Diamond sparkles with an internal fire no other gemstone has and April born people are lucky enough to call this amazing gem their birthstone. Diamond comes from the Greek word “adamas,” which means “unbreakable” or “invincible” and this is due to Diamond’s strength. Diamond’s timeless charm has long been recognized before it became the birthstone for April, and the lore behind diamond is just as fascinating.
Each diamond is a miracle by time, earth and nature. Every diamond is as unique as every snowflake in its form. Until the middle of the 20th century, there was no universally applicable standard for grading diamond quality. The GIA Gemological Institute of America is the first industry-recognized diamond grading standard. The four C standards established by GIA include Colour, Clarity, Cut and Carat. Today, the 4C standard is widely used in the diamond quality certification process around the world
Diamond Birthstone Meaning & History
The diamond love story started in India, where the stone was being gathered from the country’s rivers and streams. Diamonds were coveted by royalty and the wealthy and were traded as early as the fourth century BCE. Later, Indian diamonds and other exotic merchandise were brought by caravans to medieval markets in Venice. By the 1400s, Europe’s elite had taken fully to diamonds as fashionable accessories. In 1477, Archduke Maximillian of Austria presented the first recorded diamond engagement ring ever to Mary of Burgundy. Evidence recently supports the legendary 45.52 carat blue Hope diamond in India’s Golconda mining area, which was later sold to King Louis XIV of France in1688.
Brazil emerged as another important source in the early 1700s, as India’s diamond supplies started dwindling and the country has dominated the diamond market for over 150 years.
However, the modern diamond market took off when diamonds near discovered near Kimberley in South Africa. De Beers Consolidated Mines Limited in 1888 was founded by Entrepreneur Cecil Rhodes and by 1900, the company controlled over 90% of the world’s production of rough diamonds. The largest diamond ever found was found in 1905, in South Africa’s Premier mine and weighed about 621 gram.
A poet in the second century maintained that this diamond is able to ward off what was known as the evil eye, a malevolent look which can cause poverty, illness and even death. The diamond was even believed to also posses healing powers. Over hundreds of years, diamond was believed to be remedy for poison and protect against plagues. According to some, it is a boon for strength, longevity, beauty and happiness.
Besides being a near-universal symbol of love and marriage that is great as an engagement ring gemstone, it is the perfect gift of choice for the 60th and 75th wedding anniversaries.
Where is Diamond Found?
The April birthstone is mined across the world today. By the early 2000s, South Africa had joined other African countries like the Democratic Republic of Congo and Botswana as a major producer of rough diamonds. However, in 1960, the former Soviet Union opened its major mine, and today, Russia is one of the leading producers of diamonds both in volume and value.
Botswanan diamonds lie typically in the country’s hot eastern region and these prolific mines have made the economy to boom, which has created a growing middle class. The country is also a major diamond hub, where about 40% of the world’s diamonds are sorted and valued.
Diamond Birthstone Care & Cleaning
Diamond has a rating of 10 on the Mohs scale of hardness and because of the overwhelming hardness, it is durable enough to be placed in an ultrasonic cleaner. However, if there are too many inclusions or treatment to your diamond birthstone, then you should consider cleaning it with a lint-free cloth, or clean with warm water, mild soap, and a soft toothbrush or a commercial cleaning solution for jewelry. Also, you should clean your diamond birthstone jewelry from time to time and have a professional jeweler examine its setting to ensure its beauty and integrity is maintained over time.
Having learned all you need to know about April’s birthstone, diamond, you’ll begin to shop even more smartly. And maybe, you can begin to get more appreciation for this durability of all gemstones. No matter the size of the birthstone or what color it is, diamond continues to captivate captivate people who have been lucky enough to be born in April as well as those who are lucky in love and want to give or receive a diamond engagement ring. If you are thinking of buying a diamond, this brief excursion has shown you so much about this April birthstone’s history and what it offers you.