Diamond is the April birthstone. Known as one of the hardest substances on earth, diamonds are thought to be billions of years old (http://encarta.msn.com). The word diamond derives from an ancient Greek word, "adamas", meaning invincible.
Arguably the most prized of all crystals, diamonds come in a range of colors: clear, pink, purple, red, orange, yellow, blue, green, and black.
Color depends on the kind of impurities present. Blue ones have traces of boron, and yellow diamonds have minute amounts of nitrogen.
April Birthstone: Origin of Birthstones
How certain stones came to be connected to specific months is cloudy. Some speculate the birthstone originates from Biblical times when a priest's breastplate was adorned with twelve different colored gems. Over time, the number twelve became connected to months of the year and to the zodiac.
People began wearing a different gem each month as a sort of talisman, believing each stone held certain powers. Gradually, specific gems became attached to specific months and zodiac signs. People then wore the gem associated with their birth month all year long.
Fast-forward hundreds of years to 1912 in Kansas City, Missouri. The American National Association of Jewelers created a birthstone list, assigning different stones to each month. The birthstone list was controversial because people thought it was developed purely for commercial purposes. Even so, it is accepted worldwide today as the definitive list of birthstones.
April Birthstone: History and Beliefs about Diamonds
According to Encarta, there are Sanskrit texts that make reference to diamonds before 400 BC. This suggests that ancient peoples from India assigned value to these crystals.
Evidence of diamond cutting was found in Venice dating back to the 1330s. Once eastern trade routes opened, Europeans began trading diamonds in the early 15th century.
Ancient Hindus believed lightning bolts created diamonds. The Greeks had several theories about the origin of these gemstones. They believed they were tears of the gods, splinters of stars, or crystallized lightning.
April Birthstone: Healing Powers of Diamonds
During the middle ages, diamonds were thought to heal illness, especially problems relating to brain disease and the pituitary gland. The best way to cure disease was to take the crystal into bed with you to warm it up first. This way, it could draw out toxins.
Diamonds can enhance a person's level of clarity, balance, and abundance. They also amplify a person's energy, whether positive or negative, as well as the healing properties of other crystals. For example, if worn with amethyst, diamonds will increase that crystal's soothing and calming properties.