Diamonds are April’s Birthstone

Diamond is the official birthstone for the month of April. The word diamond gets its name from the Greek adamas meaning “hardest” or “unconquerable.” Everyone knows what diamonds are, but most might not realize what they once were–chunks of dark, ugly carbon similar to charcoal, roasting and rumbling around deep within the earth or even in a volcano’s red-hot magma. Fortunately, through eruptions and other harsh works of Mother Nature, eventually the diamonds find their way to the surface for man to find, cut, polish, and enjoy. Talk about an ugly duckling turning into a swan!

In addition to being colorless, diamonds are found in–and/or treated to become–almost every color of the spectrum, including brown (known as champagne and chocolate diamonds), rare green, blue, red, orange, black, yellow, and pink. Natural red, purple, and pink diamonds are among the most rare and valuable of all diamonds. Most diamonds in jewelry are nearly colorless to very light yellow or light brown. Diamond ranks a 10 on Mohs’ hardness scale. 

Diamonds are the hardest material on earth. The only thing that can scratch a diamond is another diamond. However, hardness and toughness is not the same thing, and diamonds can crack or chip if they suffer hard blows. Ultrasonic and steam cleaners should be safe for diamonds unless the stone contains a feather inclusion. Warm soapy water and a soft cloth are safe bets for cleaning diamonds and diamond jewelry.