Diamonds are one of the rarest forms of stone. Treasured for its beauty, few diamonds ever reach the Earth’s surface and most are located deep underground. Mining has increased drastically after the years, although as little as 350 tons have been recorded throughout history. Diamonds are also the hardest naturally occurring rock, making it not only a long-lasting addition to jewelry, but giving it many practical uses as well. In some cases, diamonds can be used to produce weapons. Not every stone cultivated is high enough quality to be of use and many of them are small in size. This is why large gems fetch a much higher price in the marketplace when they are clear and well cut. Not only are diamonds rare, excavation is often difficult. In order to produce a one-carat diamond of high quality, about 250 tons of ore needs to be processed, which is a very lengthy process. A lot of energy and pressure are used in the making of diamonds. While technology can ease some of the difficulties minors face, producing high amounts of gem quality diamonds has not yet become a quick process. Skilled and experienced craftsman take each stone after it’s mined and begin the complicated process of finishing the diamond. In fact, most diamond travel across four continents before they are fully extracted and finished. Because the process is complicated and lengthy, hundreds of people are involved in the production. Different people are involved each time, giving each stone unique characteristics that cannot be duplicated. No finished diamond is ever an exact copy with the exact same history. While the differences may seem slight, each gem quality diamond is considered to be one-of-a-kind and special. Diamonds are filled with unique characteristics that make them desirable in jewelry. Gemstone quality diamonds have excellent shine and reflect light onto the many facets within the stone, giving it a prism effect. The stone, while clear, reflects many colors that have captures the attention of many over the years. Diamonds have been used throughout history because of their special qualities. First appearing in India hundreds of years ago, diamonds have made their way throughout China and into Europe. When trade increased between India and Europe, diamonds began to appear in jewelry. Demand for diamonds began to increase and a worldwide search found diamonds in several parts of the world, including South Africa and Brazil. While initial uses were more industrial than decorative, diamonds were popularized because of their unique qualities and durability. Because diamonds are so special, they have a very high demand. The demand gives the diamonds a high monetary value. Many people have lost their lives to collect these precious stones. The lengthy process of cultivating and finishing a diamond gives each finished stone an individual personality that cannot be matched. Diamonds are hard and durable, which is why they are used as a symbol for something that lasts forever. Popular and hard to obtain, the diamond will remain a trendy addition to unique pieces of jewelry.