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Diamond: The April Birthstone Guide

Kim Hartman Bracelets, Gemstones and Crystals, Interchangeable Jewelry, Jewelry Education, Necklaces Leave a Comment

by Kim Hartman

What Is the Birthstone for April?

The birthstone for April is the diamond. The April birthstone is considered to be the “King of all Birthstones,” due to its popularity in jewelry and its coveted gemstone status (“History of the Diamond”). Read on to learn the history and meaning of this stunning April birthstone.

The History of the April Birthstone

Photo credit: Stephanie Gottlieb

Diamonds were originally found in India’s streams and rivers and were known to be traded as early as 4th century BCE. At that time, the wealthy and royalty already desired them, which eventually led to caravans bringing Indian diamonds to medieval marketplaces in Venice (“April Birthstones”).

The American Gem Society states that “Sanskrit texts dating back before 400 B.C. found that people associated significant value and wonderment with crystals, [and that] there is also significant research dating back to 1330 showing diamond cutting in Venice. The diamond trading business flourished towards the 15th century with the opening of Eastern trade routes” (“History of the Diamond”).

With the opening of trade routes, diamonds soon became fashionable accessories for the wealthiest living in Europe. In fact, the Archduke Maximilian of Austria is the first on record known to have given a diamond engagement ring to his betrothed, Mary of Burgundy, in 1477 (“April Birthstones”).

According to the GIA, when India’s diamond supplies began declining, Brazil became the next diamond source. Gold miners were sifting through gravel on the banks of the Jequitinhonha River in Minas Gerais and discovered diamonds. Brazil was the main source of diamonds for the next 150 years. However, when diamonds were discovered near Kimberley, South Africa in the late 1860s, Africa became the center of the modern diamond market (“April Birthstones”).

In 1999, Leonardo DiCaprio’s movie Blood Diamond called attention to the Conflict Diamond trade, resulting from high-conflict areas in Africa. This much-needed attention led to the implementation of the Kimberley Process in 2000; according to Geology.com, “This procedure requires each nation to certify that all rough diamond exports are produced through legitimate mining and sales activity” (“Blood Diamonds”). In addition, any nation that agrees to participate in the Kimberley Process cannot trade with nonmember nations.

There are 81 governments and several non-government organizations that are abiding by the Kimberley Process today. The World Diamond Council estimates that 99% of all diamonds are now conflict-free (“Blood Diamonds”). In fact, most diamonds today are mined outside of Africa; two of the biggest suppliers of diamonds are Canada and Australia.

The Meaning of the April Birthstone

There were many ancient theories that claimed diamonds were magical—some people thought diamonds were formed by bolts of lightning, while others said that diamonds were formed by the tears of the gods (“History of the Diamond”). 

A 2nd-century poet believed that diamonds warded off the “evil eye”—a sinister look given to someone to cause them sickness, poverty, or even death (“April Birthstones”).

During the Middle Ages, people would heat up diamonds and take them to bed with them. They thought the diamonds would draw out harmful toxins that were crippling their bodies. They also believed diamonds could boost their energy when they combined them with other crystals like amethyst (“History of the Diamond”).

Over the centuries, people even considered the diamond an antidote to poison and a protection against the plague (“April Birthstones”)!

Photo credit: Leibish

Facts about the April Birthstone

Diamonds are one of the hardest substances on earth. The word diamond, itself, is adopted from the Greek word adamas, meaning “invincible” (“History of the Diamond”). It gets its strength from its symmetrical atomic structure that is pure carbon. While most diamonds are colorless—the less color, the higher in value—about two percent of diamonds are considered “fancy colored gems” (“April Birthstone”).  

Fancy-colored diamonds come in many different colors, including pink, blue, green, black, brown, and gray. The colors are caused by several different factors, two of which are the presence of chemical impurities in the diamond itself and the environmental conditions the gems were exposed to while still in the earth (“April Birthstone”). 

Yellow and brown are the most common of the fancy-colored diamonds; like many colored gemstones, gemologists evaluate colored diamonds on their hue, tone, and saturation. The International Gem Society has a great article with more information about this. For more information about diamonds and how they’re evaluated, as well as how they’re different from Cubic Zirconia and Crystals, see our blog post, “Diamonds, Cubic Zirconia, and Swarovski Crystals: What’s the Difference?”

April Birthstone Bracelet

For those with the diamond as their April Birthstone, they have a very special birthstone, with a rich and complicated history. But that’s not surprising for such a beautiful gemstone—no wonder people call it the King of the Birthstones!

At Style Dots, we use high-quality crystals for a more affordable, but just as beautiful look. 

To see Style Dots April birthstone offerings, visit StyleDots.com.