April’s birthstone: Sparkly, elegant diamonds

diamond, April's birthstone

The diamond is April’s birthstone

April birthday girls (and boys)…you hit the birthstone jackpot with your birthstone, the diamond. You undoubtedly know that diamonds are the symbol of eternal love, but there’s so much more to them.

  • They’re the hardest natural substance on earth. A diamond is more than 50 times harder than its closest gem relatives, the ruby and emerald.
  • The only way to cut a diamond is with another diamond.
  • The tradition of diamond engagement rings began in the 15th century when Australian Archduke Maximillian gave one to his fiancé, Mary of Burgundy.
  • Diamonds are weighed in metric carats: one carat is equal to 0.2 grams, about the same weight as a paperclip. As the GIA notes, a carat is divided into 100 points, so a 50-point diamond weighs 0.50 carats.
  • The name “diamond” comes from the Greek work adamas, meaning “invincible.”

According to the American Gem Society, ancient theories about the magical powers of diamonds included their being formed by lightning bolts or by the tears of the gods.

A variety of diamonds, courtesy of GIA.

A variety of diamonds, courtesy of GIA.

The hardest … and the softest

Diamonds are formed by intense heat and pressure about 100 miles under the surface of the earth. They’re made almost totally of carbon. According to the GIA, graphite, another mineral, also contains only carbon, “but its formation process and crystal structure are very different. Graphite is so soft that you can write with it, while diamond is so hard that you can only scratch it with another diamond.”

Happy birthday, April babies. Revel in your brilliant birthstone. May you have sparkly joy in the form of diamond rings, pendants, earrings, and watches.

And if you need help buying new diamond jewelry — or appraising that heirloom piece you inherited, let me know. I’m happy to put my expertise to work for you.

Sparklingly yours,




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