April’s Birthstone – Diamond

The diamond is April's birthstone. Its name comes from the Greek word, “adamas,” meaning unconquerable and indestructible. What makes it so special? Learn about its legendary hardness, unmatched sparkle, and mysterious folklore. We explain why ancient Egyptians wore diamonds on their ring fingers and other surprising facts about this rare gem. Read on.

Diamond Facts

Diamonds form under intense circumstances and are regarded as some of the rarest stones in the world. When carbon is exposed to high temperatures and pressure deep within the earth, over billions of years, diamonds are created.

The diamond is the hardest, natural substance on Earth. Only a diamond can scratch a diamond! For this reason, jewelers must use diamond encrusted saws to shape and facet other diamonds.

Diamond Folklore

The diamond is widely known as a symbol for purity, love, and faithfulness. It is believed to strengthen connections between lovers by uniting the intellectual mind with the spiritual mind. Diamonds are also thought to remove fear and to bring creativity to the wearer. They amplify all energy as well as attract wealth and abundance.

Have you ever wondered why wedding rings go on the fourth finger? This tradition comes from ancient Egypt, where people believed that the left ring-finger contained the “vein of love” (Vena Amoris), which ran directly into the heart. They wore diamonds on this finger to carry the stone’s energy to the heart to ignite love.

Egypt was not the only civilization who valued these rare gems. In ancient India, it was believed that diamonds were created when lightning bolts struck rocks. (Later, it was discovered that this was not the case. However there is a stone that is created when lightning strikes the sand. It’s called fulgurite.) Diamonds were used as eyes in statues of Indian Gods. The ancient Greeks and Romans also revered diamonds. They believed that they were tears of the Gods. Plato, the Greek philosopher, believed each diamond was a living being.

Ancient India believed diamonds were created by lightning striking rocks.
In ancient India, it was believed that diamonds were created by lightning striking rocks.

Diamond Healing

Ancient civilizations valued diamonds for their healing properties as well. They were believed to heal ailments of the brain, like vertigo. They were ceremoniously used to detoxify the body, to bring strength, and to aid in chronic conditions including allergies. (Are you suffering from allergies? We have some great home remedies!)

Famous Diamonds

Throughout history, there have been some large and unique diamonds discovered. The Cullinan diamond (Cullinan I) is the largest diamond found to date—a whopping 3,106 carats! It was discovered in South America in 1905. After it was cut, some of the pieces were used in the The Crown Jewels of The United Kingdom (The Imperial State Crown and Sceptre).

Another famous diamond is the Hope diamond. This beautiful blue gem was mined in India and is famous for its rare color.  The Hope Diamond is said to be cursed. Everyone who has owned it has met some form of bad luck—including death!

April's birthstone is the diamond, here are some infamous diamonds.
The Cullinan I is the largest diamond ever discovered. This diagram illustrates its size compared to other famous diamonds.
(Learn more about the Cullinan diamond and its connection with the The Crown Jewels of The United Kingdom in this video.)

Space Diamonds!

A look outside this planet reveals diamonds in space! In 2012, scientists discovered a planet thought to be composed of diamond and graphite. The planet, called “55 Cancri e,” is twice the size of Earth.

The planet 55 Cancer e is believed to be composed of diamond and graphite.
A planet known as “55 Cancri e” is believed to be composed of diamond and graphite. It’s twice the size of Earth!

In the same year, researchers found diamonds inside the Sutter’s Mill meteorite that fell in California. The diamond grains found were 10-micron (0.010 mm) in size which is tiny; however, it is huge compared to the nanometer (0.000001 mm) diamonds found in other meteorites. It is theorized by scientists that these meteorites date back to the beginning of the solar system and could have originated from a lost planet.

Different Colored Diamonds

Most of us are familiar with is a colorless diamond, but there are also yellow, brown, and blue shades. In order of increasing rarity, there are also green, black, pink, orange, purple, and red diamonds. These different shades are caused by a variety of things: exposure to other elements, differences in crystal structure, and inclusions. For example, Boron tints diamonds blue, Nitrogen creates brown shades, and irradiation (radiation) makes green ones. Black diamonds aren’t black. They just have lots of inclusions which make them appear to be dark.

Alternate April Birthstones

There are other options available to honor the April birth month. Did you know that sapphire—now regarded as September’s birthstone—used to be April’s during the Renaissance Period? Sapphire is known as the stone of wisdom. It brings peace and serenity all while releasing unwanted thoughts.

The mystic birthstone for April is the opal. If you are drawn to the spiritual world, this stone might speak to you more than the diamond. Opals come in many different forms. It is a great stone if you are looking to explore higher levels of consciousness. Opals, much like diamonds, are connected to love as they are known to intensify emotions. Opals also stand for faithfulness and loyalty. With the stones of April being on the expensive side, we thought we might also mention clear quartz as an alternative option. It looks similar to a clear diamond, and like the diamond, it amplifies energy. Quartz is abundantly found at a fair price.

Thanks for joining us on this exciting and informative journey about diamonds! From ancient Egypt to the depths of space, now you know why diamonds are such iconic, sough-after gemstones! Find out more about other birthstones.

What is your favorite thing about diamonds?

Were you familiar with any of this interesting folklore? Let us know in the comments below!

This article was written with contributions by Amber Kanuckel and Tamra Albright-Johnson of THS Jewelry.

This article was published by the staff at Farmers' Almanac. Do you have a question or an idea for an article? Contact us!

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Cedric Haynes

Man made diamonds are interesting too!

Farmers' Almanac

Hi Cedric! Thanks for your comment. What fascinates you about man-made diamonds? Please feel free to share your thoughts or any interesting facts that you know. One of the best parts about the Farmers’ Almanac online community is this forum, where we can all learn from each other! ?

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