diamond crosses

April Birthdays, Weddings, and the “Forever” Gemstone

Perhaps the most famous, versatile, and coveted of gemstones, diamonds have adorned the royalty, nobility, and wealthy since antiquity.

Called “adamas” by the ancient Greeks, diamonds were thought to be bits of lightning that had dropped down to earth.  It is assumed that this belief led these mysterious stones (dropped from the heavens) to become a symbol of healing.

Despite ancient beliefs, diamonds did not fall from the sky – the quite opposite, actually.  Diamonds are formed 100 miles below the earth’s surface where carbon is heated to over 2,000°F and put under extreme pressure (725,000 lb/square inch – this is also what helps to make diamonds the hardest mineral found in nature).  They are then forced up to the surface where the raw stones are mined, cut, and polished.

Diamonds were first coveted in India (it is believed that Indians were using diamonds to trade or as collateral as far back as the 4th century BC). The stones were collected from India’s rivers and streams, so only a limited quantity of these sparkling stones were available.  This exclusivity made the stones especially popular among India’s elite upper class.

As exotic Indian goods made their way westward, so the popularity of diamonds spread.  By the 1400s, diamonds had become the coveted fashion statement of medieval Europe’s wealthy.  AsRoman naturalist Pliny stated: “Diamond is the most valuable, not only of precious stones, but of all things in this world.”’

After a decline in popularity in the 1700s, diamonds reemerged as the favored gemstone of the newly affluent 19th century European and American high society.

While diamonds were commonly used alongside other stones in Victorian and Edwardian engagement rings (moreso for their neutral coloring than any symbolism), it was a famous ad campaign by De Beers (who, by 1900, had controlled approximately 90% of the world’s diamond supply) in 1947, stating that “A diamond is forever”  that truly made diamonds the symbol of marriage, love, and eternity they are today.

Today, in addition to being the April birthstone, diamonds also represent 60th and 75th anniversaries.  If you are in the market to buy diamonds, the American Gem Society offers a great diamond-buying guide.

At Gallery Byzantium, we offer a  selection of diamond crosses and pendants, perfect for celebrating an April birthday, anniversary, or other special occasion.  Click on the button below to view our Diamond Collection.

See another piece you like that is not set with a diamond? Give us a call at 800-798-6173 or e-mail us at info@gallerybyzantium and we’d be happy to customize one of our pieces for you!



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