Sparkling with an internal fire all its own, diamond is one of the world’s most sought-after and adored gemstones. Those born in April are lucky enough to call this scintillating gem their birthstone, a symbol of clarity and strength. Diamond is so strong, in fact, that its name comes from the Greek word "adamas," which means “invincible” or “unbreakable.” The timeless charm of diamond was cherished long before it became the April birthstone, and the places where diamond comes from are as fascinating as the lore that surrounds it.
CARE: Diamond (10 on the Mohs hardness scale) is usually durable enough to be placed in an ultrasonic cleaner. However, if your diamond birthstone has many inclusions or has been treated, it it is best to clean it with a lint-free cloth, or use warm water, mild soap, and a soft toothbrush or a commercial jewelry cleaning solution. Also, have your diamond birthstone jewelry periodically cleaned and its setting examined by a professional jeweler to maintain its beauty and integrity over time.
The birthstone for April is now mined around the world. By the early 2000s, South Africa had been joined by other African nations as major producers of rough diamonds. These include the Democratic Republic of the Congo (previously known as Zaire) and Botswana. The former Soviet Union opened its first major mine in 1960, and Russia is now one of the top producers by both volume and value. Diamond mining expanded dramatically with the opening of the Argyle mine in Australia in 1983 and the discovery of several diamond deposits in northern Canada in the 1990s.
Diamonds in Botswana lie in the typically hot, semi-arid eastern region of the country. These prolific mines have brought a boom to the economy, creating a growing middle class. The country is also a diamond hub, where approximately 40 percent of the world’s supply of rough diamonds are sorted and valued.
EMBARKING ON YOUR OWN DIAMOND JOURNEY?
Check out our diamond guide to help you learn more about this special stone and what to look for when buying!