Diamonds 101

Why The Diamond Is The Very Best Birthstone

April birthday? If you love diamond jewelry, consider yourself in luck.

Why The Diamond Is The Very Best BirthstoneFrom left to right: Eriness, Forevermark, Polly Wales, Walters Faith
From left to right: Eriness, Forevermark, Polly Wales, Walters Faith

No one gets to choose their birthdate, of course. But anyone who, by the luck of the draw, was born in April has been bestowed with the very best birthstone of them all: the diamond. Mere opinion this is not; diamonds have a magical mix of physical and intangible qualities that set them apart from the rest of the glittering field. 

Artemer diamond ring
Artemer
Adina Reyter diamond necklace
Adina Reyter
eriness diamond earrings
Eriness

They’re A Perfect Ten…

…On the Mohs scale of mineral hardness, that is. Developed more than 200 years ago by German mineralogist Friedrich Mohs, the one-to-ten scale measures resistance to being scratched. They rank at the very top of the list and are four times harder than the ninth-ranked corundum family, which includes sapphires and rubies. In plain English, that means the only thing that can scratch a diamond is, well, another diamond. Maybe that’s why the word diamond is derived from the Greek word adamas, meaning invincible.

walters faith diamond cuff
Walters Faith
forevermark diamond earrings
Forevermark

Diamonds Hold History

The next time a piece of diamond jewelry catches your eye, remember that the stones have already stood the test of time; most diamonds are at least a billion years old. The gems form about 100 miles below the surface of the Earth under conditions of immense heat and pressure (approximately 725,000 pounds per square inch and 2200 degrees Fahrenheit) then traveled to the surface during volcanic eruptions lodged in rock formations called kimberlite. Not to mention these stones are one of the only materials that come directly from Earth’s mantle layer (most colored gemstones originate on the outermost layer, the crust). They have to make quite the journey to get to your jewelry box.

amali diamond earrings
Amali
polly wales diamond necklce
Polly Wales
michelle fantacti diamond ring
Michelle Fantacti

They Can Be Colorful Characters

When you envision a diamond, what do you see? Most likely it’s a faceted stone that radiates brilliant flashes of light but is devoid of color. White diamonds (though they’re referred to by the term “colorless” by gemologists) certainly represent one view of a diamond but not the complete picture. In reality, the stones can be found in virtually any color imaginable: the rarest, most valuable diamonds of all are fancy color diamonds, which can appear green, pink, red, yellow, brown or beyond. Only one out of 10,000 diamonds exhibit fancy color; perhaps the most famous of all is the Hope Diamond, a gem of deep grayish-blue color that falls beyond the furthest reaches of the standard color-grading scale.

Even if fancy diamonds are out of reach, jewelry featuring rough and rustic diamonds that are minimally faceted and polished and show off a stone’s natural tones and inclusions have grown significantly in popularity in the last decade. If you prefer jewelry with lively color, this is certainly a diamond that fits the bill.

graziela diamond earrings
Graziela
nouvel diamond bracelet
Nouvel Heritage
kwiat diamond earrings
Kwiat

Maybe They’re Magical

For thousands of years, diamonds have been objects of fascination. Coveted by kings, symbolizing love and inspiring artists for centuries, there’s no other gem that has the mystique and allure that diamonds have accrued across the centuries. Legends surround the gem, its origins and powers. Ancient Greeks believed diamonds were slivers of fallen stars. (In fact, meteorites containing small diamonds have been known to fall to Earth, so maybe they weren’t far off.) Classical Roman literature mentions that Cupid’s arrows had diamonds at their tips. And in the second century B.C.E., an unnamed poet wrote of the stone’s ability to protect against bad luck: “The evil eye shall have no power to harm him that shall wear the diamond as a charm.” Even if you don’t place any credence in the mystical claims, learning the endless lore that surrounds diamonds is part of their attraction and makes for a scintillating conversation starter.

picchiotti diamond ring
Picchiotti
state property diamond necklace
State Property
melissa kaye diamond bracelet
Melissa Kaye

Diamonds Make The Moment

Whether it’s an actress announcing to the world that she’s arrived—hello, Andra Day in an ethereal Chanel Fine Jewelry cuff, rings and ear climbers at the Golden Globes—or a couple posting a #ringfie to announce their engagement, so often diamond jewelry signifies an unforgettable occasion. A diamond’s strength makes it a meaningful and lasting way to express    profound feelings—joy, love, pride, commitment—now and for generations to come. Wearing your diamond jewelry regularly brings some of that magic into every day.