Brief Guide to April Birthstone
The diamond is April's birthstone. Some say that those born in April are the luckiest as the diamond is the April birthstone. Since ancient times, diamonds have been treasured for their brilliance and fire. Diamonds are also the symbol of love. Romans called this month April as it means to open, like the opening of buds on plants in spring.
Diamonds are of course the most wanted gemstone, but there is more to a diamond that its brilliance. Diamonds are the hardest natural stubstance and only a diamond can cut another diamond. A diamond is the only gemstone prized for a complete lack of color. This does not mean that clear or white is the only color for diamonds.
Diamonds can occur in any color though yellow and brown are the most common. There are even black diamonds, though they are really dark brown from so many inclusions in the diamond. Fancy colored diamonds are rare due to their intense, bright color. The rarest colored diamond is the blue diamond.
April is the month when Spring finally arrives in full force and the last remnants of Winter are pushed aside to make room for the renewing power of the sun and the flowers of the land. Formany, this is the time of year when schoolchildren are starting to get antsy in their desks, looking forward to the beginning of the summer and the end of the school term. April brings with it a promise and tradition of rain, helping to bring to life the trees and gardens that spent the cold months in hibernation. It is, of course, home to April Fool’s Day, and woe to the person who has a birthday on April 1st, particularly if they happen to be friends with pranksters. It is also halfway through this month that people turn their attention to the IRS. Here is a look at the birthstones of April.
April Modern and Traditional Birthstone
What can be said about the mighty and elegant diamond that hasn’t been said before? The gemstone is so popular and rare that is has become the symbol for engagement and marriage since time long forgotten. The only gem that is revered for its ability to cut glass, the diamond is one of the hardest gemstones, and comes in an array of shades and clarities. The diamond is also unique in the fact that, prior to its being cut and shaped by an expert jeweler, it is not a particularly noteworthy gem. In fact, until the late fifteen hundreds, when gem cutting became a widely accepted practice, few held the diamond up as any kind of standard. Today, of course, the diamond is widely recognized as one of the most precious of all the gems, and this is due in large part to the skill and beauty with which they are cut. In some cases, the lovely blue sapphire has been used as the traditional birthstone for April, though in much less frequency than the diamond or even the rock crystal.
April Alternate Birthstone
Because the diamond is not always a practical gift for those with children or friends with an April birthday, the rock crystal has become a very popular substitute. Due to its availability, and, ore importantly, its affordability, the rock crystal has been used as a stand in for diamonds for all occasions, including as a birthstone. In its cut form, this colorless quartz can make a sparkling, dynamic gemstone, perfect for anyone who wants something with the sparkle of a diamond, but without the price tag.
Birthstone Properties: Enhances competence, trust and love
Alternative Birthstone: Opal, Cubic Zirconia
Formed deep within the earth where there is intense heat and pressure, diamonds are simply crystallized carbon.
April's birthstone is the perennial first choice for engagement rings, but is it also the anniversary gem for the 10th and 60th years of marriage when eternity bands and other diamond-detailed rings replace original wedding bands.
The ancient Greeks believed that diamonds were splinters of stars fallen to earth. It was even said by some that they were the tears of the Gods or perhaps crystallized lightning or hardened dew drops. In fact, the exact origin of diamonds is still something of a mystery, even to scientists and geologists.
India is thought to be the first river-bed source of diamond mining. The ancient Hindus called the diamond "Vajra," (lightening) because of the sparks of light that it emits as well as its invincible strength.
Arguably the most beautiful gemstones on the planet, diamonds are also harder than any other substance on earth and found today in Australia, Botswana, Russia and South Africa.
Dr. Diamond: Diamonds have long been credited for having certain medicinal properties. During the middle ages, these gemstones were thought to heal illness, but only if the ailing person took the diamond into bed to warm it up first!
Of Kings and Queens, Archdukes and Duchesses: Legend has it that Cupid's arrows were tipped in diamonds and over the centuries, this magnificent gemstone has acquired a well-deserved reputation as the ultimate gift of love. In less democratic times, diamonds were reserved for royalty…the only people "entitled" to their symbolism of strength, courage and invincibility. But in 1477, Archduke Maximillian of Austria gave a diamond ring to Mary of Burgundy and before long the tradition of diamond engagement rings was one embraced by even the most humble brides-to-be and their suitors.
The diamond's white hue signifies life, joy and innocence, but diamonds may be nearly any color in the rainbow plus a wide range of browns, grays, and white. Shades of yellow are most common, followed by colorless. Blue, black, reddish, and greenish are more valuable (some extremely so).
P.S. I Love You: It's interesting to note that a woman wears her diamond on the third finger of her left hand because early Egyptians believed the vena amoris (vein of love) ran directly from the heart to the top of the third finger, left hand. A gift of a Diamond is symbolic of everlasting love. There is no more convincing a promise of an enduring relationship than the brilliant gemstone that has endured in people's hearts throughout the history.