Monday, April 5, 2010

April Birthstones - Diamond, Sapphire & Opal

April Birthstones - Diamond, Sapphire & Opal

The traditional birthstones for April are the Diamond and the Sapphire. Diamonds are the hardest known natural material rating a 10 on the Mohs hardness scale. They are composed of carbon and have been used as adornment since antiquity. Diamonds are thought to have been first recognized and mined in India, where significant alluvial deposits of the stone could be found many centuries ago along the rivers Penner, Krishna and Godavari. The diamond is also the modern and Ayurvedic birthstone for April. See our post on creating a diamond bead necklace here.

Sapphires are any color of the stone corundum except red. Red corundum is known as Ruby. Sapphires are a 9 on the Mohs hardness scale and are also the birthstone for the month of September. Madagascar is the world leader in sapphire production (as of 2007) specifically its deposits in and around the city of Ilakaka, but Sapphires are also found in the USA, Myanmar, Madagascar, Sri Lanka, Australia, Thailand, India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Tanzania, Kenya and China.

The mystical birthstone for April is the Opal. Opal is a 6.5 to 5.5 on Mohs scale of hardness and generally has a 3-10% water content but it can have as high as a 20% water content. There are several varieties of opal. Precious opal is the most widely known and shows fiery flashes on a white or dark background. Fire opal is commonly red, orange to yellow and has no flash. Peruvian opal is a semi-opaque to opaque blue-green stone found in Peru which also has no flash. In the Middle Ages, opal was considered a stone that could provide great luck because it was believed to possess all the virtues of each gemstone whose color was represented in the color spectrum of the opal. It is also the birthstone for October.

See more Diamond, Sapphire and Opal beads here.

No comments: