Thanks to her classic elegance and youthful exuberance, Jessica Simpson has taken her place as one of this decade’s foremost fashion icons. In addition to a series of chart-topping singles and her hit reality TV series, Newlyweds, Simpson has co-written a best-selling book on planning the perfect wedding and launched Dessert, a delicious line of bath and beauty products.

Like Elizabeth Taylor and Marilyn Monroe before her, Simpson is well-known for her love of diamonds. She especially adores the stunning diamond engagement ring given to her by her husband, Nick Lachey.

“Diamonds are the ultimate expression of love and eternal commitment,” Simpson recently remarked, adding that Nick “did an amazing job” choosing her beloved ring.

The gift of a diamond engagement ring is one of the oldest traditions in the modern world, and the history of a natural diamond is as old as love itself. Perhaps their amazing journey through time reveals why diamonds possess such a romantic attraction and fascinating mystique, and why they adorn so many celebrated women like superstar Jessica Simpson. From deep within the earth to deep within a woman’s heart, the diamond’s tale spans billions of years and thousands of miles.

One of nature’s greatest miracles, the story of the exquisite gem originates over 3 billion years ago with the formation of diamonds as pure crystals of carbon resting deep within the earth. Under extreme heat and pressure, these carbon formations were brought to the surface in rising hot magma where they solidified into igneous rock known as kimberlite.

The finding, mining and processing of these kimberlite deposits require a formidable effort involving intensive labor and sophisticated technology. In fact, approximately 250 tons of ore must be mined in order to produce a single, one-carat, polished, gem-quality diamond. And mining these deposits is only the beginning. In order to recover the diamonds from the ore, the kimberlite then goes through many stages of crushing and processing.

After mining, diamonds are sorted and valued into over 16,000 categories, based on shape, quality, color and size. Then, to reveal their true beauty and fire, the stones are cut and polished by skilled diamond cutters whose expertise has been developed and perfected through many generations.

Once a diamond’s amazing brilliance has been unleashed, it now travels into the defthands of an accomplished and talented jewelry designer, an artist who has mastered this centuries-old craft. Whether a simple solitaire setting or an elaborately embellished design, the unique qualities of each diamond bring jewelry to life. An extremely rare and naturally beautiful gem, diamonds will always be treasured by dazzling brides like Jessica Simpson

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