April's Birthstone: Diamonds, the Gem of Strength
April's birthstone, the diamond, is so much more than just "A Girl's Best Friend" as Marilyn Monroe famously once said. They are tightly condensed carbon crystals formed miles under the Earth's surface, thus making diamonds the hardest gemstone reaching a 10 on the Mohs Hardness Scale. Diamonds are 58 times harder than any other mineral found in nature.
Rightfully so, April's birthstone is considered to be the "King of all Birthstones". Men and women have been admiring the diamond around the world and throughout history. Here are 5 fun facts about this most sought-after gem stone.
1. There are Diamonds in the Sky.
The largest diamond ever found was not on Earth, but some 50 light years away.
At approximately 10 billion trillion trillion carats, it squashes the largest diamond ever found on Earth, The Cullinan Diamond, at its measly 3,106.75 carats. Discovered in 2004, it is the burned out corpse of a star named BPM 37093. Astronomers aptly nicknamed this dead star Lucy after the Beatles song "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds".
2. The 1st Ever Diamond Engagement Ring
The first recorded diamond engagement ring was given to Mary of Burgundy in 1477 by her fiance, the Archduke Maximilian of Austria. This ring is said to be set with thin, flat pieces of diamonds in the shape of an "M". This set a glamorous precedent for the European nobility and changed the history of engagement rings forever.
3. Ancient Romans Were the First Romantics
Ancient Romans thought that diamonds were the tears cried by the gods. Additionally, they thought that Cupid's arrows were tipped with diamonds. This is perhaps the earliest association between diamonds and romantic love.
4. Diamonds Are Really Old
Formed billions of years ago, diamonds are the consequential result of tremendous amounts of pressure and then temperatures that exceed 1652 degrees Fahrenheit. Made somewhere between 90 to 120 miles beneath the earth's surface and then brought closer to the Earth's surface through volcanic activity.
5. Diamonds Come in a Rainbow of Colors
The most widely used diamond color in jewelry is D-to-Z color; however, diamonds come in a rainbow of colors. For natural colored diamonds, blue, green, orange and red are the rarest, while yellow and brown are the most common.