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April birthstone - Rachel Jeffrey

April birthstone

Those with April birthdays enjoy the diamond as their birthstone.

What is it about this stone which sets is apart from others? 

Here is some background…

 

Where do diamonds come from?

Just like gold and silver that form naturally in the earth, diamonds do too. Diamonds are minerals made up of carbon.  They are particularly famous for being the hardest known natural substance.

Diamonds are formed very deep within the earth (approximately 150-200km down), when carbon is crystallized by pressure and high heat over a long period of time – in fact, most diamonds are between about 1 and 3.3 billion years old before they reach the surface of the earth! 

Diamonds are found in lots of different places around the world.

Some of the largest diamond-producing countries include Australia, Congo, Russia, and South Africa. 

 

What makes them so valuable?

Diamonds are considered to be very valuable.

Strength and durability? Shininess and beauty? Rareness? Aside from qualities like these, what are some other qualities that make something valuable? Uniqueness, sentimental value, and having a special history might all be good examples! 

 

Are all diamonds white?

Diamonds vary from colourless to black, and they may be transparent, translucent, or opaque. Most diamonds used as gems are transparent and colourless or nearly so. Colourless or pale blue stones are most valued, but these are rare; most gem diamonds are tinged with yellow.

A “fancy” diamond has a distinct body colour; red, blue, and green are rarest, and orange, violet, yellow, and yellowish green more common.

The colour of diamonds may be changed by exposure to intense radiation (as released in a nuclear reactor a particle accelerator) or by heat treatment.

 

What makes them so sparkly?

A very high refractive power gives the diamond its extraordinary brilliance. A properly cut diamond will return a greater amount of light to the eye of the observer than will a gem of lesser refractive power and will thus appear more brilliant. The high dispersion gives diamonds their fire which is caused by the separation of white light into the colours of the spectrum as it passes through the stone.

 

What are inclusions?

Clarity is a gemstone’s relative freedom from clarity characteristics that are classified as inclusions and blemishes.  Inclusions are enclosed within a diamond, or they extend from the surface into the diamond.  Blemishes are confined to the diamond’s surface. Inclusions typically have more influence on a diamond’s clarity grade than blemishes.  5 factors determine the overall effect of characteristics on a clarity grade – size, number, position, nature, relief.  The nature of the inclusions influences the grade also – larger ones can be hazardous for example.

Some inclusions are; crystals, clouds, needles, pinpoints, graining, twinning wisps, knot, chip, feather, cavity, bruise, cleavage.

Some blemishes are; surface graining, nick, scratch, abrasion, extra facet.

Clarity characteristics make every diamond unique which helps to identify individual diamonds.

When a diamond has no inclusions or blemishes when examined under 10x magnification by a skilled grader its called flawless.

 

What are fancy cut diamonds?

A fancy cut diamond is any diamond shapeother than a round brilliant.  Some people attribute personality type to these shapes.  See below… Do you agree?!

Marquise – career-orientated, aggressive, daring, impulsive, loves to travel, loves excitement and turmoil

Heart – creative, outgoing, flirtatious, highly sensitive to criticism, lives on cloud 9 and likes it there!, trusting

Oval – individualistic, organized, good budget keeper, independent, orderly, faithful, leader, has well behaved children

Pear – home centered, likes to keep options open, considerate, innovative, frugal with family finances, good homemakers, solid citizens

Triangle

Emerald cut – disciplined and organized, good leaders, likes order and cleanliness, good teachers, honest and open

Radiant

Princess

 

I mostly use princess cuts and round brilliants in my work.  The photographs below show how round brilliants can easily be added to designs to add a lovely addition!

 

 

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