April’s Birthstone-Diamond

April’s Birthstone: Diamond
Alternate birthstones: White Topaz or Quartz Crystal
Ancient birthstone: Sapphire
Mystical birthstone: Opal
Diamond is the zodiac stone for Aries March 21-April 20
Diamond is the 75th anniversary stone

A vintage diamond and platinum ring from the 1920′s

A vintage diamond and platinum ring from the 1920′s

Birthstones have long been associated with particular months of the year, as well as zodiac signs. In antiquity each gemstone was to be worn on a particular month, harking back to the connection between apostles and their virtues, as well as the twelve stones in Aaron’s breastplate mentioned in a passage in Exodus. In 1912 the American National Association of Jewelers set the birthstone list most referred to today, with a few changes made as recently as 2012. British Goldsmiths set their own list in 1932 adding a few specific colors and alternates that can be used each month. Tiffany’s published a poem from an unknown source in the late 1800’s with a gemstone proclaimed in each stanza by month,

She who from April dates her years,
Diamonds shall wear, lest bitter tears
For vain repentance flow; this stone,
Emblem of innocence is known.

Diamonds are said to strengthen and promote the healing ability of the body, guard the wearer from negative influences, and protect against the evil eye.  A stone representing innocence, purity and coolness.

Diamonds, named from the Greek word adamas meaning unbreakable, are at the top of the Mohs scale for hardness with a measurement of 10. Clear, flawless, colorless diamonds are the ideal for most jewelry, but diamonds are available in a range of colors: blue, yellow, brown, pink, and even black. Diamonds are durable, scratched only by other diamonds, making them suitable for everyday wear and tear. Diamonds are made of carbon, arranged in a diamond lattice, formed deep in the Earth’s mantle under enormous pressure and high temperatures. Moved to the surface in magma flows, diamonds are found in deposits of kimberlites and lamproites. Diamonds are mined in only a few locations, Botswana, Democratic Republic of Congo, Australia, India, Brazil, Russia and Canada. Small quantities of diamonds have been found in the United States, in Colorado, Arkansas, and Wyoming.  Much of the material mined is low quality, not suitable for gem cutting and is used in industrial applications, cutting wheels, grinding tools and diamond tipped drills, and abrasive powder.

Diamond beads are available but are often cost prohibitive and difficult to work with as the bead holes are extremely small. Good alternatives with the same crystal clear quality as diamond are white topaz and quartz crystal. Both have the shimmering brilliance and the durability to be worn daily. Use quartz and white topaz to add sparkle to your jewelry, brightening subtle designs with highly reflective faceted beads. Herkimer diamonds are double terminated quartz crystals, discovered in Herkimer County, New York  and are interesting stones as they emulate rough, uncut diamonds.

Unpolished quartz crystal beads.

Unpolished quartz crystal beads.

A polished quartz crystal pendant.

A polished quartz crystal pendant.

Quartz beads are available in many shapes.

Quartz beads are available in many shapes.

About Emily Miller
Beads make me happy. I need to work with my hands everyday to connect with the artist within. Teaching others spreads the bead joy.....

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