Diamonds: April’s Beloved Birthstone

Diamonds are more than a girl’s best friend.

Yes, they are one of the most valued gems on Earth.

Diamonds are also the birthstone for the month of April.

The word diamond, originating from the Greek word meaning invincible, perfectly describes this jewel, which is known to be the hardest substance on Earth. Because of this, diamonds can only be cut with another diamond.

This special gemstone is made from only one material — the chemical element carbon.

Diamonds are formed deep below the Earth’s surface where excessive levels of heat and pressure are applied to the carbon source, changing the molecular structure of the element and turning it into its glorified state.

The 4Cs of Diamonds

There are four main elements that must be considered when determining the value of a diamond, according to the GIA, the foremost authority in gemology.

The 4Cs of diamond quality are:

  1. Color
  2. Clarity
  3. Cut (size as well as attributed brilliance)
  4. Carat weight

All of these characteristics play an important part in the calculated value of a diamond.

Color Grade

Diamond color refers to the actual hue of the gem.

The purest and most common form of diamonds are transparent.

But the rarest forms of diamonds can be found in a host of other colors such as yellow, orange, purple, pink, blue, green, and red. Red is the rarest diamond color ever discovered.

Clarity

When a diamond is made, there are often small traces of carbon or other elements left within the diamond.

When these elements are on the inside of the gem, they are called inclusions.

Elements found on the outside of the diamond are considered blemishes.

These leftover elements effect what is known as the clarity of the diamond.

After the mining and cutting of the diamond is complete, a trained diamond grader will inspect the jewel.

Some diamonds will have some sort of inclusion or blemish. However, the size, nature, position, and relief of these traces will play a part in grading of the diamond’s clarity.

Cut Grade

The cut of the diamond is another factor used in determining the value of a diamond.

While many may associate this terminology to the shape of the diamond (round, pear, oval, etc.), the diamond cut actually refers to the brilliance or amount of light that the diamond reflects. 

The cut-path of the diamond is strategically planned out by the trained diamond cutter in order to produce a diamond that has as high-level of brightness (internal and external white light reflected), fire (light reflection that causes rainbows), and scintillation (diamond sparkle, and the pattern made by reflections in light and dark areas of the diamond) on its face as possible.

For the rest of the diamond’s body, the symmetry, weight, durability, proportions, and polish all effect the cut grade.

Carat Weight

The final “C” in determining the value of a diamond is carat weight — the metric system used to measure diamonds.

One carat is equal to 200 milligrams and is divided into 100 “points.” This means that the weight can be rounded to the 100th decimal place.

A jeweler uses points to describe a diamond under one carat (i.e. 0.75 is seventy-five points), and when the carat weight exceeds one carat it is read with points and decimals (3.09 carats is read as three-point-oh-nine carats).

And while carat weight plays a large part in diamond value, all of the 4C grades are taken into account when determining the final value and price of the diamond.

individual diamonds laying on a black cloth with a silver diamond holder tweezer angled above the pile

History of Diamonds

The history of the diamond and the gemstone’s uses is said to date back to around 4 B.C., mentioned in historical manuscripts and biblical text.

It was believed by many ancient people that diamonds were formed from lightning.

Therefore, many believed, diamonds were the physical presence of lightning captured and held on Earth.

Others believed that they were teardrops of the gods.

The first known use of diamonds as a gemstone was believed to be in India where they were mined by the Moghuls and Imperial Colony along three of India’s major rivers; the Penna, Krishna, and Godavari rivers found on the southeastern end of the country.

By the Middle Ages, diamonds were also believed to have many healing powers in relation to the brain. It was believed that diamonds were able to remedy pituitary gland disorders, a gland in your brain that produces and releases hormones responsible for growth, metabolism regulation, bodily structure and more.

It was also believed that by heating the gem and bringing it to bed, it could remove toxins from the bloodstream.

Diamonds in Today’s World

Nowadays diamonds are still one of the most sought-after gems worldwide.

Diamond engagement rings are the most popular type of engagement ring set. Giving a diamond is one of the most significant expressions of love as its durability and beauty signify enduring strength and true, everlasting love.

If you’re planning on proposing, the saying remains true — diamonds are a girl’s best friend, especially if she’s an April baby.