All About April's Birthstone | Boca Raton, FL
April Birthstone: Diamond
"A diamond is a chunk of coal that is made good under pressure."
- Henry Kissinger
In addition to being the traditional birthstone for those born in April, the diamond is the gift of choice for the 60th and 75th wedding anniversaries. Today the diamond engagement ring is associated as the universal symbol of love and marriage. Diamonds are one of the most sought after and valuable gems on Earth.
Diamond Facts and History
Many ancient cultures believed that diamonds gave the wearer strength and courage during battle. Some kings had even went as far as wearing diamonds on their armor as they rode into battle to feel protected. Diamonds were also thought to have healing properties that were able to cure ailments ranging from fatigue to mental illness.
A diamond is so strong, that its name comes from the Greek word adamas, meaning “invincible” or “unbreakable.” They are associated with the terms invincible and unbreakable because of their hardness. The diamond is rated a 10 on the Mohs hardness scale, which makes it the hardest naturally found mineral substance on Earth. In fact, its structure makes it 58 times harder than anything in nature. The only thing that can cut a diamond is another diamond.
Diamonds are made from pure carbon. They are formed more than 100 miles beneath Earth's surface over a billion years ago. Over the years they were brought up to the surface from volcanic eruptions. The main producers of diamonds are South Africa, Botswana, and Russia. They are also mined in India, Brazil, China, Thailand, Canada, and the United States.
The largest rough gem-quality diamond ever found is called the Cullinan. It was discovered in 1905 in South Africa, weighing 3,106.75 carats. It was cut into 105 diamonds including the Cullinan I (Great Star of Africa) which weighed 530.2 carats and the Cullinan II (Lesser Star of Africa) which weighed 317.4 carats. Both of these diamonds are now part of British crown jewels.
Colored DiamondsApart from white or colorless, diamonds occur in several other colors as well. Colored diamonds are extremely rare. Each is one of a kind. The array of colors available are blue, yellow, orange, red, green, pink to purple, brown,
and black. Colored diamonds range in intensity from faint to vivid and generally the more saturated the color, the higher the value is. Red diamonds are actually the most rare and only a handful are known to exist.
Diamond and The 4 C's
Every diamond is graded based on the 4 C's which determines their quality and value. These 4 C's are color, cut, clarity, and carat weight. ( To learn more about the 4 C's, read our article about Buying An Engagement Ring )
- Color - Refers to the absence of color in a diamond. Less color is more valuable and sought after.
- Cut - Refers to the shape of a diamond and the proportions of the stone.
- Clarity - Measures imperfections within the diamond. The less imperfections, the more flawless the diamond.
- Carat - Measures the weight of the stone. The higher the weight the bigger the stone.