Happy Birthday, April! The April birthstone is the diamond.

In general, diamonds are remarkably simple in their color, they appear to be clear or white, yet they are able to refract light in a way that produces vibrant flashes of brilliant color, making them sparkle and shine like no other.

Diamonds are simply carbon that has been crystallized under intense heat and pressure. Diamonds form deep within the earth, and the volcanic activity of centuries past brought these gems to the surface. They are most commonly found within volcanic rock formations or washed into rivers. The first river-bed source of diamond mining occurred in India, but today they can be found mainly in Australia, Russia, and Africa.

In their uncut state, diamonds appear as common and unremarkable as a pebble. Their true beauty wasn’t revealed until gemstone cutting and polishing techniques were refined in the 16th century. Today, the value of a diamond comes in large part from how skillfully it is cut and faceted, giving the stone its characteristic sparkle.

Whether it’s in an engagement ring or a pair of earrings, the April birthstone diamond is an excellent gift for someone with a birthday during this month.