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April Birthstone: Diamond
The birthstone for April is diamond, which comes from "adamas," the Greek word for "unconquerable." This refers to the unsurpassed hardness of this highly sought after gem. In ancient times, April's birthstone was an emblem of fearlessness and invincibility. Courage, strength and fortitude were attributes given to the wearer of diamonds, and diamonds were considered to be a man's stone.

The giving of a diamond as an engagement ring to a woman is a relatively new tradition, but people have been wearing them as birthstones for far longer. Diamonds are usually colorless, however brown, yellow, green, blue, pink, red, gray and black variations are also found depending on the impurities present.

Diamond has a hardness rating of 10 on the Mohs scale, making it the hardest of all minerals. Colored diamonds are often irradiated or painted.

Generally, diamonds are very durable, however diamonds are subject to chipping and fracture when handled roughly. Diamonds should be stored separately as they can scratch other jewelry as well as each other.

The following are names given to other stones to imply the value of diamonds:
"Ceylon diamond" and "mature diamond" designate colorless zircon.
"Jourado diamond" is an imitation colorless stone.
"Killiecrankie diamond" and "Saxony diamond" designate colorless topaz.
"Radium diamond" is really smoky quartz.
"Alaska black diamond" is really hematite.
"Nevada diamond" and "Nevada black diamond" designate obsidian.
"Herkimer Diamond" is actually a naturally occurring quartzite.

Diamonds are mostly found in Australia, Ghana, Zaire, the former USSR, the USA (Arkansas, California, Colorado, and North Carolina), and in Brazil.

(This article written by Mike McGinnis and published originally on indiasilver.com. We encourage republication but stipulate the piece be copied in its entirety with links and attribution.)

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Updated 2/17/06
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