Diamond is the birthstone for the month of April. Besides being the most popular gemstone for engagement rings, diamond 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" colored diamonds are highly-prized. Diamonds reside at the top of the Mohs Scale, and the hardness of all other gemstones is compared to Diamond.
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 damage 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 use a home ultrasonic machine with its recommended cleaner.
Copyright: 1979, The Tapley Collection
Copyright: 2005, www.TapleyCollection.com