Shine Bright Like a…

What is a girl’s best friend, a Rihanna song with almost 1 billion views on YouTube, and worn on the lefthand ring finger of most married women? Diamonds! April babies get arguably the most popular and well known gem as their birthstone.

Diamonds are the hardest naturally occurring substance on earth. In fact, their name comes from the Greek word “adamas,” meaning “indestructible.” In addition to representing strength, power, and invincibility, diamonds also represent innocence and purity. Throughout antiquity, they were likened to the tears of weeping gods, splinters of stars, and crystallized lightning.

Diamonds are crystallized carbon formed deep inside the earth under pressure of 725,000 pounds per square inch, at temperatures above 2000 degrees Fahrenheit. The extreme environment needed to produce this beautiful and valuable stone has translated into many popular inspirational quotes about pushing through difficult times to become your best self.

In 1477, the first diamond engagement ring was given to Lady Mary of Burgundy by Archduke Maximilian of Austria. It would not become a trend until nearly 500 years later; at that time only royalty and the very wealthy could afford to do so. In 1947, De Beers launched the slogan “A Diamond is Forever.” Wearing a diamond symbolized your everlasting love and marriage. (And everlasting profits for De Beers.) The opening of diamond mines meant they were more accessible, and aggressive marketing campaigns showing movie stars covered in diamonds drastically increased their appeal.