The official birthstone for the month April is the most famous gemstone in the world: the diamond.
So, if your birthday is in April, you’re in luck!
The April birthstone is a stone of great beauty with a fascinating history. Diamonds are rich with symbolism, and for centuries they were considered a symbol of status and a token of commitment. This classic stone is renowned for its beauty and clarity. The most popular diamonds are the colourless ones ranging from the colours D – F, although Z colour, or yellow “fancy” colours remain popular.
With its combination of beauty, durability, quality and symbolism, it’s no surprise that diamonds are the most popular gemstone choice for jewellery.
History of the diamond
The word diamond comes from the Greek word “adamas” which means unbreakable. This name is no surprise as diamonds, which are made from just one element, are the hardest mineral on Earth. Diamonds are made from pure carbon – which is the foundation of all life around us, including human life. And just like humans, every diamond is one of a kind. Diamonds were formed billions of years ago when carbon was placed under extreme pressure and heat in the Earths mantel, about 120 miles below the Earth’s surface. These diamonds were then brought closer to the surface through volcanic activity.
Diamonds are represented by strength 10 on the Mohs scale. In fact, diamonds are so hard they can only be cut using another diamond. Historically, diamonds were not just used for elaborate jewellery but also to engrave tools due to the hardness.
The first diamonds were discovered in India approximately 2,500 years ago and up until the 1800’s the diamond trade mainly took place in India and Brazil. During this period diamonds were a rarity and the gemstone was usually associated with the monarchy and other leaders. This all changed when diamonds were discovered in South Africa. These new diamonds flooded the once exclusive market, driving down both prices and demand.
However, this change didn’t last long. The De Beers Mining Company (a name that would become the most important name in the diamond trade for over a century) quickly took over nearly all of South Africa’s diamond mines and changed the diamond trade forever …
The diamond gemstone, while always maintaining a powerful symbolism, has had a variety of different meanings since it’s discovery almost three millennia ago.
Diamonds were considered so dazzling that the Ancient Romans believed they were fallen stars. In Medieval Europe, diamonds were referred to as tears of God and often kept as amulets in battle. So, its no surprise that diamonds were then associated with strength, power and safety.
This developed into the belief that diamonds were the stone of light, with the view that they could boost energy levels, and give courage to those who wear them.
Diamonds are also said to represent the perfect form of an individual’s mental state, inspiring anyone who wears them to strive for positivity in their life.
Nowadays diamonds have become the symbol of eternal love. This is often traced back to the De Beers marketing slogan “diamonds are forever” from their 1947 campaign to boost diamond sales after they plummeted as a result of the Great Depression. This campaign is widely considered the most successful marketing campaign in recent times. Diamonds had become the ultimate token of love, the gemstone that told I person “I love you”.
But was this meaning new?
Diamonds had been used to equate to love long before De Beers marketing campaign and they have a history of being exchanged as a symbol of love and commitment.
While it is believed that the Ancient Egyptians and Greeks exchanged diamond rings, the first recorded example comes from the Renaissance period. In 1477 Archduke Maximillian of Austria gifted Mary of Burgundy a diamond ring as a symbol of their marriage.
Diamond rings continued to be a promise of ever lasting love but it was centuries before they become accessible and affordable to anyone outside of the ruling classes.
While the De Beers campaign did not create the idea of a diamond ring being used as an engagement ring, it monetised the belief of diamonds being a symbol of everlasting love.
However, diamond jewellery does not just equate to engagement, wedding and eternity rings. Diamonds have decorated necklaces, bracelets and earrings for just as long as rings. The durability of a diamond makes it the ideal heirloom piece of jewellery. It is something that can be passed down for generations without every losing its beauty or value. The April birthstone is a stone with a rich history and symbolism and is a gift that can be treasured forever.
Diamonds are also used to mark 60th and 75th wedding anniversaries.
A Commins & Co we have an extensive range of diamond jewellery which can be viewed HERE.
And why wait to receive a diamond as a promise or a gift? Treat yourself to a piece of jewellery that will last you a lifetime!
Here at Commins and Co, all of our diamond jewellery is designed and created in Dublin. We use the highest quality lab-grown diamonds and ethically sourced gold. When you buy a unique piece of jewellery from us, you are not only getting a beautiful diamond. You also the peace of mind that its high quality is the result of a sustainable process. Best of all, our lab-grown diamonds offer a very competitive price. Ensuring you get the best possible jewellery for the best possible price. As a result, giving you excellent value for money without compromising on quality.