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April Birthstone - Diamonds

Spectacular Diamonds for the April child.

The April birthstone has its roots in India, where diamonds were collected from the country's rivers and streams as early as the fourth century BCE. These precious stones were highly sought after by the wealthy and royalty and were eventually traded in medieval markets in Venice. Diamonds became fashionable accessories for Europe's elite in the 1400s, with the first recorded diamond engagement ring given by Archduke Maximillian of Austria to Mary of Burgundy in 1477. The legendary 45.52 carat blue Hope diamond, believed to have originated from India's Golconda mining area, was sold to King Louis XIV of France in 1668.

As India's diamond supplies began to decline in the 1700s, Brazil became an important source for diamonds. The discovery of diamonds near Kimberley, South Africa in the late 1860s marked the beginning of the modern diamond market, with De Beers Consolidated Mines Limited controlling 90% of the world's production of rough diamonds by 1900. The largest diamond ever found was recovered from South Africa's Premier mine in 1905, which was cut into the 530ct Cullinan I diamond, also known as the Great Star of Africa.

The April birthstone was believed to ward off the evil eye and had healing powers. It was also considered an antidote to poison and provided protection against the plague, with some claiming it to be a boon for longevity, strength, beauty, and happiness. In addition to being the April birthstone, diamonds are the gift of choice for the 60th and 75th wedding anniversaries, and diamond engagement rings are a near-universal symbol of love and marriage

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