3 Computer Drive West, #122 Albany, NY 12205
alphagemlab@aol.com          Fax 518-489-2776
By appointment:  Mon-Tues  9:30-4:30.

                           Closed Wednesdays, Fridays and weekends.

Alpha Gem Lab


  • Although there is evidence of jewelry used as gifts dating back to ancient times, the first recorded engagement ring was presented in 1477.  Archduke Maximilian of Austria gave it to Mary of Burgundy.
  • The word "diamond" comes from the Greek word "adamas" meaning "unbreakable."   We now know that a diamond can break.
  • A diamond is traditionally worn on the fourth or ring finger of the left hand.  According to traditional belief (though factually inaccurate), the vena amoris ("vein of love") runs directly from the heart to the fourth finger of the left hand.
  • Diamonds are formed under intense heat and pressure in the earth's core.  Diamonds are brought to the surface during volcanic eruption, being carried in Kimberlite or Lamproite stone. 
  • Diamonds were first recognized in India approximately 3000-6000 years ago.
  • The first diamond discovered in South Africa (1867) was found by Erasmus Jacob, a 15-year-old boy who was unclogging a water pipe on his father's farm.  It weighed approximately 21.25cts uncut, and approximately 10.73cts when cut to a cushion shape.  It is was named the Eureka Diamond and is currently on display at the Kimberly Mine Museum in South Africa, having been donated to the South African people by Debeers.