize diamonds from all over the world for their natural sparkle and shine!
History of Engagement Rings
Beloved for their sparkle, diamonds have come to play a valued part in one of our most important traditions – engagements – in particular, the engagement ring. Whether a princess or cushion cut, a diamond engagement ring is now synonymous with agreeing to wed a special someone. What you may not know, however, is just how old of a tradition that ring on your finger is!
The start of wearing a ring to signify an engagement is typically credited to the Ancient Egyptians, who would exchange rings of woven reeds, and saw the circles as symbolic of eternity. Ancient couples also wore rings on the third finger of their left hand; they believed this finger contained a vein that ran to the heart.
Rings as a signifier of betrothal carried on in Europe through the Middle Ages as a holdover from Roman culture.
The first recorded diamond engagement ring was given to Mary of Burgundy in 1477 by her soon-to-be-husband Maximilian, Archduke of Austria. This trend would not catch on for hundreds of years, however. In fact, up until the early 20th century, many couples opted for other precious gemstones to adorn their engagement rings. Diamond engagement rings were often only the purvey of the ultra-rich or nobility.
This all changed in the 1930s when a downswing in diamond sales pushed the DeBeers Company to start marketing these sparkly rocks in new ways. Like modern-day influencers, celebrities and fashion designers started professing their love for diamond rings, increasing their popularity amongst the general public. This new element was cemented to the long history of engagement rings by the economic prosperity of the 1950s. Today, diamond engagement rings remain the most popular choice for couples. In 2017, some 86% of couples opted for a non-colored diamond, with 3% opting for colored variations. Whatever the style or gem at its center, it’s clear that the old tradition of the engagement ring is here to stay. Want to know more? Read more about the history of engagement rings on our blog.