April Birthstone - Diamond
If only I was born in April! The most well known of all the gemstones, Diamond, is April’s birthstone.
Diamonds have a long and complex history, with the first diamonds mined in India in the 4th Century. They were prized for their ability to refract light and as cutting tools as they could engrave metal. Over time, diamonds became more and more valuable, mostly because they were thought only to be found in India, and that supply was diminishing.
It wasn’t until Erasmus Jacobs found a pebble in South Africa in 1866 that things changed. The pebble turned out to be a 21 carat diamond, and prospectors arrived in their hundreds to mine the area. With such a large amount of diamonds available, prices dropped rapidly and the wealthy turned to other, coloured gemstones as diamonds were deemed a little too common.
In 1880, a British man, Cecil John Rhodes formed De Beers, which fairly successfully worked to limit and control the amount of diamonds on the market. Even then, prices remained lower, at almost half of their previous value.
The popularity that we see in diamonds in modern times was helped by a major advertising campaign commissioned by De Beers after WW2 in 1947. The phrase “A Diamond is forever” suggested that diamonds should be the only choice for engagement rings. Today, diamonds are present in almost 80% of gemstones sold across the world.
Some of our favourites include: