This month’s birthstone
Yes, this month’s birthstone is the most prized of all gemstones – the diamond. Valued so highly perhaps because of the many years it takes for a diamond to be formed below the earth’s crust and then forced upwards until it is uncovered, diamonds are composed of pure carbon and are so hard they can only be cut by other diamonds.
Diamonds come in a range of colours, including yellow, red, pink, blue, and green, and range in intensity from faint to vivid. The more intense a stone’s colour the more valuable it is and coloured stones will often be worth more than colourless diamonds of the same weight.
Diamonds have been admired for centuries, and it has been estimated that they were traded as early as 4 BC. In ancient civilisations before it was known how diamonds were created it was believed that diamonds were a solid form of lightning, which is perhaps why they have been credited with possessing great healing powers. Amongst other things it was thought that the diamond could cure brain disease, alleviate pituitary gland disorders and draw toxins from the blood.
The engagement stone
Diamonds are of course synonymous with marriage proposals and most engagement rings will feature the gemstone as part of the design. They are classified according to the 4 Cs – carat, colour, clarity and cut. You can learn more about how diamonds are graded by visiting our 4 Cs page.