Diamond, April Birthstone

Marilyn Monroe once said that “diamonds are the girl’s best friends” and, sincerely, it’s hard to disagree with her. But let’s go back where this story began.

It all starts with a strong force that crystallises and transforms carbon, usually a soft graphite, into the hardest material found in Nature. Its name originates from the Greek word “Adamas”, which means unconquerable, indomitable.

Diamonds have been known and admired for more than 3,000 years, and their valuation is linked to its formation process that begins under exceptional conditions of temperature and pressure well below the Earth’s crust.

Through volcanic eruptions, the rough diamonds were pushed with the “matrix rock” to the surface. It is said that diamonds were first discovered in India, whose deposits were extracted since 850 BC. Because its hardness, the diamond was initially widely used without cutting, as a sharp tip on tools for cutting jade and piercing oysters for pearls. Most diamonds found in nature are between one to three billion years old!

Ancient civilisations considered diamond a “living being” and believed in their magical powers of “sweating” in the presence of poisons. It was also believed that diamonds could cure brain diseases, protect against madness and possession, and confer audacity, virility, and courage upon its wearer.

Diamond - April Birthstone - The Fine Finder

Some famous Diamonds: Orlov Diamond is part of the Russian crown jewellery collection and can be viewed at The Kremlin’s State Diamond Fund in Moscow. The Orlov, weighing 189.60 carats, is mounted on the Imperial Russian Sceptre, made during the reign of Catherine the Great (1762-1796) | The Regent Diamond was discovered in 1698 in Golconda, Índia and immediately this stone attracted the interest of Thomas Pitt, the English governor of Madras. The Regent weighed 426 carats before it was shipped to England in 1702 to be cut. In 1717 the Diamond was purchased for the French Crown at the behest of the Regent Philippe d’Orléans. We can see The Regent in the Louvre Museum | The Millennium is a near perfect Diamond, weighing a magical 777 carats. This Diamond is the centrepiece of the company’s Limited Edition Millennium Diamonds collection | The Centenary Diamond was found in Premier Mine, South Africa, on July 17th, 1986 but only brought out two years later. It has a heart-shaped brilliant cut diamond with a weight of 273.85 carats, marking the Centennial Celebration of De Beers Consolidated Mines on May 11, 1988. This diamond was insured at around $100 million in 1991. For many years De Beers presented The Centenary in the Tower of London but, currently, the owner and value of this diamond are unknown | Koh-i-Noor is a white diamond weighing 108.93 carats. Its name means a “mountain of light” by a Persian translation. The story behind this diamond goes back to the year 1302. According to the legend, the name was given to the diamond by the Persian Shah, that was stunned by its beauty. In 1849 the diamond was sent to queen Victoria where it was cut once more and was set in Queen Elizabeth’s crown. We can see this fabulous gem in The Crown Jewels, Tower of London.

With so many qualities and extreme beauty, diamond jewellery started to be used by the West women in the 14th century. But its prominence place in the western jewellery only happened in the middle of the 17th century, thanks to the French jeweller Jean Baptiste Tavernier who was enchanted by the brilliance of the gem in his travel through India.

With its exceptional brilliance, the diamond was compared to Venus, Morning Star and Goddess of Love, and therefore became the symbol of love. In 1477, the Archduke Maximilian of Austria gave a diamond ring to his future wife Mary of Burgundy, initiating the tradition of engagement diamond rings.

There are many types of cuts for diamonds, but the best known is the “brilliant” because it reveals the greater brilliance and “fire” of the gem. Because it is most commonly used commercially, the denomination “brilliant” is often mistakenly used to designate diamond itself. The correct way is to say “brilliant cut diamond”.

Diamonds can be found in many colours, however, the more colourless and pure it is, the more valuable it will be. Its colour palette has yellow, grey, brown, pink, blue, green, canary among others, and so are called “fancy diamonds”.

Diamond - April Birthstone - The Fine Finder

Image: Ring with fancy light blue pear shape diamond and white and pink diamond pavê crafted in 18k rose gold and platinum, by SRW | Ring with fancy light pink radiant cut diamond and white and pink diamonds, crafted in 18k rose gold and platinum, by SRW | Statement ring with fancy pink and fancy yellow diamonds by Setaré | Fantastic necklace with a central intense yellow diamond named Graff Golden Empress, weight 132,55 carat, by Graff | Fancy pink, yellow and light green diamond ring by Setaré | Unconventional looking diamond ring which utilized two different coloured diamonds. The heart of the design is composed of a 10.95 carat triangular cut fancy vivid blue diamond, the famous Bvlgari Blue, and a 9.87 carat triangular cut diamond. Created in the early 1970s by Bvlgari, the ring was initially purchased for $1 million as a gift for the wife of a European collector |  Beautiful ring in white and yellow gold with a central Vivid yellow emerald-cut diamond, White trillion-cut diamonds and round fancy-cut yellow diamonds of the Peau d’Ane Happy Marriage collection by Van Cleef & Arpels. 

In the period from 1725 to 1866, Brazil was the world’s largest producer of diamonds, surpassing India. Currently, the biggest diamond producers are Russia, Botswana, Congo, Australia, Canada, Zimbabwe, Angola and South Africa.