The Birthstone for April is the Diamond
Oh, you lucky, lucky April babies! You are blessed to be born in the month in which the birthstone is the coveted Diamond.
As Marilyn Monroe famously said, “Diamonds are a girl’s best friend”, and it is still the most loved gemstone.
But just why is the April birthstone, diamond, loved so much?
Well, the beautiful sparkle is undoubtedly one reason. Diamond, once cut and polished, is capable of producing a degree of sparkle that cannot be rivalled by any other gemstone.
But there are plenty of other qualities that diamonds possess that keep it at the top of the gemstone tree, as it were.
It is well-known that the diamond is a hard gemstone – it is, in fact, the hardest gemstone.
Diamond so hard that it is 58 times harder than anything else in nature, and can only be cut with another diamond.
This makes it perfect to wear for everyday jewellery as it retains its polish extremely well.
Diamond rings, and especially diamond engagement rings, are highly desirable not only for their brilliant sparkle but because they can be worn every day without impairing their brilliance or shine.
A simple solitaire diamond necklace looks elegant and beautiful – a perfect example of less is more.
Even the name ‘diamond’ demonstrates how its strength has been recognised since ancient times.
The word “diamond” originated from the Greek ‘adamas’ which means invincible.
No wonder, perhaps, that the gemstone was associated with protection from attack or poisoning.
The symbolism of strength means it is the stone regularly used to symbolise everlasting love and devotion. Diamond rings are still the most purchased engagement rings.
Diamonds take a very long time to form in nature and only do so under intense pressure, deep in the earth’s mantle, about 100 miles below the earth’s surface.
The Four C's
Diamonds are graded on four factors which set a standard by which all diamonds can be evaluated.
The four factors used are the cut, the carat, the colour and the carat. These are often called the Four C’s of diamond grading.
Diamonds are tough yet, they can be brittle so can split. It therefore needs a high craftsmanship to cut a diamond.
Cutting a stone to a high brilliance and scintillation is a skilled art, and this has been perfected over hundreds of years by generations of artisans – none more so than with the diamond.
The Cut of a diamond has to encompass its proportions, its symmetry and its polish.
Cutting a diamond is an intricate art, and there are many different types of cuts and the ultimate shape of the gem created (the subject of another blog post).
All are designed to increase the brilliance of the diamond by putting facets into the stone.
The Carat of a diamond, or of any gemstone, is its weight. One carat is equal to 200 milligrams. If a gemstones weight is under one carat, it is divided into 100 points.
The concept helps jewellers accurately describe to customers the size and weight of a gemstone.
For instance, a diamond can be 25 points which is the same as saying it is a 1/4 carat diamond.
Jewellers describe a gemstone more substantial in weight than one carat in carats, for instance, 1.3 carats.
The Colour of a diamond, if chemically pure, is transparent although almost all gem-sized diamonds have chemical impurities in the crystalline properties of the stone which give a coloured hue to the gemstone.
Whilst most people visualise a colourless stone when they think of a diamond, there are many different coloured diamonds. In fact, diamonds can be almost any colour you can think of.
A yellow hue to what they class as a white diamond can detract from its value. A pink or blue hue (the more intense, the better) can increase its value enormously.
Some coloured diamonds are even rarer than the colourless variety.
The rarest colour in a diamond is red and, in fact, even many diamond experts have never seen a red diamond.
Until 2017 the most expensive diamond ever sold was a 14-carat blue diamond, called the Oppenheimer Blue, sold by auction for the equivalent of $50.6 million in Geneva.
This was more recently topped by a Pink diamond.
More Affordable Diamond Jewellery
Choosing a birthstone for a birthday gift has to be one of the nicest of presents to give.
Your heart may sink though, when you realise your friends birthstone is diamond because of the expense of diamonds. But a piece of jewellery with set with a diamond actually doesn’t have to be too expensive.
Diamonds are now added to some silver jewellery which makes it much more affordable.
Hot Diamonds produce some beautiful items using sterling silver which has been rhodium plated (just like white gold) and each piece has a small diamond set within the item. It also comes beautifully packaged and so is the perfect girl.
Alternative April Birthstones
While the April Birthstone is traditionally the diamond, it is important to remember that almost every birth month has at least one alternative birthstone.
Cubic Zirconia or Moissanite
Cubic zirconia and moissanite (both substitute diamonds) again utilise the birthstone colour for April, as does quartz and rock crystal.
Trollbeads use cubic zirconia’s in a number of glass Trollbeads, as well as some silver beads. This handmade bead is called The Diamond Bead, because of its 13 cubic zirconia’s suspended in the molten glass.