April! What a wonderful month! The weather is getting warmer, flowers are blooming and if you are lucky enough to have been born during this glorious month then you have the king of the gemstones, the diamond, as your birthstone.
The hardest natural occurring mineral, diamonds are four times harder than the next rated gemstone. They have high refraction, unusual brilliance, intense fire and while traditionally known as a classic colorless stone, colored diamonds have reached a new popularity. Available in hues of pink, red, yellow, blue and green all ranging in different levels of intensity, the more saturated the color, the higher the value. Because intensely colored diamonds are very rare many of the stones sold today have been chemically treated and technically should be marketed as “color-treated diamonds.” When considering the purchase of a shaded diamond it’s important to ask if any color enhancements have been added. Although, round Brilliant cut diamonds are the most popular, antique cut diamonds are also gaining popularity again, such as Rose cut, Old Mine cut and European cut.
Diamonds start life deep inside the Earth using a combination of heat, pressure and carbon molecules. Volcanic activity brings them to the surface and while diamonds were first mined mainly in India, most of the diamonds discovered today are from Australia, Africa and Russia.
The word diamond comes from the Greek and means “invincible.” The stones were believed to hold magical powers against poisoning, devils and phantoms and were worn during battle as a symbol of strength and courage. The ancient Greeks also believed the fire of a diamond signified everlasting love. This idea spread and then in 1477 Archduke Maximilian of Austria started the tradition of giving a diamond as a promise of marriage when he presented a diamond ring to his intended, Mary of Burgundy.
Vine Engagement Ring
Today the beauty of this gemstone looks fabulous no matter the piece or the price range. From a small simple bracelet or brooch to a cocktail ring with a stone the size of a marble, diamonds truly are a girl’s best friend!