Archive for November, 2010
When did diamonds first become recognized as precious stones and used for jewelry? The earliest reference to them has been found in a Sanskrit document dated around 300 BCE. They were associated with the gods and were used to decorate religious icons and statues. In India, only kings, the highest caste, were allowed to own them.
Although diamonds were traded east and west of India, they were still prized in their natural crystal state, or polished to increase the shine and luster of them. The first guild of diamond cutters was established in 1375, and it was then that the practice of cutting the stones and faceting them was developed.
From the earliest times, diamonds were the province of kings and queens. In fact, in the 13th century, Louis IX of France decreed that only royalty could own diamonds, a dictate which faded away about 100 years later. By the late 15th century, they were used as wedding rings.
The largest diamond ever found was a 3106-carat diamond discovered in 1905 in a mine owned by Thomas Cullinan, for whom the stone was made. It was cut into smaller stones, the largest being made into the 530-carat Great Star of Africa diamond, cut by the Asscher Brothers, a famous diamond firm to this day. It’s also called the Cullinan I diamond, and is set in the Scepter of the Cross of the United Kingdom. A smaller stone cut from the Cullinan diamond is called the Lesser Star of Africa. It weighs 317 carats and is part of the Imperial State Crown. Both gems can be seen as part of the British Crown Jewels which are displayed in the Tower of London. The rest of the Cullinan diamond was cut into 11 smaller-weight stones and a number of fragments.
While the Cullinan diamond is the largest diamond ever found, there is a rumor that the man who discovered the diamond actually broke off part of the diamond before presenting it to the mine’s owner. This diamond, if the rumor is true, would have been 5,000 carats!
Many people equate the term carat with the size of a diamond, and as carat size increases, so will the carat weight. But the operative word there is weight. Carat refers to the weight of a diamond and is equal to roughly 200 milligrams which is less than a ¼ of an ounce. A carat can also be broken up into 100 points. So ¾ of a carat is also 75 points.
The heavier in carat weight a diamond is, the rarer it becomes. Prices of diamond increase exponentially with the weight of the diamond, so a one-carat diamond will cost much more than two ½-carat diamonds, given that other qualities, such as color and clarity, are equal.
The cutting of a diamond can impact the size of it, so depending on how their cut, two one-carat diamonds can look unequal. If a stone is cut flatter, then it will appear bigger, while a deeper cut stone will be smaller, but may have more brilliance and scintillation. You may be tempted to purchase a stone that’s cut flatter so that you can have the appearance of a larger, or heavier stone. But a diamond that’s cut too flat will have too little brilliance and can look cloudy. Carat weight is important, but there’s no point to sacrificing other qualities that make a diamond special so you can say you have a two-carat stone. A beautiful one-carat diamond, with outstanding brilliance and scintillation is going to be the better choice, from both a personal standpoint and an investment standpoint.
A smaller diamond can always be enhanced with baguettes, trillians or smaller same-shape stones on either size. As we stated earlier, two smaller stones won’t cost as much as an equally-weighted single stone, so you can increase the importance of the ring you’re buying without doubling your cost.
Christmas Decoration Ideas for Kids
Are you a parent? If so, there is a good chance that you already know just how much kids love the holidays. That is why you may want to think about letting your children help you decorate for Christmas. In fact, in addition to just letting them help you hang Christmas decorations, you may also want to let them make their own handmade Christmas decorations. Not only will you find that there are a number of benefits to doing so, but you will also find that there are a number of fun and exciting Christmas decorations that they can easily make.
Almost every family that celebrates Christmas has a Christmas tree; therefore, there is a good chance that your family will have one. One fun and exciting Christmas craft project that your children could do involves making their own Christmas ornaments. Christmas ornaments can be made from regular paper or any other type of material. In fact, you can purchase a number of Christmas ornament cutouts or guides from your local craft store. These ornament pieces are likely plain, but already shaped like something, such as a star or a cross. It would be up to your child to paint their ornament. This type of Christmas decoration craft project is great for small children or those who may be making their own Christmas decorations for the first time.
In addition to Christmas trees, a large number of families have small Christmas signs or pictures throughout their home. These signs and pictures often state a Christmas message or have a picture of Santa. Your children could easily make their own paintings or drawings, often with the supplies that can already be found inside your home. Your child’s picture would likely look great on your refrigerator or you could even frame the picture and hang it up somewhere else inside your home. This type of Christmas decoration craft project is ideal for children of any age and, as previously mentioned, is a great way to save money since you likely already have all of the needed supplies.
Another fun Christmas decoration that your children could do is make a centerpiece for your dinning room table. In fact, you may also want to use that centerpiece for your Christmas dinner. If you are looking for a somewhat elegant centerpiece, you could easily have your children make their own. You can do this by purchasing artificial flowers, a large bowl or vase, as well as other decorative items. Your children can easily arrange these items to create their own unique centerpieces for your dinning room table. It may also be a good idea to let them be crafty. Your child may also be able to create a centerpiece in the shape of Santa or a Christmas tree by using construction paper and a few other small supplies. The above mentioned Christmas craft decoration ideas for kids are just a few of the many that exist. In addition to using your own craft ideas, you can also find a number of other fun Christmas craft projects for kids online. You can find a collection of ideas by performing a standard internet search. Also, in your local library or at one of your local book stores, you may also be able to find a collection of Christmas craft books for children. These books tend to outline the supplies needed, as well as give detailed directions on how to make Christmas decorations. These decorations may include Christmas drawings or paintings, tree ornaments, table centerpieces, and much more.
Regardless of which type of Christmas decorations you allow your child or children to make, they will likely enjoy the experience, especially if you participate as well. For a child, there is nothing like seeing their Christmas drawings hanging on the walls or their Christmas ornaments hanging on the tree. That is why you are advised to let your children make their own Christmas decorations. As mentioned above, there are a number of decorations that they can easily create; decorations that may require little time and money.
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