Not many jeweller's are gonna tell you this, but....
Commonly considered to be the 'traditional' choice for engagement rings, this actually came about as part of a clever advertising campaign in the early 1900s, for De Beers, a diamond mine!! Before that the traditional choice for an engagement ring was actually a pearl.
Stones are usually valued on their rarity with diamonds being the exception to the rule. The supply chain is actually controlled by a small number of powerful businesses that restrict the distribution keeping them exclusive and driving the prices up, monopolising the market. Not to mention the controversial methods used to mine the precious stones.
That said, we're not opposed to using diamonds. Antique diamonds are basically recycled, unset from old jewellery, they are really interesting. They often have unusual cuts, they have more flaws and don't necessarily tick all the boxes of the current fashions, but they are cheaper, more interesting and ethically, we like them.
The good thing about diamonds is that they are really hard, the hardest material in the world in fact. So from a practical point they are are a really great choice for jewellery.
Fun fact: It rains diamonds on Venus.
Colours: Clear, yellow, brown, blue, green, black, pink, orange, purple and red.
Mohs scale: 10
Crystal formation: Cubic
Country of origin: South Africa, Russia, North America, Canada, India, Indonesia, Botswana and Angola.