Those born during the month of April are lucky to have one of the most sought after gemstones as their birthstone: the diamond. As Marilyn Monroe so eloquently put it, “diamonds are a girl’s best friend.”
Beautiful, brilliant and full of sparkle; the diamond is said to represent toughness, incredible strength and clarity. In the past it also represented wealth and was hailed for its healing properties. Many people know that most gem quality diamonds are near colorless, but did you know that they also come in other colors such as red, yellow, pink and blue, just to name a few? These are often referred to as “fancy” colored diamonds and can cost more than regular colorless diamonds due to their rarity.
THE HISTORY OF THE DIAMOND
The word diamond comes from the Greek word “adamas” meaning “invincible” due to its nearly indestructible nature. In fact diamonds are so tough they can only be cut by using another diamond!
The first diamonds were found in India during the 4th century BCE. They began to be traded throughout Europe and it didn’t take long for these beautiful gems to make their way onto the hands and necks of Europe’s wealthiest and most influential upper class. Today diamonds are found all over the world in places like Africa, Russia, Australia and even Canada. However, because diamonds have become so coveted, they have become harder and harder to find.
WHAT IS THE BIGGEST DIAMOND IN THE WORLD?
In 1905 a man named Fredrick Wells was walking through a mine when something sparkling caught his eye. After investigating he realized he’d stumbled upon an extremely large diamond! Once the public found out about his find, they began referring to the diamond as the “Cullinan” diamond, named after the man who owned the mine. Unsure of how to sell such a priceless diamond, the diamond was sent to a secure location in London for safe keeping. Eventually, the decision was made to present the diamond as a gift to King Edward VII. The diamond was cut into 9 gems and divided between the Crown Jewels, the Royal Sceptre and the Imperial State Crown.
WHY DO SO MANY PEOPLE CHOSE A DIAMOND FOR THEIR ENGAGEMENT RING?
The tradition of wearing a ring on your ring finger to symbolize commitment started in ancient Rome. Ancient Romans used twisted copper or hair to form a ring and the ring was placed on the third finger of the left hand, which eventually became known as the “ring finger.” This finger was chosen because it has a vein that connects straight to the heart!
As time progressed gemstones began to be added, including diamonds. However, it wasn’t until the 1940’s when diamond company DeBeers, hired an advertising agency to convince people that diamonds were the best and only “real” choice for engagement rings. Have you ever heard, “a diamond is forever?” Most of us have. This is all because of a highly successful advertising campaign. Now, more than 70% of engagement rings use a diamond as its gemstone.
Are you shopping for someone with an April birthday? Or perhaps treating yourself? Well shine on!
Want to know more? From mining diamonds in South America to hand-selecting thousands of loose stones for our showrooms, our Founder & President Keith Leclerc has done it all. Speak with one of our local diamond experts at any of our 10 locations today!
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