April babies get one of the most popular and most precious gemstones as their birthstone: the diamond.
Diamonds have been admired for centuries, and some historians estimate it was traded as early as 4 BC. One of the reasons it is so admired and valued is because of the process by which a diamond must be formed well below the earth’s crust, then forced upward until it is uncovered.
Diamonds were first found in India somewhere between 3,000 and 6,000 years ago, and were used in religious icons. The name comes from a Greek word meaning unalterable or unbreakable.
Historically, the diamond first became a popular gemstone in India, when the Moghuls and Imperial Colony easily mined diamonds from deposits along three major rivers. Today, the diamond is most widely known as the stone to give as part of an engagement ring.
Diamonds have often been associated with great healing powers. Many thought the diamond could cure brain disease, alleviate pituitary gland disorders and draw toxins from the blood. Throughout history, however, the diamond has nearly always symbolised eternal and lasting love. So whether you’re getting engaged, or simply want to give yourself a truly meaningful gift, the diamond has both beauty and enduring symbolism.
Buying a diamond can be a complicated business, each stone is graded according to it's clarity and many different levels of quality might be available.
There are also complex ethical concerns regarding exploitation, (Have you seen Blood Diamond?? Such a good film.) All the diamonds I buy are certified conflict free according to the Kimberley process. I think it's unlikely you will find much on the UK market now which isn't.
I'm generally a fan of natural materials, but this is often because their imperfection makes them more interesting than mass produced identical items, so if what you are looking for is perfect clarity and sparkle then it is worth considering an alternative like a moissanite. These really don't look any different to the naked eye, and the price is a little less eye watering.
Apologies to those whose Birthday's I have already missed and congratulation to all those yet to come, enjoy Xx