Diamond | April's Birthstone
Traditionally, the diamond is the accepted birthstone for the month of April. And, besides being the most popular gemstone for engagement rings, is the accepted anniversary gem for the 10th and 60th years of marriage.
The name "diamond" comes from the Greek word "adamas" meaning unconquerable -- suggesting the eternity of love. In fact, diamonds have been the traditional symbol of love since ancient Greece. Discovered about 2,500 years ago in India, the ancients believed they were splinters from the Stars, perhaps crystallized lightening or hardened dew drops.
Although diamonds are associated with being a colorless stone, they are occasionally found with a strong, bright color -- green, red, pink, blue, canary yellow and amber. These "fancy" color diamonds are highly prized.
Occasionally, to improve appearance, diamonds are laser-drilled and sometimes, a foreign substance is used to fill surface cavities or fractures. Diamonds may also be irradiated and/or heated to induce "fancy" colors.
Even though it is the most durable of gemstones, care should be taken to protect a diamond from sharp blows. Household chemicals may discolor or pit the mounting. To clean, you may use a jewelry cleaner, lukewarm soapy water and a small bristle brush, soak in a half-and-half solution of cold water and ammonia for 1/2 hour, or a home ultrasonic machine with its recommended cleaner.
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