Diamonds, April's birthstone

Wishing happy birthday to all of you April beauties! Spring is finally springing after a long rainy March in Southern California and the wildflowers make your birth-month a little more colorful (thankfully even in these crazy times, nature is still open. For all of my Aries/Taurus friends, here a few interesting facts about your birthstone, the diamond.

1. Most diamonds are formed over 80 miles below the Earth’s surface. Almost all bright sparkly diamonds are formed in total darkness, 87-120 miles below the surface in the lithospheric mantle layer. When volcanoes erupt deep underground, the force of the eruption and the magma carry diamonds closer to the surface. The diamonds are hidden inside and mined in the ingneous rock formed by the magma as it cooled.

2. Most diamonds are 1-3 billion years old. The oldest discovered diamonds are even estimated to be around 4 billion years old.

3. Diamonds are the hardest natural substance known to man, an impressive 58 times harder than any other material to be exact!

4. Diamonds were used to engrave other gemstones in India as early as 30BCE.

5. A diamond loses up to 50% of its rough carat weight in the cutting and polishing process. The result? A stone cut to maximize its brilliance and fire.

6. Some diamonds may have even come from outer space. Carbonado diamonds are thought to have formed around 3 billion years ago when an asteroid collided into the planet. These diamonds are quite porous, so you won’t see them in any rings and they are usually found in Africa and South America.

7. There actually is a diamond in the sky named “Lucy”. The star was named after the Beatles’ song “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” when it was discovered by the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in 2007. The star is approximately made of 75% pure diamond is located 50 light years from Earth.

8. Only 30% of all diamonds mined are gem quality. What happens to the other 70%? They’re often used in industrial applications such as abrasives, cutting equipment, and even medical equipment.

9. You can’t actually turn a loved one into a diamond, unfortunately cremation diamonds have been found to be a scam.

10. The largest diamond ever mined is the Cullinan Diamond, which was discovered in 1905 and weighed an astonishing 3,106 carats. It was cut into 105 diamonds, the largest of which are the Greater Star of Africa (530.20ct), and the Lesser Star of Africa (317.60ct), part of the British crown jewels. Eight of the other diamonds cut from the Cullinan are also part of Queen Elizabeth II’s private collection.