Another month brings with it a new birthstone and for those of you lucky enough to be born in April you have a very special birthstone!
What is the April Birthstone?
It is, of course, the diamond.
What is a Diamond?
The name diamond actually derives from the Greek word, ‘adamas’ which means ‘unconquerable’ or ‘indestructible.’ Diamonds go through a complex process before they reach the earth. People refer to diamonds as being ‘unbreakable’ and that is because diamonds are one of the toughest naturally forming materials on earth.
Diamonds were first found in the rivers and streams of India, it is believed in around the 4th century BC. Originally reserved for India’s elite, by the 1400’s diamonds were becoming increasingly popular in Europe due to trade through Venice’s canals. By the 1700’s Brazil overtook India as the main supplier for diamonds and in the 1900s modern mining as we know it today, began in South Africa.
We consider diamonds to be colourless, or white, but in reality, they come in a variety of colours. Highly desired diamonds are pink, yellow or blue, but they can also be found in red, orange, green, purple, brown, grey, and even black.
In 1477, Archduke Maximillian of Austria gave the very first diamond engagement ring to his future wife Mary of Burgundy. This is a practice that is still seen today.
When buying a diamond for someone as a birthstone you should first consider the 4 C’s. These refer to the cut, clarity, colour and carat of a diamond.
Colour refers to exactly what you would think it does, the colour of the diamond being rated. Diamond colour is rated on an alphabetical scale beginning with D at the top of the scale and ranging to Z at the bottom of the scale.
Most diamonds on the market today fall between the D and I ranges. D is the highest rating possible and indicates a colourless diamond making them very rare and very expensive. E and F ratings indicate nearly no colour and are still considered very high quality. G, H, and I rated are the most common stones on the market since they are much more affordable than colourless stones but are still considered near colourless. Once mounted in a setting, whether it be a ring, necklace, or earrings, the slight colour variations in these rating levels are nearly impossible to see with the naked eye. The rating scale progresses all the way to a Z rating which indicates a slight yellow colour to the diamond.
The cut describes the proportions of the stone, its polish, symmetry, and finish as opposed to the actual shape of the stone.
A higher quality diamond is symmetrical, or evenly measured on each side, and the actual cuts to the stone itself are made at the correct angles with the proper number of facets, or cut surfaces, to ensure the stone allows the highest amount of light through it in order to achieve the highest level of brilliance and shine. A properly cut diamond is also well balanced since stones that are cut too deep or too shallow tend to produce a flat or dull stone.
This refers to how perfect the diamond is. Essentially, it is nothing more than a measure of the number and size of imperfections or flaws the stone in question contains.
Clarity is rated on a 10 point scale that ranges from I3, the lowest on the scale, to VVS1, the highest clarity rating possible. Within the scale are four major classifications of ratings, VVS, VS, SI, and I. VVS1 and VVS2 refer to diamonds that only contain imperfections that are either extremely or very difficult to see and up to 10x magnification. VS1 and VS2 refer to diamonds that possess inclusions, or imperfections, that are difficult or somewhat difficult to see at up to 10x magnification. On the lower ends of the scale, SI1, SI2, and SI3 ratings indicate diamonds that contain imperfections that are very easy to see at up to 10x magnification as well as those that may be able to be seen with the naked eye. I1, I2, and I3 ratings indicate stones that contain flaws ranging from somewhat easy to see to very easy to see with the naked eye. Obviously, diamonds with VVS and SI ratings are higher quality and the preferred choice for most consumers.
Carat weight is the simplest of all four C’s to understand since it simply refers to the overall weight of the stone.
A carat is the unit of measurement used and each carat weighs approximately .2 grams. The larger the carat weight of a diamond, the higher the rarity as well as the price.
To understand the four C’s in more depth take a look at the video below.
Spiritual Meaning of a Diamond
A diamond is considered by some to be the crystal of Light. It is said that due to the tough nature of a diamond the wearer of the gem will receive superior strength, courage and victory. Is also a symbol of wealth, purity and love and it is for these reasons that it is known as the April Birthstone.