Meet April's birthstone: The Dazzling Diamond
At Orsini we are often asked: what is the birthstone for April? Well if you're lucky enough to be born in the fourth month of the year, it's a true icon: the diamond. From the Middle Ages to modern times, diamonds have a fascinating history that spans the world, and the sparkling April birthstone has been loved for centuries.
What is the history of the diamond?
Long before diamonds were named as the modern birthstone for April and became the stone of choice for engagement rings, most came from India. Gathered from rivers and streams, diamonds were a status symbol available only to the wealthy. In fact, one of the oldest surviving diamond rings contains stones originating from India. Even though its owner is unknown, we do know an artisan crafted it about 2,000 years before the discovery of diamonds in Brazil in the 1700s.
For centuries, only the wealthy could afford diamond jewellery, until sometime in the late 1700s when wealth redistribution made diamonds more accessible to more people.
The Cullinan diamond was one of the world's first super famous diamonds, and was named after Thomas Cullinan, the chairman of the mining company that discovered it. In 1907 the government of Transvaal gave the Cullinan diamond to King Edward VI, who had it professionally cut by the Asschers of Amsterdam, the expert diamond cutters of the time. The Asschers cut nine large stones from the original Cullinan diamond, some set in the Sovereign's Sceptre with Cross and Imperial State Crown. The royal sceptre and crown remain part of the Crown Jewels today, and are possibly the most viewed historical items in Britain.
And in case you're wondering why "diamonds are a girl's best friend," it probably has to do with the fact that diamonds are the most asked for gemstone in the world! That popular saying came from the title of a song of the same name, first introduced in the original Broadway production of Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.
What colours do diamonds come in?
Many think of the stone as only clear, but in fact, diamonds come in a world of brilliant colours to suit any taste. As diamonds travel to the surface of the earth, they occasionally mix with trace amounts of other minerals and thus take on a variety of colours.
You can have your April birthstone jewel in colours including blue, orange, yellow, pink, brown, and even green. The coloured diamond is, in fact, experiencing a growth in popularity - and not just among diamond-lovers born in April. And if you wonder whether lack of clarity in a coloured stone negatively affects its value, the answer is: not always. The most valuable (and rarest) coloured gemstones are highly saturated blue, pink, and green diamonds.
Where are diamonds found?
As mentioned, diamonds were first discovered and mined in India over 2,400 years ago. Over time, diamonds were found in many other areas around the world, including many in Africa. In today's trade, Africa, Russia, Australia, and Canada produce the most diamonds. These valuable minerals are transported to the Earth's surface through erupting volcanoes, and are then mined at kimberlite sites.
What are the diamond's spiritual qualities?
The word "diamond" comes from the Greek word adamas, meaning "invincible". This is the perfect name for the dazzling stone, as diamond is the hardest natural material found on earth.
In some cultures, a diamond was always more than a birthstone. It was a rare gem that provided mental clarity and possessed potent healing powers. In ancient times, people wore diamonds as protective gemstones to deflect the evil eye. People also wore diamonds to protect against physical harm, associating the stone with strength and power.
How do I care for diamond jewellery?
While these beautiful and popular gemstones may look delicate, they are actually the hardest natural substance on earth. While it's possible for diamonds to shatter under extreme conditions, only a diamond can scratch or cut another diamond. Having said that, learning how best to care for your diamond jewellery is incredibly important. Certain pieces, like rings, receive more wear and tear throughout their lifetime, so regularly check for loose prongs to ensure you don't lose any of your precious stones.
The easiest way to clean your birthstone jewels is with mild soap and warm water. Soak them in the latter for 15-20 minutes, before gently scrubbing them with a soft-bristled brush. Never use harsh cleansers, which can cause damage to gemstones and even some precious metals, and demonstrate care when using ultrasonic jewellery cleaners, which are popular but may potentially loosen prongs. Try and opt for warm water and gentle soap when you can.
How can I find the diamond setting for me?
How can I find the diamond setting for me?
At Orsini we love the process of helping our clients to create their dream piece of custom jewellery, especially one with their precious birthstone jewel at its heart. The process of building and shaping an idea, then turning that idea into a true masterpiece, is one that we relish at every step.
If you have an idea in mind for a piece of diamond jewellery that you just can't find or don' know where to start, we'd love to meet with you and give you an insight into our process and how it can work for you. The Orsini team consists of unabashedly creative and talented jewellery designers, premium diamond graders, gemologists and master goldsmiths, all trained to create unique pieces of jewellery through every stage of the process, with great precision and finish. We are proud of our creations and team work, and we would love to work together with you to make your dreams a reality.
Feel free to contact us at any time, or visit us instore at our elegant Parnell atelier, where we invite you to relax while we discuss the seemingly endless possibilities for your bespoke diamond design.