Diamonds are one of the most intriguing gemstones on the planet. Derived from the Greek word ‘adamas’ which means ‘unconquerable’, the diamond is the hardest of all precious stones and was believed to have been discovered nearly 3,000 years ago in India.
Here’s everything you need to know about April’s precious birthstone, the diamond.
What Is A Diamond?
A diamond is a native crystalline carbon that is usually colourless, and is highly valued as a precious stone. Diamonds are commonly assessed by the four C’s: carat, clarity, colour and cut.
Diamonds are sold by the carat – and as the carat size increases, the diamond’s price drastically increases. This is because the larger a diamond is, the rarer it is. It’s a good idea to view a diamond carat chart to determine the weight of gem that sits within your budget.
As they are formed under pressure and heat at the earth’s core, almost every diamond will contain some form of visual imperfection. As such, a diamond’s clarity refers to the degree to which these blemishes are present on its surface.
Though most diamonds appear colourless, some of these gems can reflect yellow, white or even pink hues. Colour is easier to deduce in larger diamonds.
A diamond’s cut refers to its proportions, polish and symmetry. The most popular diamond cut is the modern round brilliant, but fancy cuts (which come in a variety of shapes) are also popular choices. A diamond’s cut can only be correctly evaluated and analysed by trained jewel graders.
Though diamonds were first discovered in India, today 49% of natural diamonds originate from central and southern Africa. Significant sources for diamonds have also been discovered in Russia, Canada, Australia and Brazil. They are mined through the use of volcanic pipes which bring the deep diamond crystals from deep in the earth’s core.
The History Of Diamonds
As mentioned above, the diamond’s name is derived from the Greek word ‘adamas’ which translates to ‘unconquerable’. In Greek mythology, diamonds were believed to be tears of the gods. Conversely, in Roman mythology, it was believed that Cupid’s arrow of love was tipped with diamonds.
As the times progressed, diamonds became sought after for a range of different purposes. During the Dark Ages, diamonds were believed to have medicinal purposes, and during the Middle Ages, diamonds were renowned for being an item of commercial value – which provides a clearer link to the prevalence of diamonds in our society today.
As far as the physical location of the earliest diamonds, they were initially discovered in India in 4th century BC, with the majority of these precious gemstones transported along the Silk Road trade network between India and China. Until the 18th century, India was believed to be the only source of diamonds in the world.
How Did Diamonds Become The Birthstone For April?
Scholars can trace a gemstone-defined calendar back to the Breastplate of Aaron as described in the Bible’s book of Exodus. The Breastplate was adorned with twelve gemstones that represented the tribes of Israel at the time – and based on this model, the modern birthstone list was created in 1912. It has since been defined by the National Association of Jewellers from the United States.
For those born in April, wearing a diamond is said to make you happier in your relationships, and more likely to find and build strength from within. Diamonds are also associated with the benefits of mental clarity and balance.
In addition to being the April birthstone, the diamond gemstone is also a gift of choice for 60th and 75th wedding anniversaries.
What Jewellery Pieces Do Diamonds Go Best With?
A diamond’s hardness and high reflection of light makes it a useful gem for jewellery making.
The first diamond engagement ring was given in 1477 by Archduke Maximilan of Austria, who presented it to Mary of Burgundy. Engagement rings are arguably one of the most popular types of jewellery for diamond settings, and can come in a variety of styles – including antique, minimalist, halo, three-stone, rose-gold or lab-grown. They say “diamonds are forever” – so whichever style you choose, you’re sure to have a classic and timeless piece of jewellery on your hands.
Another recent diamond trend has appeared in the form of stackable rings. Whether it’s an engagement ring and wedding band, or simply two diamond rings worn together, this layering effect is completely customisable and allows each diamond to complement the other.
One of the most popular metals for diamond settings is platinum, because of its rarity, purity, density and strength. Other popular settings for diamond jewellery include fold, palladium and silver – with the latter being the most cost-efficient. Other affordable options include titanium and tungsten.
The best way to clean a piece of jewellery with a diamond setting is to create a solution with warm water and dishwashing soap. After soaking the ring for 30 to 40 minutes, use a soft toothbrush to gently clean the stone, and then re-rinse the jewellery under warm running water.
Using chlorine or other harsh chemicals can damage your piece of jewellery, so be sure to use a low concentration of soap in your mixture, and to thoroughly rinse the piece after cleaning to remove any excess soap.
It’s also a good idea to have your piece of jewellery cleaned professionally at least once a year for longevity. A professional jeweller will have all necessary equipment and skills to ensure your jewellery remains at its highest quality and retains its shine.
Whether it’s a diamond necklace, pendant, earring, bracelet or engagement ring, look no further than the expert team at Perth’s Allgem Jewellers. Conveniently located in Hay Street Mall in the CBD, Allgem’s wide range of gemstone jewellery pieces, including a range of diamond pieces, is sure to suit all design preferences.
Contact our professional master jewellers or visit our showroom to take a look at our wide range of luxurious gemstone jewellery.