The Crystal Cove

April - Diamond

Diamond is the birthstone for the month of April and is perhaps the most sought after precious gemstone. Made from the mineral carbon, diamond is formed deep within the earth at high pressure. There is an old tale that diamonds can be formed from compressed coal but this is highly unlikely to be true.As well as other geological explanations, both are carbon based but the environmental conditions needed to produce diamonds are found far deeper within the earth than the conditions in which we find coal.

Diamond has historically been thought to provide the wearer with inner strength and is commonly known as the forever stone symbolising everlasting love and in ancient times, were thought to be tears of the gods.

When we think of diamonds, the most obvious that comes to mind is the ever popular colourless or pure diamond. However, structural defects and presence of different chemical elements mean diamonds can occur in many colours such as grey, orange, yellow, pink, green, purple, brown and blue. However, it is said that the exception here is the pink coloured diamond, for which there is only speculation as to how it gets its pink colour. For example, it is known that the chemical compound boron gives the blue diamond its colour and nitrogen gives the yellow diamond its colour but no traces of such elements have been found, causing the pink diamond to become even more mysterious and sought after, in addition to its rarity of course. Of naturally coloured diamonds, red is said to be the most rare but any vivid coloured diamond will be vary rare and expensive.

Pure diamonds are classified according to the 4c’s, clarity, colour, cut and carat with each being equally important to determining thequality and price of an individual stone.

As well as being highly attractive in any type of jewellery, diamond is today perhaps best known for its use in engagement rings. The history of rings as a symbol of betrothal is not a recent one and can be dated as far back as the Romans. The earliest known engagement ring to include diamond was commissioned in 1477 by Archduke Maximillian of Austria, however, the phenomenon is generally a recent one as the result of an incredibly clever marketing campaign by diamond specialist De Beers which included the slogan "A diamond is forever”.