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Colour: Pink, Colourless, Yellow, Blue, Red, Green, Purple, Orange, Violet, Brown and Black.

Mohs hardness scale: 10

Source: Russia, Botswana, Congo, Australia, South Africa, Canada, Angola, Sierra Leone, Namibia, Guinea, Liberia, Ivory Coast, Zimbabwe, China, India, Central African Republic, Venezuela and Brazil.

Billions of years ago, in a deep layer of the earth, a unique combination of chemicals, pressure and changes in temperature, created diamonds out of pure carbon.

The diamond is the hardest known substance in the world. Diamond is uniquely resistant to damage by heat or scratching, and can be cut or polished only by another diamond. The diamond is thousands of times harder than corundum, the next hardest substance from which rubies and sapphires are formed. Diamonds have been a source of fascination for centuries and are famed not only for their superb hardness, but also for their high refractive index and dispersion. This is why they are described extensively in our Diamond Guide.