We are going to be featuring a gemstone every month and as the birthstone for the month of April, what better place to start with than diamonds?
Here are a few facts about the gorgeous little (or big) sparklers that create so much attention.
- Diamonds have been recognised as precious gemstones for thousands of years, and were first mined in India.
- As the Earth’s hardest naturally occurring substance, only a diamond can scratch another diamond.
- Diamond is the April birthstone.
- It is suitably named, as the word diamond is derived from the ancient Greek word adámas which would translate today as ‘unbreakable’ or ‘indestructible ’. Shirley Bassey wasn’t lying when she sang diamonds are forever!
- Diamonds are weighed in carats (not the less glamorous carrots). One metric carat is the equivalent to 0.2 grams or 0.007
- Diamonds are formed at depths of 90-120 miles, under immense pressure and heat.
- 250 tons of earth will be mined to produce a one carat diamond.
- Diamonds come in a range of colours. As well as the commonly known clear diamonds they can also be found in blue, green orange, red yellow, brown and black.
- If you birthday is in April, or your name is April, or you have a diary with April in it, you have a perfect excuse to own a diamond!
And now for the science:
Chemical composition - C (pure carbon)
Crystal system - Cubic
Colour - white or colourless, sometimes yellow, red, green, grey or very rarely blue or black. Those most free from colour are the most valuable.
Hardness - 10
Specific gravity - 3.52