In many cultures birthstones are a well established tradition whereby a gem is associated with a birth month. Each stone has a special meaning and it is believed by many that wearing your birthstone will bring good fortune.
The birthstone for April is a girl’s best friend, diamond - lucky for those of us born in April!
Diamond’s are the only gemstone composed of one single element, being 99% carbon and the other 0.05% can include trace elements that can influence the colour with blue, green, orange and red being the rarest. Of course, clear diamonds are the most known and popular! They were formed billions of years ago through immense pressure and heat, and are bought closer to the Earth’s surface through volcanic activity.
They were originally discovered in India in the 4th century BC. In the early 1700s, as the diamond supplies there began to decline, Brazil emerged as an important source. Then in the late 1800’s the first great South African diamond deposits were discovered. Now, there are also large new mines in Australia and Canada. Only around 30% of the diamonds mined worldwide are gem-quality and the rest are used in industry, mainly for cutting and grinding as they are also the hardest material in the world!
Diamond weight is measured in carats and this word comes from keration, the Greek name for the carob tree whose seed was used for centuries as the standard of weighing precious stones. Because the seed could vary slightly in weight, recently carat weight became metric; one metric carat is equivalent to 0.2 grams.
The largest rough diamond, discovered in 1905, is the Cullinan diamond, weighing in at 3,106 carats (ct.)! It was cut into a total of 105 diamonds of exceptional color and clarity. The largest of which, the Great Star of Africa weights 530.20ct. and is part of the crown jewels of Great Britian.
If you are lucky enough to buy a diamond then there are four major factors to consider, known as the 4 C’s:
Clarity: grades assess the number, size, relief, and position of inclusions and blemishes.
Colour: The less color, the higher the grade. Even the slightest hint can make a dramatic difference in value.
Cut: (proportions, symmetry, and polish) is a measure of how a diamond’s facets interact with light.
Carat: Rarity means larger diamonds of the same quality are worth more per carat.
With their dramatic sparkle, rarity, and hardness it is no surprise that these special stones have been so sought after for so long.
(Information taken from www.gia.edu)
The Swiss Blue birthstone collection for April consists of bracelets and earrings created with diamond effect Swarovski crystals (which enables us to keep an attractive price point) and using sterling silver or gold filled beads and earhoops. Both these precious metals are hypo-allergenic and lightweight, so they are ideal for everyday wear.
Liz Le Feuvre
Liz set up Swiss Blue jewellery three years ago and is inspired by the colours and textures found by the lakes and mountains in Switzerland. She enjoys creating pieces that are attractive and enduring, using high quality materials and stones, and loves to make jewellery that makes YOU feel special everyday!