The origin of birthstones comes from biblical times, way back in the book of Exodus. Moses’s brother, Aaron was bestowed upon a breastplate made of 12 individual precious and semi-precious jewels. These jewels stood as some of the earliest birthstones in that time.
Our modern-day birthstone set was created in 1912. There are many other birthstone sets according to certain cultures, but the modern-day birthstones were put in place by the Jewelers of America. They wanted a uniform set of birthstones that they could use in retail without choosing a set from a culture.
The birthstone for April is the most popular and well-known gem of all time, the diamond.
In the Post
- Diamond Overview
- How Diamonds Are Formed
- Types of Diamonds
- Diamond Lore & History
- Famous Diamonds
- Diamonds in Crystal Healing
- Caring Your Diamonds
- How to Pick Out the Best Diamonds
- Fun Facts About Diamonds
- What Your Birthstone Says About You
- Alternate Birthstones
- Final Words
Diamond is the hardest mineral known to man and the most valuable gemstone known to man. Diamonds are sold all around the world at various qualities and prices. They are the pinnacle of all valuable gemstones.
Even though diamonds are easily found in jewelry stores everywhere, the stone is considered a rarity due to the conditions they formed in and how long and old it takes them to crystallize.
How Diamonds Are Formed
Diamonds are one of earth’s mysterious little creations. For a diamond crystal to emerge, it takes almost a billion years to occur. The oldest crystallized diamonds in the world are estimated to be around 3 billion years old!
The conditions in which diamonds are crystalized have to be very precise. Diamond crystals are comprised of carbon, and pretty much only carbon (over 99%)①. For the crystals to form, carbon atoms covalent bonding, or sharing electrons.
Each little carbon at bonds with 4 partners to form a triangular pyramid, or tetrahedron to create the diamond rough. While diamond rough can be abundant, gem-quality diamond rough is not.
While researchers have studied the formations of diamonds for centuries, there is still no real point of origin. No one really knows why diamonds form.
Types of Diamonds
Diamonds are not referred to as natural diamonds, like the way gemstones are. You’ll normally hear the term genuine diamond when associating diamonds from the earth. However, there are lab-created diamonds as well.
Lab-grown, simulants, and treated
- Lab-grown diamonds are not the same as most diamond simulants, like CZ. The only difference between a diamond and the lab-grown diamonds is the way in which they are formed. By heating it to insane levels in a chamber mixed with gases, the lab created diamond is grown
- Diamond simulants are stones that are made to look like they’re diamonds, but not diamonds at all. CZ and moissanite are the most well-known diamond simulants. Other diamond simulants can include zircon, glass,
- Treated diamonds are diamonds that have occurred naturally in the earth, but have underwent modifications to improve its appearance. The two treatments of diamonds are laser hole drilling and fracture filling. By law, every jewelry retail store has to disclose if these treatments have been done. These are not commonly done.
Fancy colored diamonds
Diamonds can actually occur naturally in colors. Rare diamond colors include blues, greens, pinks, and reds. Fancy diamonds are a league of diamonds all their own and come with their own grading systems.
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Diamond Lore & History
The diamond has long been admired by many cultures way back in history and still is today. Without a doubt, a diamond is a special stone.
Both the ancient Greeks and Romans thought so too. But the Greeks believed that diamonds were tears from the gods. The Romans believed that diamonds were bits of falling stars.
Additionally, it was said that Cupid’s arrow heads were made of diamond as well. Famous Greek philosopher Plato also said that diamonds embodied celestial beings and should be respected as such.
Under the Hindu religion, they believe that diamonds were created when lightning had struck the earth. They also used diamonds for the eyes of their statues.
The earliest recorded diamonds were discovered in India. Diamonds were admired for their beauty, refraction of light, and ability to cut into metal. Many diamonds from India were actually traded with China through trade routes known as the Silk Road.
Up until the 18th century, India was thought to be the only place where diamonds existed. A smaller deposit in Brazil was found, but it didn’t produce nearly enough diamonds for world demand.
While diamonds had been around for some time already, the modern-day discovery that really brought diamonds to the middle-class market was the discovery of diamonds in South Africa.
The story goes that a young teen name Erasmus Jones found a translucent rock on his father’s property, south of the Orange River. In the next few years to come, South Africa would produce more diamonds than India had in 2,000 years!
