April's birthstone, the diamond, is remarkably simple in composition yet stunning in its unique ability to reflect and refract light into vivid flashes of brilliant color. The word diamond comes from the Greek word "adamas" meaning unconquerable or invincible. The myths and facts associated with the diamond transcend cultures and continents and the prominence of this stone is inscribed in the Greek, Indian, English, French, German, Hebrew, Latin, Arabic, Japanese, American, African, Korean, Polish and Chinese cultures. The ancient Hindus called the diamond "vajra" meaning lightening, both because of the sparks of light thrown off by this gem as well as its invincible strength. The diamond is the hardest substance on earth.
The world's first know reference to this gemstone comes from a Sanskrit manuscript dating back to 322 BC. Roman literature makes its first mention of diamonds in the first century AD, in reference to the alluvial diamonds found in India and Borneo. The ancient Greeks and Romans believed they were the tears of the gods and splinters from falling stars. Cupid's arrows were supposed to be tipped with diamonds, having thus a magic that nothing else could equal. Plato wrote about diamonds as living beings embodying celestial spirits.
Diamonds were thought to impart virtue and generosity. Not only was it commonly believed that diamonds could bring luck and success, but also that they could counter the effects of astrological events. Minerals were among the first medicinal ingredients. In the Middle Ages it was believed that a diamond could heal a sick person that took it into his/her bed and warmed it with the body.
Kings in old days led battles with heavy leather breastplates studded in diamonds and other precious stones because it was believed that diamonds possessed God given magical qualities and powers far beyond the understanding of common man. Thus, warriors stayed clear of Kings and others fortunate enough to havethe magical diamonds in their breastplate. Formed deep within the earth where there is intense heat and pressure, diamonds are simply crystallized carbon. Volcanic activity of long ago brought these gemstones to the earth's surface, where they are found either within volcanic rock formations or washed out into rivers. India is thought to be the first riverbed source of diamond mining, but today these gemstones are found primarily in Australia, Russia and Africa.
A gift of a diamond is symbolic of everlasting love and therefore is most commonly given as on engagement ring or anniversary band. Diamonds are represented with crystal quartz or man made crystals in most personalized Mother's and Grandmother's jewelry. Clear Swarovski Crystals are used in infant and children's personalized birthstone jewelry and in celebration of a new baby girl, baptism, christening, first birthday or first holy communion.