April's birthstone is a diamond, which is the most durable and luxurious gemstone on the market. Diamonds are prized for their resilience, sparkle, and timelessness. However, the diamond market is evolving rapidly.
A relatively new synthetic diamond has hit the market that is virtually indistinguishable from natural diamonds. It will be interesting to see how the demand for diamonds shifts when more people learn about the synthetic option.
Since synthetic and natural diamonds are expensive, it's vital to learn about diamonds before buying to feel confident in your purchase. These diamond facts will go through all the basics. We will touch on some fun, non-commercial information as well.
Diamond Buying Information
- Diamonds are graded on four different factors: color, clarity, carat, and cut. There are other lesser known factors like fluorescence that can play into how much a diamond is worth.
- Synthetic lab-made diamonds have the same chemical and physical properties as mined diamonds. Many consider these to be a more sustainable and environmentally friendly option than naturally mined diamonds.
- Because of the inherent value of diamonds, human rights organizations have documented turmoil and ethical issues in some parts of the diamond trade. Many manufacturers are working closely with miners to ensure there is more humane treatment throughout the industry. When purchasing a diamond, inquire about the origins and whether the diamonds are certified to be conflict-free.
- Colorless diamonds with a color ranking between D-Z are the most commonly sold stones. However, diamonds come in virtually every color of the rainbow. There are both natural and treated colored diamonds. The former is much more costly.
- Diamond is the hardest natural substance known to man and ranks as a ten on the Mohs Scale of Hardness. The only thing that can scratch the surface of a diamond is another diamond.
- Even though diamonds are not easily scratched, they can chip or fracture with a hard blow, especially along the girdle. Be careful not to smack your diamond jewelry against hard surfaces.
- Diamonds should be stored away from other gemstones, and precious diamonds should be kept in a fireproof safe. Some house fires can get hot enough to burn and destroy a diamond.
- If you spend more than a few hundred dollars on a diamond, consider investing in jewelry insurance in the event of theft, loss, or damage.
- The word diamond comes from the Greek word "Adamas," which means indestructible or invincible.
- Most diamonds were formed over one billion years ago nearly 100 miles beneath the earth's surface. In some cases, volcanic eruptions forced diamond deposits closer to the ground and within our reach.
- The oldest dated diamond is around four billion years old. Most diamonds are between one to three billion years old.
- Diamonds are composed of compressed carbon that has undergone intense heat and pressure. These external factors transform carbon into a crystalline structure.
- Diamonds have been collected for thousands of years and were predominately mined in India as far back as 300 BCE.
- In the 18th century, the majority of the world's diamonds were mined in Brazil when supplies from India declined. In the late 19th century, large diamond deposits were found in South Africa.
- Today, diamonds are mined all over the world including North America and Russia. The United States produces only 10% of the world's diamonds but purchases over 40% of the world's supply.
- Some diamonds might have origins in outer space. It's believed that certain diamond deposits found in Africa are from an asteroid that struck the earth nearly three billion years ago.
- Diamonds have been the subject of some of the world's most infamous heists throughout history.
- Diamond cutting has evolved over the last several hundred years. More sophisticated diamond cutting began in the 16th century and eventually progressed into the fiery, brilliant cut diamond used today.
- Ancient Hindus and other ancient civilizations believed that diamonds could protect people from harm, especially during battle.
- At times, people have associated diamonds with strength, courage, and resilience.
- Diamonds were not initially used for engagement rings. The first known diamond engagement ring was in 1477 when Archduke Maximilian of Austria proposed to Mary of Burgundy.
- Diamonds have become synonymous with everlasting romantic love. At one time, it was believed that Cupid's arrows were encrusted with diamonds.
- Ancient Greeks and Romans believed that diamonds were tears of the gods.
Diamond Healing Properties
- During the Middle Ages, diamonds were thought to treat exhaustion and mental fatigue.
- Diamonds aren't as common as other healing crystals because of their cost and size. Most diamond rough is under a few carats in size.
- When using diamonds in crystal healing, practitioners tend to exhibit caution. This caution is because diamonds are thought to enhance energy. So while a diamond can enhance and magnify the positive energy in a room, it can do the same thing with negative energy.