April Birthstone: Diamond Origins and Gift Ideas

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April Birthstone: Diamond Origins and Gift Ideas

Beautiful Diamond ring April's Birthstone Diamond Symbolism and Meaning

Diamonds were once reserved exclusively for royalty. Thanks to its legendary hardness, the diamond has long been associated with invincibility and strength, while assuming the king of gems status.

One oft-quoted mythical legend tells of the God of Mines from an unknown pantheon who called his court together and ordered them to bring him rubies, sapphires, and emeralds—every kind of gem in existence. He took each gift and crushed into a powder, mixing them together, over which he said, “Let this be something that will combine the beauty of all; yet it must be pure, and it must be invincible.” Thus the diamond was born.

Yet another origin story associates diamonds with lightning, and it was believed it could also prevent lightning from striking. Interestingly, the Sanskrit word for diamond is translated as thunderbolt, the weapon of the warrior god Indra.

The world’s hardest substance is both a symbol of victory and strength as well as wealth and abundance. It’s featured in the literature of all the world’s major religions and civilizations. Although believed to be gifted by a mighty God, diamonds were actually forged by mother nature over millions of years.

The attribute that most interests us is the multifaceted gem’s symbol of enduring love. A diamond pledged freely and willingly can transfer its powers of strength and fortitude that can only be superseded by the love it symbolizes.  

Diamond Color

Composed of pure carbon, diamonds actually come in a variety of colors and are not just colorless as commonly believed. They can appear white or black, and even in various shades of red, purple, pink, blue, yellow and green.

The diamond is the only gem on the Mohs scale to rate a 10 in hardness. Indeed, the word diamond comes from the ancient Greek adamas, which variously means unbreakable or unconquerable.

April's birthstone Diamond tops out the mohs scale of hardness

Diamond Origins

Diamonds may be forever, but the earliest description of diamonds date to the 4th century BC in India where it was first mined. Roman philosopher Pliny the Elder wrote about their use as an engraving tool in the ancient world in the 1st century AD.

In the early 18th century, major finds were made in Brazil, followed by significant discoveries in South Africa in the 19th century, which dramatically increased the global diamond supply.

Today, diamonds are mined in about 25 countries, including India, South Africa, Russia, and Australia. There are no diamond mines in Europe or the continent of Antarctica, where it is actually illegal by treaty to extract mineral resources.

Fun Facts

  • King Louis IX of France established a law in the 13th century that restricted diamond ownership to the court. The world’s most valuable gem would remain the province of royalty until the 1870s when production driven by South Africa exceeded 1 million carats for the first time.
  • The world’s largest diamond is the Golden Jubilee, with a weight of 545.65 carats. It is part of the crown jewels of Thailand.
  • After the fall of Emperor Napoleon III in 1871, many of the French crown jewels were sent to auction. Tiffany and Co. of New York spent nearly $500,000 to buy most of the collection. One piece they didn’t get was the empress’ diamond bow brooch, purchased by New York’s Astor family. Today the diamond-draped antique is valued at between $4 million and $6 million.
  • The term “diamonds are forever” is based on the belief that a diamond makes the bond between a couple hard to break.
  • It is the traditional wedding anniversary stone for the 10th and 60th celebrations.

Gift Ideas

Getting engaged? This 1/2 carat round, near-colorless center diamond set in platinum may appeal to the bride to be. One diamond not enough? Try this princess cut center diamond in 14K white gold that features a 1/4 carat of pavé-set diamonds.

Diamond rings aren’t just for engagements. Go vintage for your wedding band with this platinum ring encrusted with sparkling round diamonds and a marquise motif finished with milgrain detailing. A more modern twist can be seen in this wedding ring of intertwined bands, one of band of solid platinum and the other of micropavé set diamonds.

For necklaces, let’s go straight to extraordinary, starting with this diamond pendant that features a white pear-shaped diamond surrounded by a single row of pavé diamonds and a yellow cushion-cut diamond drop. Or add this 18k white gold necklace to your own crown jewel collection with its 115 brilliant round diamonds.

Diamonds can look even better when paired with other gems, such as these pear-shaped sapphire earrings framed by a scintillating double halo of pavé diamonds set in 18k white gold or these drop earrings featuring emeralds and brilliant round diamonds pavé set in 18k white gold.

And bracelets? One of our favorites is this understated but elegant 14k white gold bangle with seven stationed diamonds.

As you start shopping for diamonds, keep in mind the 4 C’s: cut, color, clarity and carat. The cut is what makes the diamond most eye-catching. As noted earlier, color comes in a vast range, with true colorless gems being quite rare. Clarity refers to how “clean” the stone is on the inside; most diamonds have inclusions or blemishes, but these are usually invisible to the naked eye. Carat simply refers to the weight of the gemstone, with one carat equal to one-fifth of a gram.

Whether looking to pledge your unwavering love to a partner or commemorate a special moment, diamonds are, and will remain forever an ideal gemstone to give as a gift.

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