The most sought-after out of all the gemstones, the April birthstone is a diamond. The King of the Gems, diamonds are one of the most precious stones in the world. Predominantly clear or colourless, diamonds come in a variety of colours including yellow, blue, brown, pink, green and black.
With all its shimmer and sparkle, it’s not hard to see why diamonds are a girl’s best friend. Read on to discover the meanings and history of this sacred stone and to browse some of our exquisite April diamond jewellery. This birthstone is truly spectacular!
April Birthstone Overview:
- Meaning & compounds of diamonds
- The history of diamonds
- Where are diamonds found?
- Our favourite diamond jewellery
Meaning And Physical Compounds Of Diamonds
Found deep within the earth’s crust, diamonds are composed of pure carbon that becomes crystalised due to the intense heat and pressure underground. Once they are minded, the diamond will then be cleaned up and polished into a particular cut of the jeweller’s choosing.
Given their rarity and the hazardous conditions required to retrieve these precious stones, there are also man-made or lab-grown diamonds. Lab-grown diamonds are created in one of two ways. The first method is known as High Pressure and High Temperature. This method involves placing a diamond seed into a piece of carbon that is then placed into a machine that mimics the conditions underground.
The second is a procedure known as Chemical Vapor Deposition or CVD. This method involves placing a diamond seed into a chamber that is filled with carbon-rich gases such as methane or hydrogen and then exposing it to temperatures of up to 760 degrees celsius. Learn more in our how are man made diamonds created? guide.
Most commonly associated with eternal love (hence why they are given as engagement rings or as milestone wedding anniversary presents), other meanings that diamonds symbolise include commitment, perfection, faithfulness, innocence, purity, intellectual knowledge and invincible spiritual power. Worn by the rich and famous, diamonds have long been a symbol of status, wealth and extravagance. The one meaning which diamonds represent that we can all collectively agree on is the natural beauty within our world.
But that isn’t all that diamonds are thought to represent. In Ancient Greece, diamonds were thought to be tears of the Gods, while in Ancient Rome they were believed to symbolise splinters of fallen stars.
The History Of Diamonds
The first diamonds were found in India during 400 BC. However, the youngest diamond deposits were thought to date back over 900 million years ago. These diamonds were transported across the Silk Road, an infamous network of trade routes that connected India and China.
Admired for their strength and brilliance as well as their ability to engrave metal and refract light, diamonds were worn around the neck and used as popular cutting tools during this period. Diamonds were also used as a token to ward off evil and provide protection during battles. During the middle ages, diamonds were thought to have medicinal properties and would cure illness or heal wounds if ingested.
Historians believe that up until the 18th century, India was the only place in the world where diamonds could be found. So when India’s diamond supply began to dry up, diamond miners and merchants began searching for other areas to source these precious stones. While a small amount was found in Brazil during the early 1700s, this wasn’t enough to relinquish the demand. Then in 1866 when a 15-year-old boy named Erasmus Jacobs was exploring the banks of the Orange River in South Africa, he came across the world’s first Eureka diamond-which weighed a colossal 21.25 carats.
In more modern times, diamonds are commonly associated with diamond engagement rings. However, it wasn’t always this way. Diamonds never used to be a commodity among engagement rings. In fact, it wasn’t until the late 1400s when Archduke Maxamillian of Austria proposed to Mary of Burgundy that they garnered some popularity.
But diamond engagement rings wouldn’t gain serious momentum until the late 40s when a well-known British jewellery company came up with an advert that featured the slogan, “diamonds are forever.” This would cause a sensation that would result in diamonds becoming desired engagement rings in the world.
Where Have Diamonds Been Located?
Diamonds are found on almost every continent in the world...except for Antarctica. The countries that are known for their diamond mining include Russia, Botswana, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Australia and Canada. Certain countries are known for producing a particular variation of diamond.
Australia is most known for mining pink and brown diamonds (which are also known as brown diamonds), yellow diamonds are most prominent in Angola, Congo as well as Sierra Leone, green diamonds are prevalent in South America, while blue diamonds are prevalent in Southeast Asia.
The largest diamond that has ever been mined was found in South Africa. Weighing in at a staggering 755.5 carats, the stone known as the Golden Jubilee Diamond was retrieved back in 1986 in the mining town of Cullinan. Featuring a yellow-brown hue, the diamond was cut into a cushion shape over the course of two years by world-renowned diamond-cutter Gabriel Tolkowsky.
Upon completion, the stone was brought down to 545.65 carats. It sat on display in the Thai Diamond Manufacturers Association until it was purchased by a group of Thai businessmen who gifted it to Thailand’s King Bhumibol in 1995 for his Golden Jubilee or his 50th anniversary as the reigning monarch. Today, the magnificent stone sits on display in the Royal Museum of Bangkok's Pimammek Golden Temple as part of Thailand’s Crown Jewels.
Our Favourite Diamond Jewellery
Shiels has an extraordinary range of diamond jewellery to tickle the fancy of any April baby. With pieces to suit every kind of style and lifestyle, you’ll find everything from diamond rings and diamond earrings to diamond bracelets and diamond pendants. Here are just a few of our favourites from Shiels’ April birthstone jewellery collection. We also have a diamond glossary and diamond buyers guide to give you a little bit of extra help!