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The Preciousness of Diamonds

September 16th, 2011 Jewelry

April babies have it made - their birthstone is the most popular gem out there and is featured in all kinds of jewelry.

Diamonds are renowned for being the hardest stone on earth, which is quite a feat considering the vast array of rocks in existence. The rarity, durability and sparkle of the jewel add to its interest. Because nothing can scratch diamonds other than another of its kind, they can withstand the wear and tear of everyday use (part of their claim to fame).

Diamonds were valuable, but scarce, in ancient times when the only known sources were the alluvial river deposits in India. Some stones were found in Brazil in the 1700s, but it wasn't until the 1870s that the diamond mines in South Africa were discovered, according to the Mineral and Gemstone Kingdom. Since that time, many other sources have been located.

Diamonds were believed to absorb and amplify the thoughts, strengths and weaknesses of their owners. They were thought to increase the power of other gems and were used to detoxify people who had been poisoned.

Typical diamonds are colorless, or sport a faint yellow or brown hue. Perfectly clear varieties are more valuable, but deeply colored (fancy) diamonds are the rarest and most expensive. Only about 20 percent of mined diamonds can be used in jewelry because most are opaque or filled with flaws. These gems are graded on a system based on four aspects known as the four C's: color, cut, clarity and carat weight.

Even if you weren't born in April, diamonds are worth having and go with any outfit. Don't stop at an engagement ring - you can never have enough ice!