The Cullinan and The Star of Africa
The Cullinan is the largest gem-quality diamond rough to have ever been found. It was discovered in Africa at the De Beers Premier Mine and named after Sir Thomas Cullinan, who was the founder of that mine. The nearly-flawless diamond rough weighed a total of 3,106 carats. That’s huge for such a rare stone!
The prime minister of the South African Republic (known then as the Transvaal convinced his government to buy the Cullinan for $1 million USD. But instead of keeping it, they gifted it to the King Edward VII for letting them have their own constitution.
From there, the Cullinan was cut into 9 large gems, 96 smaller ones, and almost 20 carats of unpolished diamond pieces. The Cullinan I, or Star of Africa, as it’s more commonly known, was one of those larger gemstones.
The Star of Africa is the largest cut of diamond in the world, at a whopping 530.20 carats! It is also pear shaped and has 74 facets. Currently, the Star of Africa is kept with the other crown jewels in London.
The Hope Diamond
The Hope Diamond is one of the most famous diamonds in the world, if not the most famous. It is a gorgeous deep blue oval brilliant diamond weighing 45.52 carats.
Named after Henry Thomas Hope, the Hope Diamond was purchased by a French merchant named Jean Baptiste Tavernier. In early times, it was referred to as the Tavernier Blue. He sold it to King Louis XIV, who later had it cut.
During the French Revolution, the diamond was stolen and vanished without a trace. The Hope Diamond re-emerged as a possession of King George IV in London in 1812. From there, it was purchased by its namesake, Henry Thomas Hope.
There is a lot of lore associated with the Hope Diamond and mysteries as its said to be cursed and bring bad luck. But that’s a whole different story.
Surrounding the Hope Diamond are 16 white diamonds cut into both round and pear shapes. The chain contains 45 white diamonds.
The Hope Diamond currently acts as an exhibit at the Smithsonian Museum in Washington DC and is one of the most prized gemstones in Janet Annenberg Hooker Hall of Geology, Gems and Minerals at the Museum of Natural History.
The Golden Jubilee
This diamond is the largest faceted diamond in the world at 545.67 carats. It is known as a champagne colored diamond and was discovered in the same De Beers Premier Mine the Star of Africa was discovered. The Golden Jubilee actually has 13 more carats than the Cullinan I.
De Beers gave it to the renowned diamond cutters, the Tolkowsky family. Gabi Tolkowsky cut the diamond and returned it to the De Beers. Thailand officials purchased the diamond from the De Beers and presented it to their king at his Golden Jubilee, the 50th anniversary of a king’s coronation.
Diamonds in Crystal Healing
When using diamonds for crystal healing, it is best you use a diamond in the rough rather than a faceted gem. A crystal in its original form allows it to have a deeper connection to the earth. Its healing properties echo many of the sentiments of diamonds that are talked about today
Mental properties of diamonds
The diamond crystal used in crystal healing is associated with the Crown chakra.
Diamonds used in crystal healing represent purity, love, and abundance. The pure light that shines through a diamond allows for an amplification of energies, although it can be both positive and negative energies.
A diamond crystal never needs to be charged. In fact, it has so much energy that it can be used to enhance the powers and energies of other healing crystals, making them last longer than normal.
Diamonds also represent purification in the healing crystal. It is said to bring love and relationships together, bonding them stronger. It promotes both fidelity and commitment in a relationship.
The diamond crystal is excellent on keeping away electromagnetic stress and helps stimulate fearlessness, indestructability, and resilience. It is extremely helpful in dissuading mental and emotional pain, opening up new paths to light.
Physical properties of diamonds
Due to the purity of diamonds, they are helpful in purifying toxins within the body. It helps increase stamina and resistance to allergies and other chronic conditions.
Diamond crystals also can help people with glaucoma, and help with eyesight issues. And if your someone who feels dizzy or light-headed a lot, diamonds can treat that as well. It is also said to strengthen brain activity and health.
Caring Your Diamonds
Diamonds are the hardest mineral known to man. On Moh scale of mineral hardness, a diamond is the highest hardness rating, which is a 10. You can reference other gemstones’ durability based on the Moh scale in comparison to diamond.
Being a 10 makes diamond an extremely durable stone, so it’s suitable for everyday wear. But that doesn’t mean that they should be worn when cleaning, gardening, or other tasks.
