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Diamond - April birthday gemstone

Diamond is the birth stone for the month of April. Besides being the most popular gemstone for engagement rings, diamond is the accepted anniversary gem for the tenth and sixtieth years of marriage.

The name 'diamond' comes from the Greek word 'adamas' meaning unconquerable- suggesting the eternity of love. In fact diamonds have been the traditional symbol of love since ancient Greece. Discovered about 2,500 years ago in India, the ancients believed they were splinters from the stars,perhaps crystallized lightening or hardened dewdrops.

Although diamonds are associated with being a colorless stone, they are occasionally found with a strong, bright color - green, red, pink, blue, canary yellow and amber. These 'fancv' colored diamonds are highly prized.

Occasionally, to improve appearance, diamonds are laser-drilled and, sometimes, a foreign substance is used to fill surface cavities or fractures. Diamonds may also be irradiated and/or heated to induce 'fancy' colors.

Even though it is the most durable of gemstones, care should be taken to protect a diamond from sharp blows. Household chemicals may discolor or damage the mounting. To clean, you may use a jewelry cleaner or lukewarm soapy water and a small bristle brush, soak in a half-and-half solution of cold water and ammonia for half an hour, or use a home ultrasonic machine with its recommended cleaner.

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