What woman doesn't love to sparkle on her birthday? Well, diamonds make any occasion brighter, and April birthdays can be the brightest of all because diamond is the April birthstone. According to mystic traditions, your birthstone is supposed to bless you with good health and fortune when you wear it; at least, it makes you a little more glamourous. When you're shopping for April birthstone jewelry, remember the rich heritage of this special gem.
Diamond lore: As the hardest and most precious of gemstones, the diamond has long been a symbol of strength, courage, and eternal love. It has been used in jewelry and art for at least 3,000 years. In many ancient cultures, people thought diamonds were the tears of deities or perhaps the leftover pieces of falling stars or meteorites. Famous diamonds tend to have their own mythology; for example, the Koh-i-Noor diamond from 14th-century India, now part of the British crown jewels, is supposedly cursed, causing misfortune for the ambitious rulers who acquire it. Yet most of us will take our chances with these beautiful jewels.
Where it comes from: Diamonds were found mostly in India before the late 1800s, but then large deposits were found in southern Africa and, later, in Australia. In the 21st century, Australia, South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Russia, and Brazil are major sources for diamonds.
Color and variations: The colorless stones are the most popular and are April's traditional birthstone. Diamond experts grade color on a scale ranging from D to Z. D-F stones are considered colorless, and G-I stones are nearly colorless. Stones graded from K to Z have noticeable color, usually yellow or brown. You can learn more about diamond grading by reading our diamond buying guide.
Anyone who likes to make her own trends should take a look at fancy-color diamonds. These diamonds can be pink, blue, green, purple, and yellow; orange and red diamonds also exist and are very rare. Famous fancy-color diamonds include the pink Agra from 16th-century India; the Russian Orlav, a bluish-green stone that once belonged to Catherine the Great; and the Hope diamond, the famous blue diamond that is set in a Cartier necklace and is on display in the Smithsonian Natural History Museum.
Diamond jewelry: Diamonds decorate every type of jewelry, from elegant engagement rings to whimsical toe rings. Birthstone jewelry designs for children and young women usually focus on rings and pendants; hearts and religious symbols are popular. If your favorite April baby is a teenager, consider updating the tradition of giving pearls to girls to celebrate Sweet 16 by giving her a sparkling solitaire diamond pendant or a pair of diamond stud earrings instead. A classic tennis bracelet is a fashion accessory that is always stylish. Guys have birthdays, too, and those lucky enough to be born in April can find their birthstone in a variety of men's diamond jewelry. A luxurious men's diamond watch is also a great gift for him.