A diamond is very durable, but even the most durable of objects can get damaged if they are hit hard enough in the right spot.
Over time, the metal in your diamond jewelry may wear-down, causing prongs holding diamonds to become flat. When this happens, stones start to come loose. Another sign of prongs wearing down is when they become sharp and start catching on fabrics.
The prongs will need to be re-tipped. Re-tipping prongs will ensure you don’t lose your diamonds. In fact, you should always check your diamond jewelry for loose stones. Most jewelry retailers advise getting pieces checked every six months.
Lastly, make sure you that when you are storing diamond jewelry, you do not store it against other diamond pieces, as diamonds can scratch diamonds.
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Diamonds are easily cleaned. You can clean it like many other stones, with water and mild soap. The stone is also able to be submerged, so you can let it soak a while if you so choose.
If you opt for a professional jewelry cleaner, diamonds are safe for all of the commercial jewelry cleaners, including ultrasonic cleaners.
The only issue you’ll have to be aware of when cleaning diamonds is what metal it is set in. Some commercial jewelry cleaners can only clean certain types of metals, like sterling silver cleaner.
But the diamonds? Just don’t clean them with any chemicals other than a professional jewelry cleaning solution or water and a toothbrush to brush away the dirt.
Also read Top 5 Best Ultrasonic Jewelry Cleaners
How to Pick Out the Best Diamonds
When buying diamonds, you are advised to consider the 4Cs: Carat, Clarity, Color, and Cut. These are the standards in which all diamonds are graded.
- Carat– the weight measurement of a diamond, not the size of the actual diamond. While a larger carat weight is often desired, the price of a nice larger carat weight diamond can be pretty steep.
- Clarity– how clear your diamond is under 10x magnification and if you can see any clarity characteristics from the top-view of the diamond. The clarity grades are Flawless, Internally Flawless, VVS1, VVS2, SI1, SI2, I1, I2, and I3.
- Color– how pure white the diamond is. They can be from Colorless to Faint Yellow. The more yellow they are, the less they will cost, until you get into fancy yellow colored diamonds. The color grades are DEF as colorless, HIJ as near colorless, and K-Z as faint yellow.
- Cut– this is the C that you do not want to sacrifice. The cut of your diamond is the very proportions, symmetry, and polish on your stone. You always want an excellent or ideal cut. Diamonds with those cut grades will generate more beauty, fire, and brilliance than a diamond of a larger carat weight with a poor cut.
Fun Facts About Diamonds
- Diamonds are the only gemstone that’s is composed of just one element: carbon. Every other gemstone has more than one.
- The most expensive diamond sold at an auction was in 2017 and goes by the name of the Pink Star. It is the world’s biggest fancy pink diamond and was bought for 72.1 million.
- Diamonds are used for industrial purposes, like cutting and polishing.
- To produce a 1 carat diamond, over 200 tons of ore has to be moved. That gives you an idea on how difficult it is to produce gem-quality diamonds.
- Antwerp in Belgium is nicknamed the “Diamond Capital of the World” because nearly all rough diamonds come through there. After Antwerp, around 80% of diamonds end up in New York City. They are later sold at auctions and jewelry companies.
What Your Birthstone Says About You
Being born in April, having the diamond as your birthstone can say a lot about you. If you are born under the diamond, your heart is pure. That’s not to say you have no darkness, but you are exactly who you say you are.
You accept your faults and take responsibility for your actions. The diamond stimulates creativity and bring the creative side of you. Don’t let this limit yourself to physical art, but you have creativity in the way you do things and the ideas you have.
In addition to your creativity, you are someone that people like to listen to. They want to hear what you have to say and are inspired by your ideas and ambitions. And boy, do you have a lot of them, even if they aren’t monumental.
In some of the old traditional birthstone list, sapphire and opal were listed as April birthstones. But in the modern-day birthstone list, those two gems belong to September and October.
You might see white topaz, cubic zirconia, zircon, or white sapphire represented as April birthstones because of the way it looks like diamond, but the cost is much less.
As an April baby and a child of diamond, I hope you’ve enjoyed an abridged look at your birthstone. There is so much more to learn about the fascinating world of diamonds that I couldn’t shove it all in one post, but if you’re interested in learning about more of April’s birthstone, check out some of my other posts (insert links if you want).
① Dean Ho, Nanodiamonds: Applications in Biology and Nanoscale Medicine.